They have apologised.
A new and controversial Match.com ad has been banned Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it was inundated with complaints.
After viewers slammed the online dating site with complaints that the ad promoted negative gender stereotypes, showing scenes of a boyfriend saying his favourite features in his girlfriend are that she “makes me a protein shake” and “lays out my socks”.
Calling her a “keeper” because of these, the ad was shared on TikTok showing the girlfriend bringing a drink to her boyfriend and switching TV channels for him while he stands by to watch.
The ad says: “I will make him his protein shake after the gym. I always make sure he has a fresh towel and socks for after his shower. I put the football on for him every evening.”
The ad received a lot of criticism, with one person writing: “Welcome back to 1882. @Match @match_UK kindly explain why you’ve made this tiktok? The things that make HIM realise she’s a keeper? She makes him drinks, puts out his towel and clothes while showering, and puts football on every night for him. All in skimpy outfits.”
Welcome back to 1822. @Match @match_UK kindly explain why you've made this tiktok? The things that make HIM realise she's a keeper? She makes him drinks, puts out his towel and clothes while showering, and puts football on every night for him. All in skimpy outfits. ??? pic.twitter.com/MoETUL3clb
— Helen Pack (@helen_pack) July 12, 2022
Following on from this, the ASA said that the woman doing these things to “please her male partner” may have been interpreted into these negative stereotypes.
They commented: “We further noted that the actions of the woman were one-sided and were not reciprocated by the man in the ad.”
Also mentioning the title of the ad, “things that make him realise I’m a keeper”, they claimed it “reinforced the idea that women should be subservient to men in order to maintain a successful relationship.”
“We concluded that the ad perpetuated negative gender stereotypes and was likely to cause harm and widespread offence,” the ASA said.
Declaring the ban, it added: “We told Match.com to ensure that they did not portray sexist or negative gender stereotypes in future marketing communications.”
Responding to the comments, Match.com said that it was part of a three part series, one showing the man doing similar gestures for his girlfriend but admitted that there could have been a more appropriate way to go about it.