Fury over 'single-shaming' Valentine's Day advert

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Finance writer Iona Bain called out the “single-shaming” Revolut advert. [Photo: Twitter]

A company has been called out on Twitter for “single-shaming” ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Financial technology company Revolut, a app-based alternative to banking, is in hot water with a new advert, circulated on the London Underground. The campaign calls out the alleged 12,750 people who ordered a single takeaway last year using the app, asking “You okay hun?”

Finance author and journalist Iona Bain, who founded the Young Money Blog, took to Twitter to voice her anger at the advert.

She also called out Revolut for its use of customers’ personal data in its advertising, suggesting it creates more mistrust around brand’s use of data.

Many users weighed in to criticise Revolut’s “judgemental” and “shaming” advertisement.

Others pointed out there may be poignant reasons for being alone on Valentine’s Day, which the advert was not sensitive to, such as bereavement.

As if Twitter hadn’t pointed out enough holes in this advertising, it would also seem it is not entirely original.

Some users out this wasn’t the first advert of its nature, crediting Spotify for creating a very similar concept back in 2016.

Despite the substantial backlash, some users did see the funny side – claiming they would be ordering multiple takeaways by themselves.

In a statement to Yahoo Style UK, a Revolut spokesperson said the advert was intended to show “solidarity” with those not in a romantic relationship.

“The purpose of this ad was not to take the mickey out of anyone, but to show solidarity with our fellow singles – with a dash of humour.

“However, with the current copy, I can appreciate that a small number of people have interpreted it differently, but that was not our intention.

“Fortunately, going by the original BBC article with over 400 comments, the overwhelming majority of people are clearly not offended by the ad, and that’s encouraging. Nonetheless, we’ll take a deep look at this and learn from this as we go forward.”

This isn’t the first advertisement to prove controversial on social media in recent months.

Earlier this year, Gillette’s “The best a man can be” campaign was widely slated. The short film, circulated on YouTube asks: “Is this the best a man can get?” – a play on the brand’s 30-year-old tagline, “The best a man can be”.

However, it was deemed “anti-male” and “patronising” by its critics.

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