Canadian Blood Services runs Grindr ads even though sexually-active gay men can’t donate blood

Grindr ad

The Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has received flak after its digital blood donation drive served some ads through Grindr, a gay hook-up app.

The ads caused distress with some users (shown below) because Canadian gay men cannot donate blood if they’ve been sexually active in the last five years – although that restriction will be reduced to one year as of 15 August.

On this waiting period, the CBS claims: “A one-year deferral period, which was implemented in 2016, was chosen as a safe incremental step forward in updating our blood donation criteria based on the latest scientific evidence.”

The body blamed its ad vendor for the gaffe, claiming it was a mistake, with a spokesman claiming the group has taken steps to ensure it will not happen again.

Corey Shefman, a Winnipeg human rights lawyer, who CBC claims cannot donate blood as a gay man, said: "I think that [Canadian] Blood Services' decision to take out advertising in an app that's used almost entirely by gay men, [who] are prohibited from donating blood, is at best insensitive and at worst just another example of Canadian Blood Services' discriminatory treatment of gay men.”

The Drum has contacted the Canadian Blood Services for more information on the ad vendor mix-up.

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