Dating site Match has come under fire for its latest advertising campaign, which encourages people to ‘love your imperfections’.
While on the surface this might seem a worthy cause, the imperfections they are actually referring to are freckles and red hair.
The adverts, which have been put up across the London Underground system, show a photograph of a woman with red hair, hazel eyes and freckles on the upper half of her face.
While another ad from the same series features someone with one brown eye and one blue eye, known as Heterochromia Iridium – which late-singer David Bowie famously had.
Both billboards are completed with the strap line; ‘If you don’t like your imperfections someone else will.’
They also encourage Match users to share their own imperfections using the hashtag #LoveYourImperfections.
Unfortunately for the dating website, the campaign has not quite taken off in the way they perhaps hoped and has instead been inundated with people criticising the company of ‘bullying for profit’.
City Vegan tweeted; ‘Lowest form of advertising @match_UK claiming freckles and eye colour make a person imperfect? Profiting by bullying.’
Charlie Clemmow said; ‘Dear Match – these are my freckles, not my imperfections – whether people like them or not.’
Another commenter, Simona Bitmate, took to Twitter to point out the obvious; ‘Imperfections? Seriously? This girl is gorgeous.’
Alex B added; ‘Wow I can’t believe you got away with this poster. Freckles are not an imperfection. Can’t spin this one. Awful.’
A spokesperson for Match said in response to the criticism; 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.
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.
This isn’t the first Match advertising campaign that commuters have had something to say about.
The previous adverts featured Londoners revealing the things they struggle with on the tube, including Charlotte who ‘couldn’t pronounce Marylebone’ and Hannah who still ‘giggles at Cockfosters’. But it was Mark who boiled people’s blood by admitting to the sin of ‘never having his travelcard ready’.