Match.com ad banned by ASA for showing women as ‘subservient’ to men
Advertising regulator rules that dating app’s TikTok ad was sexist and perpetuated negative gender stereotypes.
A TikTok ad for the dating app Match.com has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Telling the story of a girlfriend doting on her football-obsessed boyfriend, the post from June featured a female voiceover reciting lines including: “Things that make him realize I’m a keeper – I will make him his protein shake after the gym,” “I always make sure he has a fresh towel and socks after his shower” and “I put the football on for him every evening”.
The boyfriend in the story was on his phone, feet up on a footrest, as his girlfriend brought him drinks and kissed him.
The ad was challenged for being sexist and for perpetuating negative gender stereotypes, which was upheld by the ASA.
Match.com said the ad was intended to show how small gestures can make a successful relationship and that its agency had based the script on real couples. It added that the post was part of a three-part ad series that also showed the boyfriend’s gestures. In its defense, Match.com asked that the ad be judged within context.
The match-making service went on to say the girlfriend’s gestures were “not time-intensive” and that although carried out in a domestic setting, they didn’t imply she did more domestic chores.
The ruling continued: “For those reasons, they [Match.com] believed that the ad did not portray that women must be subservient to men or that women should shoulder the burden of domestic chores.”
The ASA threw out that defense and noted that all the gestures were domestic chores and that the ad reinforced a negative gender stereotype. The ASA concluded: “The title, when viewed in the context of the ad, reinforced the idea that women should be subservient to men in order to maintain a successful relationship.”