Ashley Madison employs guerrilla marketing techniques to advertise its site.
One such technique has been the creation of fake criticism websites filled with ads for Ashley Madison and anonymous testimony that the site is legitimate. Ashley Madison Scams.com" was registered to Ashley Madison owner Avid Life.
The demand was driven by the site's policy of not deleting users' personal information following their invoiced requests.
On August 24 the Toronto Police Department spoke of "two unconfirmed reports of suicides" associated with the leak of customer profiles along with extortion attempts, offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the hackers.
Unlike or e Harmony, Ashley Madison's business model is based on credits rather than monthly subscriptions.
For a conversation between two members, one of the members—almost always the man—must pay five credits to initiate the conversation.
Also in 2009, NBC refused an ad submitted by Ashley Madison for the network's broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII.
In 2012, the company was sued by former employee Doriana Silva, who stated that in preparation for the launch of the company's Portuguese-language website, she was assigned to create over a thousand bogus member profiles within a three-week period in order to attract paying customers, and that this caused her to develop repetitive stress injury.
The data disclosures in 2015 revealed that this "permanent deletion" feature did not permanently delete anything, and all data was recoverable.
Trish Mc Dermott, a consultant who helped found Match.com, accused Ashley Madison of being a "business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages, and damaged families".