Sugar Coated Arrangements

‘Sugar Daddy’ Or Student Loan? Ad Campaign Sparks Outrage In Paris

A large, mobile advertising billboard on a trailer pulled by a car, drove by several Parisian universities this week offering to connect students with “sugar daddies” as a way to finance their studies.

It didn’t go unnoticed – hard to miss at 5-by-3 meters – and it wasn’t the first time. Vans with similar advertising, inviting financially-pressed students to pay for their studies by dating rich “daddies” or “mamas,” have roamed around other European universities, all of them courtesy of a dating website behind the campaign.

sugar babies
Mairie de Paris


Featuring a cuddling couple, the rolling Paris billboard offers “romantic passion and no student loans.”

“Go out with a Sugar Daddy or a Sugar Mama,” it suggests.

“Hey students! Improve your lifestyle. Go out with a ‘sugar daddy’,” read another one spotted in Brussels in September.

The Paris mayor’s office immediately ordered the billboard be confiscated and called for a ban on the controversial, Norwegian-based dating platform, accusing it of promoting prostitution.

The president of the University Paris-Descartes, targeted by the campaign, also denounced it as “a call to prostitution.”

“Student prostitution: the truck Sugar Daddy taunts Parisian University Students” the magazine Le Point headlined its story. “This advertisement is orchestrated by the website that presents itself as “an online dating network for adult men and women over the age of 18, looking for a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Legal experts consulted by French media believe the website should be charged with “pimping,” because it openly proposes the students be remunerated in exchange for sexual favors.

A criminal complaint was lodged by the student association FAGE, accusing the site of “aiming to attract vulnerable students…and encouraging them to perform sex acts with older people,” according to The Local.

The website defines “sugar baby” as “an adult (over 18 years) man or woman who is attractive, ambitious, intelligent and seeking a lifestyle that matches their dreams and goals in life.”

And the “sugar daddies and moms” as “successful men and women who know what they want. They are determined and like to have alluring company at their side. Money is not a problem, they know how to be generous when it comes to supporting a sugar baby.”

The outrage around the campaign has thrown a spotlight on the numerous “sugar daddy” apps and agencies used by many students around the world.

Le Figaro reports that exorbitant fees at British universities are pushing students – more than 225,000, according to a survey by one of the dating websites – to work as escorts.

“A phenomenon well known in England and the United States has been embedded in France for some years now,” the magazines writes. “In 2014, the site announced that 7,500 French students were registered.”

The sugar daddy scandal broke in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein explosion, which, like in the U.S, has triggered widespread debate in France and throughout Europe.

For the French Green party, which demanded the government ban the website, its very existence and aggressive advertising tactics “reflect a failing of our society, namely the financial insecurity of a growing number of students.”

“Besides the public danger of such advertisements that can be seen by minors, this site is inciting violence against women,” a Paris government lawyer told AFP.  “Behind these golden images, young people can fall into prostitution. We want an investigation that could lead to prosecutions for procuring. ”

By Cecilia Rodriguez Forbes Oct 29, 2017

Sugar Coated Arrangements

Coeds or Call Girls? Sugar Daddies Pay Tuition

In a recent Girls episode, sophisticated flake, Jessa, negotiated the value of a two month May-September marriage  at $11,000

“Wait! You just folded!” we shouted at the screen. Then Jessa threw her husband’s humanitarian award off the staircase.

It’s Tough for Girls Out There

You don’t negotiate angry. You negotiate calm. But Girls isn’t about smart. It’s quite pointedly about stupid.

Few real young adults have the safety nets we assume our “Girls” have even when their parents cut them off two years post-Ivy League. Girls is comedy, not tragedy, only because the characters’ socio-economic status allows them to make Jessa-magnitude mistakes and still cruise on back to the lives of promise Girls watchers assume they’ll have.

For other young women, trading youth and beauty for money and power isn’t a Saturday night date gone awry but a life plan deliberately pursued.

Sugar Coated Arrangements

The First Sugar Daddy

With money made from chocolate, Milton Hershey endowed what today is the richest grade school in the world ($7.8 billion)

Who is the biggest shareholder of the $4.8 billion (estimated 2005 sales) Hershey Co., North America’s largest manufacturer of chocolate? A K-12 school in Pennsylvania’s rolling countryside. The Milton Hershey School holds by far the biggest pot of securities of any primary or secondary school on the planet. At $7.8 billion its endowment dwarfs that of the second-richest (the academically elite Phillips Exeter), which has less than a tenth as much. Only six U.S. universities have endowments larger than this school’s.

