Stop poisoning our communities with these marriage break-up websites – an open letter to Ross Williams, CEO of Global Personals

Dear Ross Williams,

You are a successful entrepreneur who has won prestigious awards for developing your company, Global Personals as a leader in on-line dating websites.  Most of what you and your company does is positive – you help bring people together. I have quite a few friends who have found their partners through on-line dating.

But there is a far darker side to your company’s work.  Global Personals run websites which specifically target married people, encouraging and facilitating them to have affairs and cheat on their partners.  In doing so, your business helps ruins relationships, destroys families and harms the lives of children.  With the challenges that the UK currently faces, I think what you are doing is a disgrace and I think you know it.

New adverts

You will remember that last year, I started a campaign to stop public advertising of one of your websites after I, along with my young children, saw a huge billboard near where we live promoting your ‘marital affair’ websites.  You and your partners agreed to withdraw the advert after hundreds of people contacted your offices but an inevitable side effect was that we gave your website itself lots of publicity.

A year and a half on, public adverts for another one of your marriage break-up websites have again appeared on public billboards (see above) in, among other places Harlsden, Greenwich, Surbiton and Dorset.  Obviously advertising the name of the site is what you want, so rather than give the url of the site I have reproduced what your company states on the site:

We always believe that you can meet likeminded people who are looking to have an affair, when divorce is not an option…With 365 days a year and 1000’s of local members who want to have an affair, get out there and have some fun… because life is too short!

This website is run by Global Personals Limited, a UK company specializing in the development of online dating websites for the singles community.

Of course people have personal responsibility for their own actions and people will always have affairs.  But websites like yours promote the idea of being unfaithful and profit from it.  You are a like a drug dealer who promotes what they are pushing as harmless when really they are trading in something deadly and destructive.

The real cost of your websites

I have a friend who lives locally, who has three children, whose ex-husband had an affair using a similar website.  She said:

“my ex-husband had three affairs through sites like these.  He would not have had the nerve to start an affair from meeting someone in a bar.  The websites helped him step over that line.”

This is not about being old fashioned or spoiling people’s fun.  This is about protecting what’s important in our society and standing up for the values of honesty, decency and faithfulness.  As I have seen with friends and through my work with homeless people, affairs ruin lives as well as marriages, they create poverty and they are disastrous for children.  Almost everyone agrees that family breakdown was one of the key factors in the recent riots in the UK.

What we want you to do

You are the boss, or ‘the big cheese’ as your website puts it, and you have a choice about the kinds of websites you develop and promote. From what I have read about you, you are someone who cares about their reputation and wants to feel good about what you do.  I am sure its the same for your senior colleagues.  And after what happened to the News of the World, I am sure you are aware of how quickly brands can become toxic.

I think your company, Global Personals is involved in toxic work.  So, I am asking people who reads this letter and agrees with me to phone your offices and ask to speak to your senior colleagues to tell them about how affairs have affected their friends or family and to ask you to withdraw your adverts.  We want you and your partners to withdraw these adverts and agree to not publicly advertise these kind of websites again.

Although we want people to be polite and reasonable when they contact you, we do want you to know that we are serious about this.  If you choose to try and disrupt marriages to make money then we will try to disrupt your business.  These adverts are helping to poison our communities. We want to show that belief in strong relationships and commitment is as powerful as your aim to make money by creating misery for families and children.

Yours sincerely,

Jon Kuhrt

Join the Facebook group

Global Personal’s office number is +44 (0)1753 27 12 80

Postal address is: Global Personals Limited, Minton Place, Windsor, SL4 1EG, United Kingdom.

About Jon Kuhrt

Jon Kuhrt works with people affected by homelessness, offending and addictions at the West London Mission. He, his wife and three children are part of Streatham Baptist Church and he is a member of the Christians on the Left. He likes football...but loves cricket.
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26 Responses to Stop poisoning our communities with these marriage break-up websites – an open letter to Ross Williams, CEO of Global Personals

  1. George Whale says:

    Dear Mr Kuhrt

    I work for the British Freedom Party website http://britishfreedom.org/ and would like to ask whether you might allow us to reproduce this article on our site?

    I’m sure that the article would be of interest to our readers, and of course I would include proper attribution.

    Sincerely

    Dr George Whale
    British Freedom Party.

  2. Andy Trenier says:

    I wrote to them all…what a bunch of idiots eh?

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  4. James Church says:

    Just called their offices, they gave me an email address after 2 minutes of polite but firm ranting (not really my style and a little scary). I then emailed Ross Williams and those who work with him. Ending with the line: ‘Seeing as money seems to be the only language you understand: Marriage breakdown costs our country a staggering sum of nearly £40 billion, that is at least £1000 for every taxpayer! Think of that when you are counting your pennies.’

  5. Jon Kuhrt says:

    I have just had a long chat with the customer care team at Global Personals who were very helpful and professional. When you phone in please state your concern about an affairs website that is being publicly advertised. Just to be clear, Global Personal DO RUN the site so do not be put off by them saying anything about ‘other parties’. I have it confirmed that they operate and manage the website that is being advertised across London.

