Dating ads offering chance to meet ‘thousands of lonely Ukrainian women’ banned

An advert for a dating website offering “lonely” Ukrainian women the chance to find love has been banned.

The strange and tactless advert was created by SofiaDate, and circulated online in the UK in May.

The advert encouraged “thousands of lonely Ukrainian women” to “forget about loneliness” and to “let yourself be happy”.

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SofiaDate is, according to its website, based in Cyprus, but specialises in “brides” from Ukraine and Russia – as well as many other strange dating requests, such as “childless” and “divorced” dating.

But its new tasteless advertising has been banned by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority after three complaints were made.

The ads were first spotted by the Dorset Echo, who reported them to the ASA last month.

An ASA spokesman said: “The ASA understood that due to the ongoing war in Ukraine there was heightened sensitivity about references to the country, and the vulnerability of Ukrainian women had become an area of public concern.

“At the time the ads were seen, the UK Government had initiated a scheme that encouraged members of the public and other organisations to house Ukrainian refugees, and we understood the scheme had raised valid concerns about the safety and well-being of single Ukrainian women who were involved in it.

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“We considered the ads' focus on Ukrainian women dressed in the aforementioned manner, as well references to their loneliness, had the effect of highlighting their vulnerability and connecting it to their sexual appeal.

“For that reason, we concluded the ads were likely to cause serious offence.”

The advert was, according to reports, specifically targeted at internet users in the UK, where more than 65,700 Ukrainians have come to the country to seek refuge from Russian leader Vladimir Putin's forces.

No update on refugee numbers has been given since May 29, 2022.

The Daily Star has contacted SofiaDate for a comment.

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