A controversial Australian STI Tinder campaign has been removed from the dating app, after sexual health experts hit out at it for being insensitive.
Condom company HERO recently teamed up with artist Aaron Tyler to create Tinder profiles for common STIs in an effort to reach out to singles to remind them to use a condom.
The company designed male and female profiles for common STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and AIDS, writing specific bios for each & using names that riffed off the STIs, such as Chlaramydia and Johnorrhoea.
However the names of two profiles, Aydes & Aidy, along with a knock knock joke about AIDS that was used by the fake profiles in conversations with Tinder users has seen the campaign come under fire, with the founder of HERO Condoms Dustin Leonard admitting to Buzzfeed that the ads “had not made a clear enough distinction between HIV and AIDS.”
Speaking about the campaign, the co-founder of the HIV community The Institute of Many, Nic Holas, told Buzzfeed News: “Dustin Leonard clearly has zero understanding of what it’s like to live with, and be judged for having, an STI or a chronic manageable illness like HIV.
“He claims the aim of this woeful bro-campaign was to “de-stigmatise condom use”, when really it was to sell their condoms by stigmatising anyone with an STI. We’re not the butt of their jokes, and we’re sure as hell not collateral damage in their pursuit of profits.
“The fact that he ponders if the reaction would be different if they cracked jokes at other STIs makes zero sense, given that’s what the entire campaign does.”
And the six day campaign has now been deleted, with Tinder’s VP of global communications & branding Rosette Pambakian saying: “We have no comment on the campaign except to say that it was not approved by Tinder and as a result the profiles were deleted.”
On Facebook, HERO posted a note about its Tinder “awareness exercise”, saying it had taken on board feedback about the campaign:
Read more about the campaign here.