AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ruby Life, a company based out of Toronto, Canada, is taking responsibility for a third party marketing agency that put up a controversial billboard in South Austin. It reads, “Undocumented Immigrant? Before you get deported get a Sugar Daddy.”
The billboard, located at northbound I-35 just south of East William Cannon Drive, shows a young woman with the colors of the Mexican flag behind her. It directs potential clients to visit a site called ArrangementFinders.com. Many took offense saying it highlighted an immigration issue, but officers with the Austin Police Department’s Human Trafficking-Vice Unit say it goes beyond that.
“They may not realize what they’re getting into, they get on that site, get hooked up with somebody,” an undercover sergeant with Austin police says. “They could put them into sex trafficking, they could become verbally and physically abusive towards the ladies and they’re going to get into something they can’t get out of because that’s just not acceptable.”
The undercover sergeant says he’s a father and was disgusted. He says it also makes the undocumented population vulnerable.
“These young ladies, maybe they haven’t been in America that long and they don’t I know how it goes and seeing that on the billboards, going, ‘hey that’s something I ought to look at trying to do’ and the next thing you know, they’re in a world they can’t get out of,” the undercover sergeant said.
In his 20 year career in the department, the officer says he’s never been more upset about what’s seemingly an advertisement of human trafficking.
“I was very disgusted by what I was seeing, to think that somebody would do that is just very a very low life individual would put that up there,” the sergeant says. “I think the billboard should be taken down immediately, there’s no reason that billboard should be up there advertising to this community.”
The parent company, Ruby Life, released a statement saying:
The billboard was created independently by an affiliate; is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the views or vision of our company, so we have requested that they take it down immediately. We are reviewing our third party approval process to prevent this from occurring with affiliate marketers in future.”
Ruby Life is a rebrand of Avid Life Media, who was the parent company of the Ashley Madison website. Ruby Life’s brands still include Ashley Madison, CougarLife and Established Men.