Have you been following the ChristianMingle saga? This is great theater and Spark Networks must be loving the free publicity from Leno, Colbert, etc. Especially delicious is the irony that Spark Networks also runs JDate. Oh what a difference some copywriting and a template makes in the world of competitive niche dating!
From the press release: ChristianMingle’s slogan, “Find God’s Match for You,” which appears in the site’s national advertising campaign – from television commercials to billboards has sparked some controversy. The tagline has been generating a lot of buzz, prompting many – from Jay Leno to Stephen Colbert – to question whether God is truly in the matchmaking business.
ChristianMingle’s developed the tagline not only to help inspire single Christians, but also to communicate that God can use the medium of ChristianMingle to bring Christian singles together in lasting Christ-centered relationships.
Did you read that? “God can use the medium of ChristianMingle to bring Christian singles together.” They don’t say that the Big Guy is directly on payroll, but alluding to the fact that God could use Christian Mingle to bring Christian singles together? Thats one great riff I’ll let Jon Stewart or David Sedaris take for their own.
God is on our side, playing to religious aspects of matchmaking and relationships, so far so good. But then we come to an unexpected turn of events. ChristianMingle Advisory Board Member Bob Reccord has decided to jump into the spotlight, having developed a list of “must-ask” questions for any couple in a meaningful relationship looking to take the next step. I think Spark Networks needs to focus on the first step, getting people on the site and enticing them to put down their credit card. As for the next step, Mr. Reccord seems to think he knows best and who am I to question his motives? (Insert long rant about Dr. Warren at eHarmony and Dr. Phil in Match’s disastrous MindFindBind debacle, which Jay Leno famously called “Jump pump dump”).
The press release I received this morning about Mr. Reccord as relationship expert just didn’t feel right, so off to Google we go. Really, I’m just going to take a moment to see about this Reccord guy. Nothing up my sleeves, just your usual lazy blogger due diligence.
It turns out that Reccord resigned from the North American Mission Board (some sort of religious organization) due to allegations of not showing up very often, poor management, autocratic decision-making, extravagant spending on failed ministry projects, apparent conflicts of interest in no-bid contracts for a friend, and creating a “culture of fear” that prevented staffers from questioning the abuses.
Obviously we all have our skeletons (most aren’t page one result one on google), but did anyone at Spark Networks take a few minutes to vet this guy before they put him on the advisory board and let him send out this press release?
Reccord previously spent $75,000 on PR firms to get himself on CNN. Its a lot cheaper to be an advisor to a big Christian dating site and send out your own press release, eh Bob? Even easier when your daughter is the Christian Community Manager for Spark Networks.
Talk about tugging on a thread and getting more than you bargained for.
All of the advertising and press seems to be helping Christian Mingle. They claim two million singles joined the site last year. With over 5 million registered members, ChristianMingle claims to be the largest and fastest growing online community for Christian singles.