Faithfulness Matters on Channel 4

Tonight at 7.55pm, our campaign is featured on Channel 4’s 4thought programme which goes out just after the news.

You can see the short programme on the 4thought website.

Our campaign has had success in getting an advert for an affairs dating site withdrawn.  In addition, our work has also led the UK’s leading on-line dating company, Global Personals based in Windsor and run by CEO Ross Williams, to change their policy and not allow such advertising for their partner websites.  We want to keep up the pressure on them until they agree to withdraw from this shabby business.

Sadly, Global Personals and other companies still run websites which encourage people to have affairs and cheat on their partners.

If you came onto our site after seeing the programme, these are the ways that you can get involved:

Thanks for your interest and support -

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Faithfulness Matters campaign update

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The Good

The good news is that due to the pressure that the Faithfulness Matters campaign put on them, we can confirm that Global Personals have changed their policy towards the public advertising of the affairs websites they run.  In direct response to our campaigning, they have introduced stipulations to their partner brands such as ‘Marital Affair’, that these websites should not be advertised ‘inappropriately’ in places such as high street billboards.  We are pleased with this as it makes it less likely that the public adverts for affairs websites will re-appear.

It shows how important the pressure we have brought to bear on the company is.  Through our emails and phone calls of complaint to the company, lobbying the National Business Awards, the letters to MPs to sign the Early Day Motion against these websites, our campaign has influenced the UK’s largest on-line dating provider.  Thanks for all you have done.

Furthermore, the Faithfulness Matters campaign has helped create a much needed debate on the wider issues of ethics in the on-line dating industry.  Despite being a multi-million pound business on-line dating is completely unregulated and we have helped shine some light into the murky areas of this business.  

Pretty good for a campaign whose total expenditure has been about £30!

The Bad

Although we are pleased that we have influenced their policy towards advertising, the bad news is that Global Personals still run these websites.  They still profit from encouraging and facilitating people to cheat on their partners.   

We need to continue to highlight the toxic nature of this work as all the signs show that pressure works.

The CEO of Global Personals, Ross Williams, likes talking about profits and picking up awards but he has proved to be very sensitive to the criticisms we have raised.  He has threatened us with legal action, refused to meet with us and declined to publicly debate our concerns on Radio 4.  In their desperation to present us as extremists, the company have even made claims, 100% without foundation, that Faithfulness Matters has links to the British National Party (BNP).

Despite earning 50% of the profits from Marital Affair, Global Personals present themselves as a respectable business.  They have not appreciated Faithfulness Matters exposing the shabby reality of their work.  But we will continue to do so until they make a properly ethical decision and commit to stop running websites which profit from breaking up relationships.

The Ugly

Global Personals may be a ethically shabby outfit – but the ugly truth is that are worse companies out there. The US affairs website Ashley Madison, run by CEO Noel Biderman, are aggressively targeting the UK market.

Sadly, their marketing is aided by the kind of lazy journalism seen in The Times and The Daily Mail newspapers this week.  As so often, the journalist simply regurgitated uncritically the ‘research’ and statistics provided by the companies. Both The Mail and The Times quotes ‘a survey by the site’ which claims that in Manchester alone there is one subscriber for every 27 people.  Who verifies these figures? I simply don’t believe them because they come from a source with a vested interest to inflate them.

In addition, the newspapers use the photos and ‘Case Studies’ supplied to them by the websites.  This means they propagate the twisted philosophy that presents infidelity as somehow good for relationships.  They show pictures of beautiful young women alongside tales of women trapped in sexless marriages – to portray themselves as serving the needs of modern day Lady Chatterleys, providing sex for those tragically deprived of physical affection.  The newspapers are simply providing the websites with cheap advertising. 

The reality is far more ugly, in more ways than one.  Actually the focus of these websites is to profit from naïve men who are gullible enough to pay up.  It’s a shame that the newspapers do not show pictures of sad blokes at computers wasting hundreds of pounds on websites like these – or of crying children affected by their parent’s unfaithfulness. 

Showing that Faithfulness Matters

People like Ross Williams and Noel Biderman need to know that people care about the toxic work they profit from.  But we need to do this in ways that are effective rather than simply giving their products more publicity.  We need to show them that Faithfulness Matters.

Faithfulness Matters and Global Personals on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4’s consumer programme You & Yours on Friday 6th January featured many concerns about the ethics and practices of Global Personals, the company which runs websites which facilitate and encourage people to have affairs.Click on the link below to listen to a 2 minute section of the programme which featured our campaign and Global Personal’s response to our accusation that their work is ‘toxic and ethically shabby’.

Faithfulness Matters on BBC Radio 4 

We believe that Global Personals illustrate very clearly in the programme their lack of concern for ethics or for how the websites which they operate affect people’s lives.

A chance to show that Faithfulness Matters

Before Christmas, Ross Williams, CEO of Global Personals appeared on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme to talk about how successful and profitable the on-line dating business was.  A number of listeners got in touch with the Beeb afterwards to flag up the ethical concerns many have about the websites Global Personals run which encourage people to cheat on their partners.

