The most recent addition to Match.com’s #LoveYourImperfections campaign is spectacularly tone deaf in its implication that freckles and by extension, red hair (as many are interpreting it) are a flaw in some way. And as usual, I find myself surprised, if not actually shocked that such a big brand could find itself in the crosshairs of a social media backlash.
Leaving aside the issue of whether we are becoming a more sensitive society, as purveyors of the ‘proudly non-PC’ narrative would no doubt attest to, I wonder how many pairs of eyes the image above had to pass across before it arrived at the business end of the printing press. And no-one at Match.com, nor at their agency, nor even their print supplier had the foresight to say “that one seems a bit off”.
This campaign has already been the subject of negative social media attention and as recently as January this year too, when an army of photoshoppers put their own slant on the London underground posters.
You would have thought that any creative would be under increased scrutiny at this point. You might, if you were in charge of the campaign, even insist that any creative went under the nose of the Creative Director. Maybe it did and no-one dared to say anything about how tremendously out-of-touch it was?
Were I a little more conspiracy minded, it might almost be enough to convince me that this media teacup storm was part of a deliberate strategy. But while a stunt like this might grab headlines, I can’t see the next shareholders meeting being a happy occasion…