Bumble Pulls Anti-Celibacy Ads After Outcry: 'We Unintentionally Did The Opposite'

Bumble Inc. BMBL has decided to withdraw its controversial anti-celibacy advertisements following a wave of criticism.

What Happened: The dating app’s new ad campaign, launched in late April, featured billboards with messages like “A vow of celibacy is not the answer” and “Thou shalt not give up on dating and become a nun,” the company said in an Instagram post. The company has been accused of undermining the freedom of choice for its users.

"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," the company said

Bumble has promised to remove the ads and make a donation to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, as well as other organizations supporting women, marginalized communities, and abuse victims.

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Bumble, founded in 2014 by then-24-year-old Whitney Wolfe Herd, has been known for its unique approach to online dating. The company, which went public in February 2021, has seen a 22% drop in its stock price this year, closing at $11.51 on Monday.

Why It Matters: Bumble’s recent ad campaign is not the first time the company has faced criticism. In 2023, the company’s founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, stepped down from her role, citing the need for a change in leadership. This move came after Bumble’s parent company, MagicLab, was acquired by Blackstone Group. The acquisition led to a significant shift in the company’s leadership structure.

Despite the recent controversies, Bumble has been at the forefront of innovation in the online dating industry. In a recent interview, Whitney Wolfe Herd suggested that artificial intelligence could revolutionize the online dating industry. She proposed the idea of an “AI dating concierge” that could help users navigate their insecurities and even go on dates on their behalf.

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Image Via Shutterstock

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