woman's hand holding smart phone with bumble app open
Bumble's controversial new ad campaign has just about everyone upset.

Users are officially telling Bumble to buzz off with its messaging around celibacy.

Bumble, a popular dating app, recently launched a new ad campaign mocking celibacy as part of a wider rebrand. Television ads and billboards lit up with religiously charged messaging telling women “a vow of celibacy is not the answer” and commanding them that “thou shalt not give up on dating and become a nun.”

The messaging missed the mark, prompting widespread backlash from women, the religious community, and, well… just about everyone.

Bumble Backlash

As photos of the billboards began circulating online, the backlash quickly spread, as many women found the billboards bizarrely condescending, misogynistic, and anti-Christian.

“In a world fighting for respect and autonomy over our bodies, it’s appalling to see a dating platform undermine women’s choices. Wasn’t this app supposed to empower women to date on their terms?” pondered one user. 

“I’d suggest some females on your marketing team," suggested another.

“This world is so dystopian,” posted another user. “Why did I just see a Bumble ad that is openly anti-Catholic and offensive to so many religions?”

A Dating App For Women

Bumble often promotes itself as the only woman-centric dating platform, and was initially envisioned as a feminist dating app.

Until very recently, only women could initiate conversation on there. Considering their pro-woman branding, many pondered if making fun of women who aren’t sexually active aligned with their feminist ethos.

Bumble is now backpedaling, issuing an apology on their social channels where they admitted the mistake, admitting they sought to bring “joy and humor” but unintentionally did the opposite. To atone, they’ve vowed to donate to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and will offer the prepaid ad space to select advocacy groups. 

Is It Okay to Mock Celibacy?

Some social media users found the ad offensive on religious grounds, too, arguing that the ad (intentionally or not) promotes anti-Catholic sentiment. 

Most Catholic priests adhere to the principle of clerical celibacy, where they remain unmarried and abstain from sex in the priesthood. Nuns, similarly, take a vow of chastity, so that they can be free of distraction and fully devote themselves to God. 

But it's not just Catholics; many faiths require vows of celibacy for religious leadership, including Buddhism and Hinduism.

Although priests and nuns were obviously not the ad campaign's target, many found its tone cruelly mocking and dismissive of what is a very serious vow of faith.

It’s rare these days to create something that offends just about everyone – and yet Bumble seems to have accomplished just that.

What do you think of the ad? Do you find its tone towards celibacy in poor taste, or should the company's marketing team be given a little slack?


  1. Alan Meunier's Avatar Alan Meunier

    Like everything else, if you don't like it don't use it. Leave everyone else alone! No one else has to live by any one elses "rules"...

    1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

      Oh sure, blame the victims!

  1. Katelynne Shouse's Avatar Katelynne Shouse


  1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

    "Most Catholic priests adhere to the principle of clerical celibacy, where they remain unmarried and abstain from sex in the priesthood. Nuns, similarly, take a vow of chastity, so that they can be free of distraction and fully devote themselves to God."


    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Yes I know what you mean, Priests especially need to be celibate, they don't need sex at all......Oh! but wait! 🤔


  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Personally if i was not married theres no way i would use a dating app .Im old fashioned i would meet the person face to face and maybe go for a drink/meal that way i would know about the person get to know as much as possible as i could never be fooled by fake pictures and background too much of that going on and i certainly wouldnt personally enquire about their love life or mocking about celibacy as that is private to the individual and should not be made public.Nor would i ask or mock their religon Again that is private to the woman.

  1. Reverend Bob's Avatar Reverend Bob

    I’m offended that I wasted a minute reading the article…Well, they don’t call it Bumble for nothing…😵‍💫

  1. John W's Avatar John W

    To be or not to be is a matter of choice and personal opinion. My wife and I met via an online app 17 years ago. Where one chooses to meet a potential mate / partner is their choice and whether they decide to remain celebate or not is their choice as well. In my instance my wife wanted to test drive this used car before she agreed to buy it.

  1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

    A woman centered app for feminists, what could go wrong? Well, it seems plenty according to the article. From free love in the sixties with the development of birth control pills to apps that today that get castigated for basically the same message. So what really changed? Probably nothing. In the 60's women loved their men as they do today, but in the 60's a society didn't have social media like today where a few people's criticisms would have outsized voices. As for the clergy or the religious orders, they shouldn't be on the app anyway.

    1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

      lol why? Who says a priest or pastor has to be celibate? Not every religion’s holy men and women need to be celibate, and sex is a gift from the gods we should celebrate, not mourn or vilify. You scoff and rebuke the notion of a woman centered app, then project feminism onto it, but you’re totally not misogynistic, right? lol you project feminism as a cover to slam and talk down to women, Kester. Saying that birth control is wrong is also rather telling, for not being into women, you sure do have a lot of opinions about what they can or can’t do. The whole free love thing back in the 60’s was a mostly male focused and male hijacked thing that women got roped into. The social media back then were magazines, newspaper columns, and help hotlines. Today it may be more sophisticated, and the message aren’t about 101 ways to please your man. Today the world has evolved beyond those ideals. Getting left behind is a choice.