So this week Jon Kuhrt was invited onto the show to be interviewed about the Faithfulness Matters campaign.  It is due to be broadcast on Friday 6th January at 12.00 midday.

Why this issue is important

We believe that faithfulness between people in committed relationships matters – for individuals, for families, for children and for our communities. We believe that commitment and honesty between couples is worth standing up.  So, we believe that running websites which encourage and facilitate people to have affairs is not legitimate business for a responsible company.  

It goes beyond simply an issue of personal choice because these ‘product’ directly and inherently involve damaging other people’s lives.  Everyone has experience of the real cost that affairs have for the partners and especially when children are affected.

The shabby ethics of Global Personals

Before Christmas, representatives from Faithfulness Matters, including someone whose husband had three affairs on websites like these, met with representatives from Global Personals at their lawyers.  The company dismissed our concerns and confirmed their intentions to continue to run and profit from websites which encourage and facilitate affairs.  Global Personals might be an innovative and profitable company but in terms of their ethics we believe they are shabby.  We are committed to highlighting their lack of ethics until they stop running sites like these.

How you can get involved:

  1. Please read the Faithfulness Matters statement and if you agree with it, ping us a quick email on faithfulnessmatters@gmail.com.  You will join the growing list of supporters who want to support the campaign.
  2. Listen to a 90 second audio recording of Susan’s story: the real cost of affairs websites – one woman whose family was ripped apart after her husband had affairs using sites like these
  3. Encourage your MP to join the 30 other MPs who have signed the Early Day Motion in Parliament in support of Faithfulness Matters

Thanks for your support for Faithfulness Matters.

For any media enquiries about the campaign please also email faithfulnessmatters@gmail.com and we will come back to you as soon as we can.

Susan’s story and the real cost of affairs websites

Susan, a single mum with three children, is one of the activists involved in Faithfulness Matters.  She feels strongly about this issue because her ex-husband had three extra-marital affairs using websites similar to the ones run by Global Personals.

Please listen to Susan’s story – it is less than 2 minutes long – but reveals the true cost of websites which encourage people to have affairs:

Listen to Susan’s story here

(Please note: Susan is not her real name and someone else has read the story to protect her family’s confidentiality.)

Please sign the Faithfulness Matters statement now if you want to stand up against companies like Global Personals who run websites which profit from encouraging people to have affairs.

Report from our meeting with Global Personals yesterday

The delegation from Faithfulness Matters met with Global Personals yesterday at their lawyers, Lawson-Cruttenden, to discuss our concerns about the websites they run which encourage and facilitate people to have affairs.  Sadly, the CEO Ross Williams chose not to attend nor send any of his Directors.  Their PR and Marketing Executive, Louisa Page and a communications consultant represented them.

Our perspective
 
From our perspective the meeting went well. We expressed our objectives and shared with them direct testimony of someone who has been personally affected by the kind of websites that they run.  We unpacked our ethical concerns about the promotion and profiting from breaking up relationships.

Global Personals’ response

  • Global Personals’ view is that as long as what they were doing was within the law and between consenting adults then they did not see it as an problem. 
  • They defended the concept of affairs sites as being ‘more honest’ for people who were looking to be unfaithful.  But they did not offer much of a reply when we asked ‘But not more honest for the partners and children affected?’
  • They did admit that the public advertising of affairs websites is at times inappropriate but emphasised that it was not their responsibility – it was an issue for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). 

Global Personals made it clear that they intend to continue to run and profit from running the Marital Affair website.

What we asked of Global Personals

We gave them a statement which commits them to pull out of websites which encourage people to have affairs.  We asked that they arrange a further meeting with us to discuss whether Global Personals would sign it with someone senior enough from their side to make this decision.  We would like this meeting to happen within the coming month and asked them to respond by the end of this week.  We await their response.
 
In the meantime we made clear our campaign would continue.  We emphasised our values but also our commitment to the campaign’s aims.  In many ways things have just begun – we have a clear strategy for how the campaign will roll out over the coming months.

  • On Friday we will be posting an audio testimony of someone involved in the campaign whose ex-husband had 3 affairs on these kind of websites which caused devastation to her and her family.  
  • Next week we will be emailing everyone about the next action we will be taking in the campaign.

Thanks again for all your great support. Please continue to encourage friends to sign up to the Faithfulness Matters Statement so they can receive the emails and be part of this campaign.

Thanks again for all your great support. 
On behalf of the Faithfulness Matters team

Faithfulness Matters meeting with Global Personals – Monday 5th December

A delegation of six representatives from Faithfulness Matters are meeting with Ross Williams, CEO of Global Personals this coming Monday 5th December in London.  We are hoping for a positive meeting to discuss with Mr Williams our concerns about Global Personals’ operating and profiting from websites which directly encourage people to have affairs. 

You can support us in this meeting in the following ways:

  1. Please encourage friends and family to sign up in support of Faithfulness Matters.  There may well be action required next week and we would like as many people signed up as possible
  2. If you are a Christian, please remember the Faithfulness Matters’ team in your prayers and encourage others in your church to do the same.  It is a huge encouragement for us to know we are being supported in this way by churches from across the UK and beyond.

