High & Inside: Station divorces ads

Posted: September 22, 2010

IF YOU'VE EVER listened to sports-talk radio, you've heard them.

The radio spots dedicated to strip clubs, male- enhancement pills and the like.

Hey, no objection here - those ads obviously serve a purpose, and pay the station's bills.

But executives for the Buffalo Bills Radio Network are making a change. A change to deal with complaints from fans irate with the station's decision to run ads promoting popular infidelity dating site AshleyMadison.com. One major difference between this site and the slew of other online dating sites is that it caters to spouses looking to cheat on their significant others.

BBRN ran the spot for the first two Bills games this season, but pulled the plug yesterday, prompting Noel Biderman, creator of the racy website, to lash out.

"I'm shocked they would pull these commercials only 2 weeks into our deal, especially since it was they who approached us about advertising during Bills games," says Biderman, a former sports agent. "We even created a specific $49 ad for the Buffalo market, as we know it's been especially hit hard by the economic downturn."

Surprisingly, Biderman - or at least his PR staff - is outraged the radio station is concerned with its credibility and fan appeal.

Even more surprising is a confusing news release from the website in which fans sided with the radio station.

One unnamed writer had this opinion:

"I'm sure that's the message the NFL, the Bills and your radio station want to communicate to your listeners! What an embarrassment. But then again, I'm sure it's been quite difficult filling all the spots during these broadcasts when you consider the product the Bills are putting on the field."

Another chimed in with this:

"AshleyMadison.com during Bills games and during the afternoon when children are listening to the radio were extremely inappropriate. It is hard enough listening to the Bills games and now you're running disgusting commercials."

And a personal favorite:

"It's bad enough the Bills are so bad, but now I have to listen to an ad encouraging people to cheat on their spouses?"

- Kerith Gabriel

Send e-mail to highandinside@phillynews.com

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