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.
In 2012, a former employee claimed in a lawsuit that she was requested to create thousands of fake female accounts attractive to male customers, resulting in repetitive stress injury. In July 2016, CEO Rob Segal and newly appointed President James Millership told Reuters that the company had phased out bots by late 2015.
Segal shared an independent report by EY (Ernst & Young) which verified the phase-out.
Compounding the problem is that "more men than women use the service, with the disparity increasing as they advance in age", and "Men seek sex, while women seek passion." A page on Ashley Madison, entitled "Is Ashley Madison a scam? " addressed some of these issues in an attempt to win over prospective customers and teach them best practices for using the site.
Ashley Madison had over 70,000 bots sending fake female messages to male users.
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.