We will update everyone early next week about how the meeting went.

Other updates:

  • You might be interested in this article on our campaign in IDEA magazine published this week
  • The Early Day Motion in support of Faithfulness Matters has had 29 MPs sign it so far.  There have been 14 Labour MPs, 5 DUP, 5 Conservative, 4 Lib Dems and 1 Plaid Cymru. 
  • If you have not contacted your MP please contact your MP and ask them to sign the EDM

Global Personals agree to meet with Faithfulness Matters

We are really pleased that Ross Williams, CEO of Global Personals, has agreed to meet with a delegation from Faithfulness Matters on the 5th December.

We really hope that he will be responsive to our calls for a more ethical approach to how his company operate.

The Early Day Motion in Parliament supporting Faithfulness Matters

At the time of writing 23 MPs have signed up to the Early Day Motion in support of Faithfulness Matters.

If you have not done so please contact your MP and urge them to support it.

A Christian response to websites which encourage unfaithfulness

Also you might be interested in this talk that Jon Kuhrt gave on Faithfulness Matters at Christ Church New Malden last week at their evening service.

Early Day Motion tabled in Parliament supporting Faithfulness Matters Campaign

Click here to read the motionGlobal Personals’ complained in their last statement that Faithfulness Matters was ‘an unelected body’. 

With this in mind, we are very encouraged that an Early Day Motion has been tabled in Parliament by six (elected) MPs who are supporting our campaign.

Read the Motion here on the Parliament website

Please contact your MP as soon as possible and ask them to sign this Early Day Motion and add their support to the growing concern about companies who make money from helping to break up relationships.

Also, you might be interested in these articles published in the last couple of days which have featured the Faithfulness Matters campaign:

Being clear about Global Personals’ role in the ‘Marital Affair’ website

Global Personals work with a very wide range of companies to help them run their own branded dating websites.  They use a platform they have developed called White Label Dating.

It is a very comprehensive service which makes it as easy as possible for anyone with an concept for a dating website to start one up.  As it says on their website: “WhiteLabelDating.com provides the dating software, membership database, payment processing, customer support, hosting infrastructure, tax processing and much more. You provide your brand, website design and marketing and we do the rest.”  Global Personals clearly have a major role in the websites, which is why they describe themselves as ‘running’ and ‘operating’ the sites in question.

Minimising their role

However when it comes to replying to the concerns that Faithfulness Matters have had about their involvement in websites such as Marital Affair it all sounds very different.  They present themselves as simply providing software and technological support and that they have no responsibility for the content or purpose of the site.

This issue lies at the heart of our concerns about the ethical practices of Global Personals – because we believe they do have a responsibility for who they partner with. 

The importance of truth

It is obviously very important that Faithfulness Matters is accurate in what we say and how we say it.  This is why we have laid an emphasis on our values - we are not bullying or threatening anyone – but we do want the truth is to be disclosed.  Of course, it is Global Personal’s right to engage in whatever business they choose – and it is also our right to comment on their business.

In their own words…

With this in mind, the best place to understand the actual relationship is the Marital Affair website itself.  The following sentences are taken from a very long list of Maritalaffair.co.uk Terms and Conditions on its website:

  • The Site is operated by Global Personals Limited, a company registered under the laws of England, whose registered office is Minton Place, Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EG (“us”, “we”, “Global Personals”) to deliver a service for adults to meet each other and communicate online (“the Service”)
  • All copyright, design rights, database right, patents, and any rights to inventions, know-how, trade and business names, trade secrets and trade marks (whether registered or unregistered) and any applications therefore (“Intellectual Property Rights”) in the Site belong to and vest in Global Personals, or are licensed to Global Personals unless otherwise specified. All such rights of Global Personals are hereby asserted and reserved.
  • Contact Information – The Site and the Service is operated by Global Personals Limited, a company registered under the laws of England, whose registered office is Minton Place, Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EG.

Elsewhere it also states:

  • MaritalAffair.co.uk is run by Global Personals Limited, a UK company specializing in the development of online dating websites for the singles community. For all media enquiries, please email press@globalpersonals.co.uk, who will be able to assist.
  • The site is powered by WhiteLabelDating.com, a powerful cross-platform dating solution which can be integrated with other websites.

It shows that Global Personals’ extensive role in the Marital Affair website.  On each page of the site it has the statement ‘This site is owned and marketed by Marital Affair Ltd’ – but no where is there any contact information for Marital Affair.  There is no one who you can contact, no one who can be held accountable for the site – apart from Global Personals. 

Being clear about the issue

We do not have a problem with around 99% of what Global Personals does – in fact they are clearly an innovative and well-run business.  But we firmly believe that their refusal to adopt a more ethical or moral approach  to who they will partner with is wrong.  

It’s our hope and aim that they will choose to close down their partnership with Marital Affair, just as they have done with Affairsdating, and make an ethical decision to no longer operate sites like these.   It’s not only the right decision morally but also, in the long run, for their business.  They should focus on their core work of bringing people together – not breaking them up.

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