Bumble Issues Apology for Advertisements That Seemingly Ridicule Celibacy

Bumble Issues Apology After Controversial Ad Campaign Sparks Backlash

Bumble, a popular dating app, has issued an apology following criticism of its latest advertising campaign. The campaign, which ran billboards with slogans such as “you know full well a vow of celibacy is not the answer” and “thou shall not give up dating and become a nun”, sparked outrage on social media with many calling it “unbelievably insulting”, “patronising” and “tone-deaf”.

The company has acknowledged its mistake and released a statement saying, “We made a mistake. Our ads referencing celibacy were an attempt to lean into a community frustrated by modern dating and instead of bringing joy and humour, we unintentionally did the opposite.” Bumble has also promised to take action and make amends for their misstep.

The controversial campaign, which appeared in the US, faced criticism for its lack of understanding of why women choose celibacy. For some, celibacy is a response to trauma while for others, it is a conscious decision not to “settle”. Asexual individuals may choose to be celibate and still date, while for others, it is a religious choice. In some cases, celibacy is also used as a form of protest against patriarchal societies.

One such movement, the South Korean “4B” movement, has gained global attention for its rejection of traditional societal norms. Journalist Anna Louie Sussman, who covered the movement for The Cut magazine, explains that “4B” stands for four Korean words that all start with “bi” – meaning “no”. These words represent the refusal of heterosexual marriage, childbirth, dating, and sexual relationships, respectively.

In addition to their public apology, Bumble has announced that they will be making donations to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and other organizations that support women. The company has also offered billboard spaces to these organizations to display an ad of their choice for the remaining time period that Bumble had reserved for their campaign.

In their statement, Bumble emphasized their commitment to standing up for women and marginalized communities and their right to make personal choices. However, the company has faced challenges in recent months, with its shares falling by 45% since last July and a significant layoff of employees in February. The latest ad campaign was meant to launch their revamped app, but instead, it has caused backlash and raised concerns about their ability to connect with younger users. Bumble has acknowledged these challenges and is taking steps to rectify their mistake and regain the trust of their audience.

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