    You can email Louisa, the Marketting Manager on support@globalpersonals.co.uk but I think a phone call is by far the best thing to do. Remember: be reasonable and polite and tell them about your experiences of affairs and the destruction they cause. – one rude/abusive call puts everything backwards.

    Please call Global Personals today on (0)1753 27 12 80

  6. Jon Kuhrt says:

    Great idea from one of our activists – if you phoned Global Personals today and could not get past reception try phoning in tomorrow and guess an extension number and be put through to someone. They dialled 101 and got Ross Williams’ PA…lets get creative…

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  8. externalities says:

    I wonder if more effort should be put into making sure people don’t feel the need for affairs, than trying (without much success) to place barriers when they do. But…

    I’d like to elaborate on your drugs analogy. I’d suggest that there should be restrictions/prohibitions on advertising drugs (be that alcohol, tobacco, cannabis or heroin); but criminalising drug use is inappropriate and ineffective as a deterrent (as with adultery); and again that addressing the issues that make people feel the need to inject heroin or cheat on their partners is of paramount importance.

    • Jon Kuhrt says:

      thanks – you’re right that effort should be put into that – so marriage courses, helping people get out and ‘keep the magic alive’ etc is all very important.

      The decriminalisation of drugs is another debate – I actually agree with it as a policy – but no one is arguing here that affairs should be criminalised. What we are saying is that they are destructive and we want to campaign against the advertising of them as something harmless, the same as if someone promoted crack as simply a ‘lifestyle choice’

  9. Gareth Davies says:

    Well done Jon- I phoned but they refused to put me through to anyone and just gave me an e-mail address info@globalpersonals.co.uk I tried to speak to Louisa but they asked several questions to screen me out, I think. I’ll send an e-mail now, anyway.

  10. Rev. Gary Homewood says:

    Do we have an address for Mr Williams in Bray? If so, write to his wife and ask if she approves of what he and his company is doing? All is fair in love, war and an utterly unethical business world.

    • Jon Kuhrt says:

      thanks Gary. At the moment, we have spoken to a number of local contacts – including Churches Together in Berkshire, where as you can imagine there is quite a lot of outrage about all this and it seems that people want to meet with him face to face to talk about this. I don’t want to publicise his address as you never know where it will lead but we want to do all we can to show Mr Williams that this toxic work has consequences. Please continue to spread the word and help apply some pressure via MPs and other people who care about this.

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  12. Misc says:

    You wrong to think a website/agency is responsible for people having affairs!
    What about peoples own self control, or lack thereof.
    The married person has a responsibility to their better half not to cheat on them, regardless of what temptations might exist.
    If said marriages break, then they would of been in trouble long before any actual wrong was done on a site like this, as someone even thinking about registering has issues, and the site hasnt even done anything for them yet. And then they proceed in meeting up with matches!
    These sites only take advantage of an activity that is going to occur anyway, so why no make it easier, and make some money!
    I feel sorry for the people here fighting this, what a waste of your time.

    • Jon Kuhrt says:

      We have never said that the website is ‘responsible’ for people having affairs – this will always be the responsibility of the people who make that decision. Our concern is how a major company is promoting and profitting from what is a sad reality. But also the truth with the internet is that it can entice people – draw them in and encourage them to do things that they otherwise would not. For evidence listen to Susan’s story – about how her husband had affairs on sites like these on the FM website – http://faithfulnessmatters.net/2011/12/09/susans-story-and-the-real-cost-of-affairs-websites/ All we are saying is it is not legitimate business for a responsible company – developing and feeding the demand for affairs which wreck people’s lives.

      This has not taken us loads of time or that much effort and certainly not much cost. Its just being done in some spare hours by people who are bothered enough to be concerned. Its interesting that you were motivated enough to use your time to tell us we are wasting ours.

  13. Paul Rutherford says:

    This is an organisation to avoid like the plague……………. I tried their site, but was just plagued with foreigners attempting to commit fraud and obtain funds. I emailed them and told them of my concern, and told them to cancel my account. This they failed to do and took a further debit from my bank acccount. I managed to get a refund from my bank on the understanding that Global Personals did not object. I have had to change my bank details so that it does not happen again. They have a CEO who fails to respond to communications sent to him. Before you look into Global Personals with a view to membership, check this company, and associated companies under “Global Personals Complaints”. It could save you a lot of stress and anxiety dealing with a totally irresponsible company taking funds from those who are genuine and looking for that special person. Any responsible company would admit their fault when they occur, and correct the matter immediately.

    • Jon Kuhrt says:

      thanks Paul. Yes we have heard these complaints before about GP. People keep getting drawn to our site because they have had problems trying to cancel GP subscriptions. It shows the shoddy way they do business despite their attempts to portray themselves as shiney and professional.

  14. Mr Satioso Brou says:

    I had a very successful conclusion to cancelling mine by setting it up to appear to be from a nigerian scammer, and messaging all the contactees requesting they help “release funds” from an offshore bank account. The account was disabled in under 20 minutes and my email address blacklisted. Suggest anyone who has similar issues try similar technique.

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