Squirt.org’s latest advertising campaign has got the gay hook up site in the headlines again, but not for the reasons they were expecting.
Launched in March, the campaign (pictured above) shows three gay men, representing a diversity of races, embracing. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness of racism in online dating, a topic that had been in the media for a while since news broke that many profiles on gay dating websites and apps have discriminatory statements like “no Blacks, no Asians, no fat, no old”, etc. In order to quantify the issue, Squirt.org surveyed its user base and asked them if they feel welcomed on Squirt.org and other gay dating sites (Grindr, Scruff, Manhunt, Adam4adam and Gaydar). Squirt.org ranked higher than any of its competitors.
However, what they weren’t expecting was the controversy one particular advert on a billboard in downtown Dallas would spark. News stations and social media went crazy with comments for and against the campaign, from both gay and straight people. While there were the to be expected homophobic rants, there were many positive ones from every day citizens, such as “Doesn’t bother me, and I’m straight. I think it’s kind of funny. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to look,” and “Half-naked women with suggestions of sex: OK. Half-naked men with suggestions of sex: not OK. Noted.” However, were also comments from members of the gay community concerned that at a time when gay Americans are trying to get equal marriage rights “something like this being put up in a public place, it’s completely immoral.”