Did “fembots” cause an FTC investigation into Avid Life Media?

Dating site for the adulterous, Ashley Madison, has revealed that its parent company, Avid Life Media, is currently the subject of an investigation being led by the Federal Trade Commission.

In an interview with Reuters, newly appointed Chief executive officer, Rob Segal and President, James Millership revealed that Avid Life was being investigated by the FTC. The focus of the investigation, however, is unclear at this stage.

Popular theory suggests that the investigation is about fake profiles, or “fembots”, as they’re known.

Despite Ashley Madison claims of having shut down fake profiles – which lured adulterous men to the site like cyber sirens up until last year – the hack revealed a completely different story.

Data gleaned from the hack showed that men out numbered women five to one and more than 70 000 female profiles were fake.

Both firms currently face class action lawsuits in the USA and Canada because of this.

It’s also possible that the FTC is fulfilling its mandate to investigate cases of deceptive advertising and companies that are careless with customer information.

At this stage of the investigation, not even the new execs are sure what the investigation is looking at.

“That’s a part of the ongoing process that we’re going through … it’s with the FTC right now,” Segal told Reuters.

Saying sorry

The interview is the first time that senior management have spoken to the media since the hack last year and the new CEO grabbed the opportunity to apologise to the sites members.

“We are profoundly sorry” Segal said. The CEO added that perhaps more could have been spent on security.

Despite building a $109 million business on the phrase, “life is short, have an affair”, Avid Life is looking to rebrand Ashley Madison and shift away from adulterous dating.

“We certainly feel that the Ashley Madison brand can be repositioned,” says Segal.

[Via – Reuters]



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