Match.com apologises for ads that label freckles as 'imperfections' after commuter complaints

Match.com has apologised for a new ad campaign that suggests freckles are physical flaws after a flurry of complaints.

The dating website told ITV News it is in discussions "about removing these posters as soon as possible," as the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed it is investigating the campaign.

In the ads, an extreme close up of a red-haired woman's freckled nose and cheeks has the caption: "If you don't like your imperfections, someone else will."

They launched on Monday this week and appear on the London Underground.

A flurry of commuters responded negatively to the campaign on social media, with critics accusing the firm of being "offensive" and "bullying."

Another advert used the same "imperfections" strapline on a picture of a man with different coloured eyes:

Another ad showed different coloured eyes as Credit: Twitter/@cityvegan

Match.com later issued an apology on Twitter, saying it was "sorry if we've offended anyone" and responded directly to complaints to insist that freckles are "beautiful."

The ASA confirmed that around a dozen people had contacted the watchdog to make a formal complaint and said it is "assessing" the ads.

We have taken note of the response about our advert concerning freckles. Following this feedback, we are in discussions with our relevant partners about removing these posters as soon as possible.

Match.com spokesperson