An eHarmony advert which claimed its “scientifically proven matching system” could help users find love has been banned.
The dating site’s ad on the London Underground in July was headlined: ‘Step aside, fate. It’s time science had a go at love.’
It went on to read: ‘Imagine being able to stack the odds of finding lasting love entirely in your favour. eHarmony’s scientifically proven matching system decodes the mystery of compatibility and chemistry so you don’t have to. Why leave the most important search of your life to chance?’
The Advertising Standards Authority said the ad was “misleading… the evidence provided by eHarmony did not demonstrate that their matching system offered users a significantly greater chance of finding lasting love than what could be achieved if they didn’t use the service”.
Lord Lipsey, the joint chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Statistics and a former member of the ASA council, lodged the original complaint over the ad.
He described the advert’s claim as “crude puffery designed to lure in those longing for love… This is a new form of fake news which the ASA has rightly slapped down”.
eHarmony said it “respectfully disagrees” with the ruling and that it uses “sophisticated matching standards designed by PhD psychologists”.
However it went on to say it will make its advertising as clear as possible in future.
The platform identifies users’ personality traits, values and interests through a questionnaire then matches them via an algorithm derived from the data of 50,000 married couples.