Plan to rename Belle Isle after dating website is old PR trick

Ashley MadisonA dating website that sets up discreet extramarital affairs knows how to press the right buttons.

In a publicity stunt that is as shameless as it is absurd, AshleyMadison.com sent Mayor Dave Bing a letter offering $10 million to change the name of Belle Isle to “AshleyMadison.com Island” for a decade.

Crains’ Detroit Business picked up the story, which has made its rounds on social media and even stoked fear among some.

“I do not want Ashley Madison to have their name on our park now known as Belle Isle,” one reader poseted. “In no way should we be advertising and promoting extra-marital affairs, because that is what would happen if their name went up.”

This isn’t the first time AshleyMadison.com pulled off such a stunt. When the city of Phoenix was having financial problems, the company offered $10 million to rename the Sky Harbor Airport to Ashley Madison International Airport. The company also made an offer to rename New Meadowlands Stadium to AshleyMadison.com Stadium.

The company, which makes fun of fat women and encourages cheating, offered $200,000 to advertise on the Toronto Transit Commission’s streetcars with the slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Asked by Crains about the renaming proposal, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s spokesman Bill Nowling responded, “I didn’t think Crain’s was that kind of publication.”

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • StretchRun

    I want my 30 seconds that I spent reading this article returned.

  • pfunk

    Speaking of affairs with hot women the real question Steve is why is Andy Dillon getting sloshed around Metro telling people that Stacy Fox is another trailer trash that gets it on with black men and can get $175k for it? Did they used to date? Are they frolicking when Gary Brown shuts off the lights?

  • Aanna1123

    Except, Mr. Nowling, there seems to be an E-Mail from the inner offices of Kevin Orr suggesting just such a thing! Explain that!