How childless Milton Hershey came to make MHS sole beneficiary of his fortune is a story that owes as much to syphilis as to cocoa. It is recounted in the new book Hershey: Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams (Simon & Schuster, $25). Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael D’Antonio draws on documents released only recently from the Hershey Co.’s archives, including internal correspondence and interviews conducted in the 1950s with Milton’s friends and colleagues. What emerges: a man swayed one way by his Mennonite mother’s austere religiosity, another by his father’s love for experiment and fantasy.

Willie Wonka he wasn’t. Though Hershey’s is sometimes described as a rags-to-riches story, he was never truly poor. During Milton’s childhood, his unrealistic father drifted from unsuccessful job to unremunerative project and the family subsisted on very little. But Milton’s mother’s family, the Snavelys, were prosperous. Milton’s maternal uncles and aunt bankrolled his first two forays into the candy business, both of which failed.

The third, however, launched in Lancaster, Pa. in 1886, turned out to be the charm, with good luck coming by way of a British importer who placed a huge order for M.S. Hershey’s uniquely creamy caramels. Milton was 28.

At that time neither Hershey nor anyone else in the U.S. was producing milk chocolate. That was a European talent. In 1893 Hershey visited the Chicago World’s Fair, where he saw an exhibit of German chocolate-making equipment. He bought the whole thing and set up shop in his Lancaster factory, producing chocolate bars. In 1898 he sold off his caramel business to a competitor for $1 million ($22 million in today’s dollars) and poured all of his resources into chocolate.

That same year he married 25-year-old Catherine Sweeney. As company lore would have it, Kitty Hershey was an ingenue from Jamestown, N.Y., pure as the driven snow. But D’Antonio documents that Kitty’s snow had been driven farther than previously supposed. She had syphilis, which explains in part why she and child-loving Milton never had offspring. She died in 1915 at 42, leaving 58-year-old Hershey bereft.

His philanthropic impulse and an absence of progeny prompted Hershey in 1909 to start a boarding school for orphan boys and to make the school’s trust the main holder of Hershey stock. Over the years M.S. forged a tight bond with his boys, periodically hosting them at his mansion. “Obviously they were his sons,” writes D’Antonio, “and he was giving them the stability, safety, and community he had missed as he followed his father and mother from place to place.”

In much the same way that Hershey’s combination of capitalism and idealism had led him in 1903 to found the model town of Hershey for his workers, he in 1916 built another perfect town in Cuba, where he had gone into the sugar business. He led another life down there, gallivanting through the island’s many casinos, dropping as much as $50,000 a month.

Come World War II, business prospered even more, thanks to the U.S. government’s decision to include Hershey’s shelf-stable and calorie-rich bars in soldiers’ rations. In 1944 sales reached $80 million. One of Hershey’s closest advisers convinced him that it would make more financial sense for the school trust to diversify its holdings, and Hershey went so far as to agree to a divestiture plan. But he never got around to implementing it before he died in his sleep in 1945 at age 88.

Three years ago the school’s unique power over the Hershey company created a furor. The board of the trust secretly hatched a plan to sell its 78% of the company’s voting shares to Wrigley for $12 billion. But residents of the company town and Hershey’s workers opposed the sale and got politicians behind their movement. The anti-Wrigley mob appealed to the state’s attorney general, who intervened by filing a petition in Orphans’ Court, a legal relic of an earlier time that rules on whether organizations entrusted with the welfare of children are performing properly. An injunction issued by Orphans’ Court was enough to thwart the merger.

Company, town and school now soldier on, with Hershey stock returning an average 17% annually over the last 30 years. (At their recent price of $58, shares have nearly doubled since the summer of 2002 when the sale to Wrigley was attempted.) The Milton Hershey School is expanding, with a goal of housing 2,000 boys and girls by 2013 (MHS went coed in 1977). Bulging with cash, it even bankrolls the ongoing education of its alumni, with postgraduate scholarships of up to $62,500. MHS has produced some accomplished grads, including the late William Dearden, who served as chief executive of Hershey in the 1970s.

By Susan Adams Forbes Jan 9, 2006