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People searching for the Ashley Madison data on Pirate Bay will also find ... an ad for Ashley Madison

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 19 Aug 2015

Hackers who stole personal data from the Ashley Madison website leaked the personal details of millions of users of the extramarital affairs dating website on Tuesday.The data was first dumped on the dark web, but it has quickly been picked up and distributed across the internet.And, in a further embarrassment for Ashley Madison, people looking to get their hands on the data by searching the popular bittorrent indexer The Pirate Bay have also been served banner ads for Ashley Madison.Here's what users might be presented with if they search on thepiratebay.la for "ashley madison" (we've blurred out some of the coarse language on one of the search results.)It is somewhat bizarre that Ashley Madison is still forking out for alive digital advertising campaign at a time of crisis. Details on its users that include everything from email addresses, financial information, and sexual fantasies is loose on the internetlikely deterring any new user from signing up.Ashley Madison's parent company Avid Life Media would not comment on the digital ad campaign. A spokeswoman for Avid Life Media referred Business Insider to its latest statement regarding the hack, which accused the hackers of committing "an act of criminality."A check of the source code reveals that the ad is being served by a Barcelona-based ad network called ExoClick.ExoClick lists on its website that its partners include well-known brands, including bookmakers William Hill, Bet365, and Ladbrokes. The company has featured in Deloitte's Fast 500 ranking of the fastest-growing technology companies for three years in a row.Business Insider has contacted ExoClick to ask why the Ashley Madison campaign is running, and also why an ad appeared on Pirate Bay, which is often blacklisted by advertisers because it is notorious for illegal filesharing of copyrighted material.It can be extremely damaging to brands' reputations for their ads to appear next to illegal or indecent content, and for their companies to be seen to be funding piracy websites through their advertising spend.In the UK, the City of London's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) launched a crackdown on advertising on copyright infringing websites. As part of its Operation Creative, PIPCU created a website blacklist that was circulated with advertisers, agencies, and ad tech vendors. PIPCU claims Operation Creative has led to a 73% decline in advertising from the UK's top ad spending companies on copyright infringing websites since 2013.SEE ALSO:Here's the cringeworthy ad for affair site Ashley Madison that was pulled for 'vilifying women'Join the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Here's the type of info hackers have after breaking into the extramarital hookup site Ashley Madison
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