OkCupid’s new ad campaign is drawing criticism from a conservative advocacy group, which has started a petition to have it removed.
CitizenGo, a right-wing organization, claims the dating site’s "DTF" ad campaign “promotes lesbian sex, prostitution, drug use and promiscuity, and it will be viewed by millions, including children, in public places.”
Even though the campaign runs in several cities, the petition urges officials in Portland, Ore., to remove the advertisements from public spaces.
The colorful ads center around the acronym DTF, which typically stands for explicit phrase "down to f---," but instead swaps out alternative meanings, such “down to fall head over heels,” “down to four twenty” and “down to filter out the far right.” They also feature images of various types of couples involved in activities that go with the phrases.
“You can find several different ads posted on or around the TriMet, their metro system, which includes bus lines, light rail and commuter rail systems,” the petition states.
Melissa Hobley, OkCupid’s first ever CMO, told Forbes she understands the campaign is edgy, but it’s about reclaiming the phrase DTF and showing that OkCupid is more than just a hookup app.
“DTF is a provocative phrase. Some of our ad images are provocative. Some are political in nature. So, some images you’ll see socially and digitally but have been rejected by various platforms i.e. out of home, businesses, public transportation organizations. ‘Down to 420’ is another — we can’t run that in New York, but we can run it in states where marijuana is legal,” she said.
CitizenGo’s petition, which calls OkCupid’s ads “distasteful and sexually explicit,” had received 4,236 of the 5,000 signatures it was seeking as of Thursday afternoon.