Bumble Apologises for Controversial Billboards

Bumble has shared an apology after receiving criticism for a number of its new billboards which make reference to celibacy. The ads will now be removed and the billboard space will be offered to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and other advocacy organisations.

As part of the dating app’s recent update, the Bumble app launched a new marketing campaign that included a series of billboards with slogans such as “You know full well a vow of celibacy is not the answer” and “Thou shalt not give up on dating and become a nun”.

The ads were making reference to the growing discussion around celibacy and the 4B movement among women, but ultimately came under criticism from women online. One example of this criticism can be found below:

Under a TikTok video displaying the billboard ads, model and actress Julia Fox wrote “2.5 years of celibacy and never been better tbh” with the comment receiving more than 32,000 likes.

The response from Bumble

In a new statement shared across its social channels, Bumble has since apologised for these billboards 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 humor, we unintentionally did the opposite”.

It highlighted that it had received feedback about how celibacy can be an informed choice, brought on by trauma, the restriction of reproductive rights, or asexuality, for example.

“For years, Bumble has passionately stood up for women and marginalised communities, and their right to fully exercise personal choice. We didn’t live up to these values with this campaign and we apologise for the harm it caused”, it shared.

To put this right, the company is removing these ads and making a donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and other organisations which support women, marginalised communities, and those impacted by abuse.

Bumble Inc has also offered the remainder of the reserved billboard time to these partnered organisations for them to use.

The company concluded its statement saying: “Please keep speaking up and telling us how we can be better. We care about you and will always be here for you”.

Read the platform’s full statement here.

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