LIFESTYLE

Match.com Plan To Remove 'Offensive' Ads About Freckles From The Tube

'We apologise for any offence caused.'

12/04/2016 14:10

Online dating site Match.com is planning to remove its latest adverts from the tube after they were branded as "offensive" and "bullying" by members of the public.

The ads, which currently appear on the London underground, include a photo of a woman with red hair and freckles under the slogan: "If you don't like your imperfections, someone else will." 

After it was criticised for "bullying" people with red hair, a spokesperson for Match.com told The Huffington Post UK: "We have taken note of the response about our advert concerning freckles.

"Following this feedback, we are in discussions with our relevant partners about removing these posters as soon as possible."

The spokesperson added: "We believe freckles are beautiful. The intention of our ‘Love Your Imperfections’ campaign is to focus on the quirks and idiosyncrasies that people wrongly perceive to be imperfections – this can include freckles, a feature that is sometimes seen as an imperfection by people who have them.

"We’re sorry if this ad has been interpreted in a different way and we apologise for any offence caused, this was not our intention.

"Our overall campaign is all about celebrating perceived physical and behavioural imperfections, from having freckles to being chubby, messy or clumsy.

"The adverts are designed to encourage everyone to be proud of their individuality, as the features that make us unique are often the ones that make us most attractive."

Dozens of people took to Twitter to criticise the adverts earlier this week.

In a blog for HuffPost UK Lifestyle, executive editor for entertainment Matt Bagwell said the adverts perpetuate stigma surrounding red hair.

"These days I just roll my eyes and smile if I get called 'ginger', 'copper knob' or 'Duracell' (by adults, I hasten to add). It’s like water off a duck’s back, and I know I’m having the last laugh," he said.

"However, that’s not the case for everyone, and it’s simply unacceptable for anyone to be bullied about their appearance, and these ads do nothing but promote the idea that being a redhead is not something to be proud of."

Body image campaigner and editor of SLiNK magazine, Rivkie Baum, told HuffPost UK: "The adverts are absolutely awful. Everyone is self conscious enough when dating, it feels sad that a company set up to matchmake is blatantly trying to exploit these feelings.

"The idea that our skin tone, hair colour or body type can even be classified as an imperfection is not only untrue but can erode confidence when really what is most attractive to someone else is confidence and loving yourself.

"After all how can you expect someone to love you if you don't?"

The Advertising Standards Authority has confirmed it has received complaints about the adverts.

A spokesman for the authority told The Guardian: “We’re currently carefully assessing the complaints to establish if there appear to be any grounds for action.

“It’s important to stress, however, that we haven’t launched an investigation.” 

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