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Can Ashley Madison Pull off the Greatest Comeback?

After being victim to one of the biggest data breaches of all time in 2015, which saw details of 35 million members leaked, dating website Ashley Madison remains confident that it can make a truly astonishing comeback.

In its original guise, Ashley Madison was a site that enabled married people to discreetly commit adulterous acts and as such, the breach was arguably more of a disaster than it would have been for any other brand.

However, according to their latest announcement and in spite of the high-profile breach, they have managed to attract five million new users as they shift their focus from adultery to open relationships.

Many marketers would shy away from such an organisation as Ashley Madison but new CEO Rob Segal, who joined the dating site in April taking over from Noel Biderman, is extremely confident that the future remains bright.

In a recent interview with Marketing Week he said: “[The scandal] opened us up to the mainstream and we realised there was suddenly a lot of intrigue around Ashley Madison,” he says. “People want to explore their own sexuality and have more open relationships; it is a global phenomenon and the hack didn’t stop that.”

Naturally, they are addressing security concerns and have become the quickest company in history to be awarded PCI level 1 compliance – a credit card security award. However, Segal was unable to give assurances that Ashley Madison wouldn’t be subjected to hacking once again but was adamant that privacy and security were the main focus.

So what next for the dating site? Well, Segal is acutely aware that the rebuild job will take years, not months, but thanks to global exposure from the scandal, he is glad that they decided against scrapping the brand altogether.

With a new focus on open relationships allied with an emphasis on women with the goal to make Ashley Madison a female-focused brand which prioritises open relationships, it is certainly intriguing what lies ahead for the dating site. In line with their new slogan ‘Find your moment’, does Ashley Madison have enough resolve to overcome this huge setback to find theirs? Only time will tell.