Finding love online is no longer just for vegans, virgins, married people and the mustachioed. Cougars have clawed their way to the top of dating food chain. Or at least to the top of a NSFW traffic-stopping billboard in West Hollywood.
The advertisment for CougarLife.com, an online dating service catering to so-called "cougars," is causing a some sort of purr on the Sunset Strip. The ad features an image of woman sipping a cocktail, and a bit of profane wordplay.
John Duran, the former mayor of West Hollywood, who currently sits on the city council, told KPCC's Ashley Bailey that he hasn’t heard any complaints about the billboard. He says the ad is consistent with the culture of West Hollywood.
"We’ve been the home to the Marlboro man, we’ve been the home to a lot of underwear ads with people scantily clad. I mean, if somebody was trying to put up a billboard that constituted hate speech or was full of bigotry or hatred, we wouldn’t allow that. But, otherwise, we follow the constitutional standards of free speech and free expression because we’re a city that’s pretty big on civil liberties."
Elissa Buchter, spokeswoman for CougarLife, told KPCC that West Hollywood is "cougar capital," with more women joining from that location than anywhere else in United States.
"We wanted to do something that's more targeted towards LA because there's such a high prevalenace of cougars," she said. "Hollywood sort of had a huge part in making the whole lifestyle main stream, starting with Demi Moore. Remember when she got together with Ashton Kutcher, people were shocked and now its kind like every celebrity is doing it - from Madonna, to JLO, to Kathy Griffin, Sharon Stone, Eva Longoria...so everything starts with that Hollywood culture and moved outward."
Cougars, as defined by CougarLife, are women 35 and older who date considerably younger men. A spokesperson for the company told KPCC that the WeHo billboard is just a scratch -- there are plans to add more to the LA landscape.
Buchter said the company's aggressive new marketing campaign targeting "cubs" -- men that like to date "cougars" -- already has ads airing on CNN and ESPN.
Former West Hollywood Mayor John Duran on "cougar" billboard