Bumble apologises over ad saying 'celibacy is not the answer' after criticism

Bumble launched in 2014 as a ‘women-first’ dating platform (PA)
Bumble launched in 2014 as a ‘women-first’ dating platform (PA)

Dating app Bumble has apologised for adverts telling women that “a vow of celibacy is not the answer”.

In a statement, the company admitted that it had “made a mistake” after critics claimed the adverts were tasteless.

Women on social media criticised the company for suggesting celibacy isn’t a valid personal choice.

Jordan Emanuel, a model and actress, wrote: “In a world fighting for respect and autonomy over our bodies, it's appalling to see a dating platform undermine women's choices”.

In an apology posted on Instagram, Bumble said it is removing ads that it called a mistaken attempt to “lean into a community frustrated by modern dating”.

It said the company has long stood up for women and their right to “fully exercise personal choice,” but admitted that the ad campaign didn’t live up to those values and apologised “for the harm it caused”.

Bumble also said it is planning to donate to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and other organisations to support global efforts to “support women, marginalised communities, and those impacted by abuse.”

The company offered to give the billboard space to these same organisations for ads of their choice.

The adverts come a month after the app launched a brand redesign in a bid to revive user interest, which had been lagging.

In February, Bumble laid off 350 employees, the equivalent of roughly 30 per cent of its workforce.

Bumble was launched in 2014 as a “feminist dating app” by founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, who had just left rival app Tinder.