Avid Life Media is attempting to get Bay Street support for a $60 million IPO. They’re running up against some resistance. I’m not sure exactly why, but I have a funny feeling that it has something to do with the fact that their main business is none other than ashleymadison.com. (Click on that link at your own risk fellas.)
For those of you blissfully unaware, Ashley Madison is a web portal for people looking to cheat on their spouses. Upon sign up, you’re offered a 100% affair guarantee. That cracked me up.
They also quite cleverly offered Tiger Woods a sponsorship opportunity during his recent troubles. I must admit, that was a very crafty publicity move for the company.
While we’re on the topic, down stateside another racy company is planning an IPO. Penthouse Media Group (yes, that Penthouse) is planning a $220 million IPO. This one seems to be a little more well received.
Penthouse is the owner of AdultFriendFinder, one of the most popular sites on the web. They get 70% of their revenue from “paid use pornography”. They also run the site bigchurch.com, which pairs up people who want a partner who also believes in the same religion as they do.
What’s up with the dirty IPOs?
One could make the point that this is just another example of the morals of our society going down the toilet. How dare we encourage this type of behavior by investing in it. Cheating hurts families, divorce is terrible, and so on. These sites definitely make it easier for someone to cheat.
On the other side of the argument, people are going to cheat anyway. They managed to do it before sites like these were around. Sort of like the tobacco or alcohol industries, maybe investors should take the opportunity to profit on people’s stupidity.
Whether you think it’s good or bad, society seems to be much more tolerant of sexual behavior than it was even recently. Single people having casual sex is common. Porn is more popular than ever. Nobody waits until marriage anymore. We’re generally much more comfortable with sexuality than ever before.
An investor has to make the decision on where the line is when it comes to ethical investing. Some may choose to not invest in alcohol or tobacco stocks. Some may choose not to invest in companies who use child labor. Some may choose to avoid companies with questionable environmental histories. Wherever you choose to be, that’s fine. Whatever works for you.
But will these types of companies continue to grow? They sure will. Even though Avid Media is getting a frosty reception now, they’ll eventually find investors. Greed has a way of looking past morals.
Would I invest in either of the mentioned companies? Yep. If I liked the investment, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I have absolutely no problems profiting off of other people’s bad decisions. I don’t support cheating on one’s spouse, and I’d never choose to partake in casual sex either. I think cheaters are absolute scum. It’s a terrible thing to go through to be cheated on.
Yet my dollars don’t care for my morals. They go where they can be best deployed.