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Robert, the article referenced Catholic priests and those in religious orders who take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Here is the quote from the article, "Some social media users found the ad offensive on religious grounds, too, arguing that the ad (intentionally or not) promotes anti-Catholic sentiment. "

        Your take on the 60's is incorrect it arose with the ideas promoted by feminism as well as the development of the birth control pill. To check my understanding, I asked Google AI if feminism contributed to the ideas of free love in the 60's. Its response was, "Yes, feminism contributed to the idea of free love in the 1960s. The sexual revolution, which took place during the 1960s, led to a newfound openness toward sexuality in American culture. Feminists believed that single women had the same sexual desires and should have the same sexual freedoms as everyone else in society"

        I did not project feminism onto the app. The article reads, "Bumble often promotes itself as the only woman-centric dating platform, and was initially envisioned as a feminist dating app." So, the article said it.

        In my comments above, I did not say that birth control was wrong. I did say that birth control contributed the the 60's idea of free love; which it did.

        Your criticisms were not well founded or an accurate reading of my comments.

        1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

          No better then your assessments of others comments. As always your focus is blurred by rose colored lenses, and only focus on what you think you know, vs. all the rest of the information on the topic. Feminism did help shape it, but once again men ruined a hood thing by making it about themselves and their selfish unaccountable behavior. Go figure.

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            Robert, how exactly did men make a women's dating site all about themselves? What did they do? Did they storm the apps offices and force the company to use a bad marketing plan? How in your mind was this about men?

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    I am so glad I have been out of the Game since the young lady who became my wife said yes to dating me in February 1978.

  1. Keith Lawrence Dimond's Avatar Keith Lawrence Dimond

    In a world of those who grasp and actually accept their sovereignty over themselves, their bodies, and their minds, such messages are either for them or for someone else, no need to get agitated.

    The fuss might be the more dangerous phenomenon here. Seriously, who cares? How can nuns and priests care one bit about 'mundanes' laughing at them? How can this be seen as hostile to women?

    We live in a world that is positively morbid with hypersensitivity about identity and personal practices. Very tedious.

  1. Alexander Arends's Avatar Alexander Arends

    Why not join Budweiser Light in making huge marketing mistakes. The ad may target certain adults but it ridicules those who wish to remain celibate and sends a bad message to kids. I find the ad disgusting.

    1. Kyla Parker's Avatar Kyla Parker

      The ad is a play on the joke of women saying "all my dates have been awful, I might as well take my vows and become a nun at this point" similar to girls saying "all the guys I've been interested in have been terrible, maybe I should give up and become a lesbian". They may make light of someone's lifestyle, but they aren't directly mocking it, just using it in hyperbole to express how disappointed they are in the dating pool.

      I'm interested in the correlation between people outraged by the this and the people outraged by "PC culture."

  1. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

    Didn't some celebrity athlete recently say basically the same thing to the nuns from the college as he was giving a guest commencement speech?
    That women as a group (which by definition, must include nuns) should be home and children makers... instead of having careers?

  1. Miriam Gates's Avatar Miriam Gates

    Humans can decide to be celibate or not. They don’t need these physical suggestions telling them to. What is wrong with society acting as if humans cannot think for themselves….just because a billboard or advertisements were purchased and put out does not mean they have mind control over humans!!! This is so nit pikie and a ridiculous waste of time!

  1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

    Nah, no slack, they done screwed up. I don't see it as particularly anti-Catholic but I can see how Catholics would feel that way. It was offensive on a secular level just because it's so tone deaf, but nothing a good squirt from a water bottle and a firm "no" wouldn't fix. If I cared about dating apps I'd accept the apology and move on.

  1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

    There's a global ramp up of venereal disease in addition to an increased resistance to medications used to treat them.

    When God said there's a price to pay for promiscuous behavior he meant it. Turns out he's right as usual. Man can only prop himself up for so long before the bottom drops.

  1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

    Geez, it's crazy enough just on basic message boards. If I were single and looking I think those sites would worse. I would be looking for meet up groups for singles and just meet others who are single or maybe join some club of hobbies and lifestyles to see if there is anyone local looking for someone with similar interests. Online people often still pretend to be someone they are not and it's much harder to tell who they are and what they stand for.

    As for the celibacy... to each their own. If anyone chooses that for themselves it's their life and their choice. If the site was just making light of it I don't see an issue. If they were pushing it though... well... I'd think they would be pushing people off the site. As long as the site isn't promoting unsafe or even abusive behaviors I'd think people could just find a different site or a different way to meet people.

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    A capitalist corporation desperate to save their failing business.

  1. Walter J. Holbrook's Avatar Walter J. Holbrook

    Why do we continue to fall into the trap being laid by satan. It seeks to distract and give credibility to his way of life. .

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Do you have any "DEMONstrable" evidence that Satan isn't a human construct?🤭


    2. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

      Satan? Another figment of your imagination.

  1. Melaine Rae Thompson's Avatar Melaine Rae Thompson

    I can see where they were attempting to be humorous with their add but it definitely missed the mark. As for the Nun comment, celibacy and Nuns have been equated for as long as I can remember. In high school, if you didn’t date, they would say “what are you doing, practicing to be a Nun”. I don’t think it was intended to bash anyone but they definitely need a new ad company.

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