Critics trying to pull dating site’s ‘DTF’ campaign from TriMet - KPTV - FOX 12

Critics trying to pull dating site’s ‘DTF’ campaign from TriMet buses, trains

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A popular dating site is receiving backlash in Portland after it placed what some are calling “distasteful” ads on TriMet buses and on billboards throughout the city.

The conservative advocacy group CitizenGo is now demanding TriMet remove the ads, an action TriMet officials claim would violate the Oregon Constitution.

CitizenGo contends the ad campaign features sexually explicit content that doesn’t belong on billboards for all to see.

The group has started an online petition to have the ads pulled from spaces on TriMet buses and MAX trains, stating the campaign “promotes lesbian sex, prostitution, drug use and promiscuity” and will be viewed by children in public spaces.

The ads at the center of the issue prominently display the letters “DTF.”  The acronym is often used online to solicit a sexual encounter, but the group behind the ads, dating site OkCupid, contends the opposition is not to the wording of the billboards but rather the campaign’s message of inclusivity.

“The first complaint in the CitizenGo ad was that we promote lesbian sex,” OkCupid Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Hobley told FOX 12.

Hobley said that the purpose of the campaign was to feature different races, walks of life and spread love.

As far as the company’s reaction to the petition, Hobley seemed to be fine with having critics of CitizenGo make her argument.

“They’ve been labeled as homophobic and transphobic, so they’re not happy with our campaign. We’re absolutely okay with that,” she said by phone, adding that OkCupid was doubling down on its message. “100 Percent we are not pulling the ads. In fact, we are recommitting to supporting all kinds of communities.”

So far, more than 4,000 people have signed the petition, but there are also many who don’t find the billboards offensive.

Critics are also taking aim at TriMet for allowing the campaign. In response, TriMet officials tweeted out a three-part response explaining why banning an ad based on its message would violate state law.

OkCupid’s ads have been on display for several weeks now in Portland, and the company claims most of the response to this campaign has been positive.

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