Advertising watchdog defends gay hook-up ads at train stations

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Adverts for a gay hook-up app will not be banned in the Netherlands, despite a number of complaints.

Gay cruising app Squirt had put up the large signs and posters at major train stations across Rotterdam, Amsterdam Utrecht and The Hague.

Despite a number of complaints, the Advertising Standards Board has ruled in favour of the site – and will allow the campaign to continue.

One complaint said: “It is highly inappropriate that such a website is being promoted in the public space.

“Young children should not be faced with terminology such as ‘squirt’ and ‘cruising’ in conjuction with the picture [of half-naked men].

The second complainant claimed that the ad was designed to entice children into visiting the website, while a third said it was “truly sickening and shocking”.
Advertising watchdog defends gay hook-up ads at train stations
However, the ASB found that the ads met “the necessary precautions… in the context of good taste and public decency.”

It adds that while the models are topless, they are not “shown in a sexually provocative pose” or “suggesting any sexual acts”.

The app’s ads were previously removed from trains in Canada – after the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) claimed they encouraged gay commuters to “break the law”.

TTC spokesperson Danny Nicholson said: “The ad was taken down as it promoted sex in public places, which is against the law.”

According to the TTC at least ten customers complained after the ads – showing shirtless men embracing – started to feature on subway trains.