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Bumble withdraws campaign due to criticism of sex abstinence

Bumble withdraws campaign due to criticism of sex abstinence

The dating app Bumble likes to position itself as a safe platform for women. But with a current advertisement she is offending this target group of all people. Why Bumble has now apologized

It was supposed to be the big scoop: two weeks ago, the dating app Bumble launched a new campaign in the USA that was intended to attract attention with sensational slogans. Large, yellow billboards read sentences like “You know that a vow of celibacy is not the solution” or “You shouldn’t give up dating and become a nun.” Bumble specifically targeted women who had had bad experiences while dating.

But the supposedly new target group, which was targeted in order to boost the recently dwindling subscription numbers, reacted differently than expected: instead of subscribing to the app, the women reacted with a shitstorm. Many American women felt misunderstood and criticized on social media that Bumble did not take their negative experiences – rudeness, attacks, ghosting – seriously and, not least, misused them for marketing purposes.

Abstinence from sex: The reasons are varied

In addition, the advertising ignores the variety of reasons why people choose a life of abstinence or a break from sex. After all, it was said, there were also religious, political and personal reasons. “In a world struggling for respect and autonomy over our bodies, it’s appalling to see a dating platform undermine women’s choices,” wrote one user on X, formerly Twitter. Celebrities also spoke up. Julia Fox, model and actress, wrote on TikTok: “2.5 years of abstinence and I’ve never felt better, to be honest.”

The campaign also met with rejection because Bumble had established itself as a dating app for women since the company was founded in 2014. The platform is a “safe place” for women on the Internet. But at the beginning of the year there was a U-turn: While previously only women could take the first step in the app and decide who they wanted to get in touch with, the function was suddenly deactivated and contacting, writing to, and flirting with was now also possible possible for men. “Many women feel abandoned. The new concept contradicts the messages that Bumble has always spread,” says Katy Blake, board member of the US company Fractions.

With the latest campaign, Bumble has once again offended many women. With consequences: The creators of the app withdrew the advertising and publicly apologized. The statement says they went too far.

Failed Bumble campaign: Is it all just calculation?

Although many users received the apology favorably, there were also critical voices who suspected calculation behind the supposedly unsuccessful campaign. Andy Barr of 10 Yetis, a crisis communications PR firm, believes the controversy may have been a strategy. For him it was like “a conscious attempt to create noise,” said Barr. As a PR expert, he knows that this kind of excitement is well received at Google, regardless of whether it is positive or negative.

But whether the failed advertising really managed to inspire new members remains to be seen in the coming months. Although Bumble is currently in the headlines, the app may have irrevocably lost its good reputation as a platform for understanding women.

Source: Stern

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