A billboard campaign alluding to the, um, potential health dangers of some dating apps has Tinder in a public shouting match with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The ad went up last week in LA locations showing two silhouetted couples with the phrases, "Tinder, Chlamydia, Grindr, Gonorrhea" imprinted on their soon-to-be passionate embrace and it's got place-based dating apps Tinder and Grindr crying foul. Seems reminding casual daters about STDs is bad for business. The LA Times reports that Tinder has sent out a cease-and-desist notice to the foundation calling for the removal of the billboards.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is not backing down on its targeting of location based dating apps. Whitney Engeran-Cordova, a director at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation called the apps "a digital bathhouse for millennials." The organization's website features not only the billboard graphic in question, but, in an accompanying article, a link to a study showing the increased risks in contracting STDs among people who use social media and apps to find dates, as well as to a Vanity Fair article that was about the proliferation of dating apps and, because of them, casual sex.
Tinder's pulled no punches in its response, claiming that the foundation was slandering for their own gains. Grindr, a men-only dating app, also has beef with the foundation, but a far more polite beef. Grindr recently removed the foundation's ads for free STD testing from their app saying, "we were surprised at the approach [the foundation] took, and paused the campaign in order to speak with them and assess our relationship. At the end of the day, we are all on the same side in this issue, and strive to work with our partners and advocacy groups to achieve similar goals." —Jeff Wattenhofer
The new STD billboard is up! I love our monthly treat! pic.twitter.com/8iT5xsRgOZ— NICK WALSH (@NICKWALSH) September 17, 2015