‘Completely illegal activity’ causes ad watchdog to reprimand eHarmony

Dating website eHarmony has been criticised for depicting “completely illegal activity” in its television commercial as a woman briefly sticks her arm and head out of a moving car.

The complaint to the ad watchdog said “not sure who slept on the job letting this go through as ok”.

Responding to the complaint, eHarmony noted the scene is “very brief” and was intended to “metaphorically” represent the joy she had found from meeting her partner on the dating app.

“It is in no way promoting dangerous actions in general or a part of a situation that would be taken by most people to encourage dangerous actions.

“we believe that this ad would not encourage or cause anyone to act irresponsibly or dangerously as the action highlighted by the complainant is isolated, not in the context of dangerous activities and very brief in the context of the whole ad,” eHarmony said.

The Advertising Standards Board recognised they had previously upheld a complaint relating to Delta Goodrem not wearing a seatbelt and having her body outside a moving vehicle in an Apple Music commercial.

The ASB said the ad was in “clear breach of the Australian Road Rules” and it is not clear if the woman is wearing a seatbelt or not despite the advertiser noting “the girl is wearing a lap belt” in its response.

Overall the board upheld the complaint.

eHarmony said the television ad had been pulled off air a month ago, long before the complaint was made.

“We don’t intend to use this ad anytime soon, so no edits have been made,” eHarmony concluded.


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