ASA takes issue with eHarmony claim to be "scientifically proven"

 
Alys Key
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The advert has now been banned (Source: ASA)

Dating website eHarmony has been left broken-hearted after one of its advertising posters was deemed to be misleading.

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) took issue with claims that the site's matching service is "scientifically proven" to work. The tagline featured on some of the company's posters on the London underground, under the slogan "Step aside, fate. It's time science had a go at love."

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Defending its use of the wording "scientifically proven" eHarmony said it used an algorithm based on extensive research, and showed that its system was patented.

It also submitted studies showing that couples who met through eHarmony were more satisfied, but these were dismissed by the ASA for not being statistically significant or flawed in their subject selection.

"The ASA considered that consumers were likely to appreciate that the advertised dating website would not be able to guarantee that they would be able to find lasting love," the ruling said. "However, we considered that consumers would interpret the claim 'scientifically proven matching system' to mean that scientific studies had demonstrated that the website offered users a significantly greater chance of finding lasting love than what could be achieved if they didn't use the service."

The advert has now been banned in its current form, and eHarmony told not to use similar claims with the same meaning.

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