As a outcome, Tinder claimed the message of the campaign was baseless and has already threatened to sue the foundation.
Battle lines have been drawn after the release of provocative, ostensibly educational billboards meant to encourage Los Angeles residents to get regularly tested for STDs.
Tinder has since sent a cease and desist letter to the foundation demanding that these billboards be taken down for their flagrant misrepresentation of the company.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which posted the billboard in Los Angeles, said they hoped to raise awareness about increasing STD rates, which have been linked to an increase in dating app use.
Grindr, on the other hand, has not pursued legal action against the AHF, though the popular gay dating app has also voiced its disagreements over the AHF’s presentation of the billboard.
Tinder is blasting a new billboard campaign that links the popular mobile dating app to sexually transmitted diseases.
“Mobile dating apps are rapidly altering the sexual landscape by making casual sex as easily available as ordering a pizza,” Whitney Engeran-Cordova, a senior director at the AHF, pointed out in a statement. In a swift initial response, Grindr pulled all of the commercials that the foundation pays for on the dating site.
The billboard, which went up last week, had the words “Tinder, Chlamydia, Grindr, Gonorrhea” written on the silhouettes of people. Next to them, a pair of men appeared to have the words “Grindr”, and “Gonorrhea” written across their faces. So they ask men, ‘where do you think that you met your partner?’ and about 50 percent say they met them through an internet app – Grindr, SCRUFF, Craigslist – so those may be associated.
She said: “In many ways, location-based mobile dating apps are becoming a digital bathhouse for millennials wherein the next sexual encounter can literally just be a few feet away-as well as the next STD”. “We’ve seen an uptick in the amount of HIV and STDs as a result of these apps and so, we’re not judging it and we’re not condemning it”, said AHF President Michael Weinstein.
“We’d rather work with them than fight them”, he added, referring to the dating companies.
Tinder, which launched in 2012, is a location-based social discovery application, which facilitates communication between known or unknown users that are interested in each other. According to a statement from the AHF, both are top lifestyle apps on iOS and Google Play. Grindr, which began in 2009, does the same, but for the homosexual community.