Last Minute Ban on Nationwide Affairs Campaign

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Ratcliffe Fernley Media ban extra-marital dating website IllicitEncounters.com from advertising on their buses, less than two weeks before a confirmed nationwide campaign was scheduled.

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We had discussed in detail the finer points of the campaign. We agreed not to advertise on school bus routes, and the artwork was OK’ed back in February by senior Titan management, including RFM director Roger Fernley.

Transport advertising company Ratcliffe Fernley Media (previously Titan Bus) have placed a last minute ban on bus advertising purchased by dating website IllicitEncounters.com (http://www.illicitencounters.co.uk/).

The website, which provides a platform for married people to seek out illicit lovers, purchased a multi-thousand pound nationwide campaign with the company, which would have seen double-deckers across dozens of major UK cities emblazoned with the brand’s logo, complete with the question “Marriage missing something?”.

However, in a last-minute decision, Ratcliffe Fernley blocked the website’s campaign, saying that it was “a little too controversial”.

Adam Scott, CEO of Illicit Encounters.com, says the decision came as a shock; “We had discussed in detail the finer points of the campaign. We agreed not to advertise on school bus routes, and the artwork was OK’ed back in February by senior Titan management, including RFM director Roger Fernley.”

Despite Illicit Encounters being told the advertisements had been fully approved, the final artwork was rejected when it was submitted to the receiving bus companies, just days before the campaign was due to go live on May 10th.

“An email arrived. We were told that we could not move forward unless we removed all suggestions that our site was “extra-marital” from the artwork." continues Scott. "We have no interest in falsely advertising ourselves, so declined. Our advertising team wasted months working on this, and we are understandably very frustrated.”

The companies spent a total of 3 months negotiating the contract. Ratcliffe Fernley have apologised for the miscommunication, and are currently in the process of refunding the website.

Despite the knock back, Illicit Encounters maintain that there remain thousands of dissatisfied spouses who would greatly benefit from hearing about their service, and are seeking other platforms through which to broadcast their message.

Illicit Encounters (http://www.illicitencounters.co.uk/), the UK’s largest extra-marital dating site, has seen a phenomenal growth since its inception in 2003, and currently boasts almost 500,000 UK members.

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Rosie Freeman Jones