April 12, 2007 -- Have you ever been on a bad date and needed a way out? Or skipped work to go to the beach? Are you involved in a secret love affair, constantly worried that your spouse will find out?
Typically situations like these require an alibi, but often times a good excuse is not readily available. Or so you thought.
The times have changed, and now there's a company dedicated to providing a way out of these delicate situations. The Alibi Network has been in business for two years.
In America, where the next big idea is always looming, it was only a matter of time before someone would get into the business of providing alibis. "I'm a businessman. I'm a capitalist," said Mike DeMarco, the marketing chief for the Alibi Network. "That's really all I'm doing. I'm tapping into an existing market."
Business Is Booming
DeMarco's company has been contacted by people in more than a hundred countries. The Alibi Network Web site, www.alibinetwork.com, has a distinctive mission statement:
"Politicians have spin doctors, celebrities have publicists, corporations have lawyers and public relations departments, investment banks have analysts, now regular people have ALIBI NETWORK."
As it turns out, the alibi business is booming, and so-called regular people have reached out to the company in droves. To be fair, the Alibi Network is not focused solely on the business of infidelity. For example, some clients want to throw innocent surprise parties, while others just need to be provided with what DeMarco refers to as a "rescue call."
"You know, it's your third date," said DeMarco. "You're gonna get your groove on, but you don't want to hang around to cuddle…"
However, most of the alibi business does involve cheating. DeMarco talks about a client who partied in Las Vegas while his wife thought he was fishing. The Alibi Network went the extra mile to cover his tracks.
"We went fishing in his gear," he said. "We got worm goo on it. Moldy socks, the whole shot. When he came back, we sent him home with a fish."
DeMarco said that 50 percent of the clientele are women -- very particular women. "The funny thing is," he said, "when men come to us typically they say, you know, 'I made a mistake. I'm in a little bit of trouble. What can you do for me?' When women call us more times than not [it's], 'This is what I want: Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.'"
'We Keep Relationships Together'
Denise, who didn't want her real name used, is one of those women. She's also a married mother of two. "They arranged for a hotel for me and an itinerary," she said. "I was actually in Kentucky meeting a friend of mine. I thought the service was great. It was something I had to do."
The service provided to Denise was about $600, and after everything was done, she returned to her husband and family.
"Yeah. We do keep relationships together," said DeMarco, who said the service has yielded few problems. "We've never been caught."
DeMarco said the company draws the line at anything that could be perceived as illegal. "If we find out that you've used us for any type of activity like that, we'll throw you under the bus," he said.
And for a company that may have some critics questioning its ethics, the people at the Alibi Network express few misgivings. They admit they are providing a service which allows one person to deceive another. "The thing about lying and morality," said DeMarco, "it's a very subjective and malleable sort of thing."