A company has been called out on Twitter for “single-shaming” ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Revolut, an app-based alternative to banking, is in hot water over a new ad that appears in the London Underground. The campaign calls out the 12,750 people it claims ordered a single takeout meal last year using the app, asking, “You OK, hun?”
Financial journalist Iona Bain, who founded the Young Money blog, took to Twitter to voice her anger at the ad.
How much does this ad infuriate me? Let me count the ways. Firstly, patronising language & awful single-shaming more redolent of early 2000s Bridget Jones, not a modern and empowered fintech brand (1) pic.twitter.com/rnIg3YXRfq
— Iona Bain (@ionayoungmoney) February 4, 2019
Many users joined in to criticize Revolut’s “judgmental” and “shaming” ad.
— Eleanor Thompson (@Eleanorthomps0n) February 2, 2019
@RevolutApp FIXED IT FOR YOU: To the 12,750 people who ordered a single takeaway on Valentine’s Day…
Enjoy eating everything you ordered and not having to share. PS, they weren’t worthy of your greatness anyway pic.twitter.com/fI7EOU1nsr
— Catherine Snelson (@bomotweets) February 5, 2019
— Debbie (@Deborah_Deborah) February 2, 2019
I would really love to understand more about your current tube ad @RevolutApp speaking with many single friends (your suggested target audience), the social stigma and being shamed in advertising for being single is a daily challenge and concern. How does this move us forward? pic.twitter.com/pkN4qXz3vW
— Lou Lai (@loulaiuk) February 4, 2019
I may not be single and my partner and I may not celebrate Valentines Day (by mutual agreement), but I won’t tolerate “single shaming” any more than any other attack-on-a-specific-demographic. It’s not funny, never has been.
— Jon Hall (@jonhall242) February 4, 2019
Appearance: Snarky and patronising.
— Theresa Burton (@TheresaLBurton) February 4, 2019
Others wrote that there may be specific circumstances, such as bereavement, for being alone on Valentine’s Day.
Guess what @RevolutApp i ordered a single takeaway last Valentine’s. I would do anything to eat another Special Banquet for 2 from Mr Qs with my wife. But fucking cancer put a stop to that. Just ask your snowflakes in marketing to think twice before #singleshaming your customers.
— Babouche Golf (@BaboucheGolf) February 4, 2019
Well, I think it’s outdated and fairly offensive to assume that someone eating alone on Valentine’s Day has something wrong with them. Not sure if you’ve read Felicity’s piece, but she mentions the recently bereaved, ppl who are single etc etc. So plenty of good examples there.
— Sara VillaBenwelle (@sarabenwell) February 4, 2019
Some commenters noted that Spotify ran a similar campaign in 2016.
Left: 2016, Spotify
Right: 2019, Revolut
Ad creatives, u okay huns? pic.twitter.com/DJkxkrjF2Z
— Michael Passingham (@MrPassingham) January 31, 2019
— Stephen Jury (@stephen_jury) February 4, 2019
Despite the substantial backlash, other users did see some humor in the ad, claiming they would be ordering multiple takeaways by themselves.
— Kai Bin (@kaibin) January 28, 2019
Joke’s on them – I’ll order takeaway for three (for one) on Valentines Day 🖕🏻
— Michael Goodeve (@MichaelGoodeve) February 2, 2019
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