Matchmaking agency ad complaint upheld by BAI

A complaint against a dating agency’s radio advert claiming it was “the only regulated matchmaking agency in Ireland” has been upheld by the broadcasting watchdog.

A complaint to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) concerned an advert for Two’s Company broadcast on Sunshine 106.8, which the complainant states contained false and misleading statements.

The agency stated it was “the only regulated matchmaking agency in Ireland”. However, the complainant — Intro Matchmaking — pointed out that there is no official regulator of matchmaking, dating or introductions agencies in Ireland.

It pointed out that the “regulator” referred to in the advert is the Association of British Introduction Agencies (ABIA), which is based in Britain and Northern Ireland and is not registered as a company in Ireland.

Intro Matchmaking said the advert could lead the public to believe the service that it provides is less reputable or trustworthy as it implies that they are not members of this “regulator”.

In response, Sunshine 106.8FM said it investigated the complaint and pointed out that Two’s Company is accredited by the ABIA and operates a dating and introduction agency on the island of Ireland and has offices in Dublin and Belfast.

The BAI upheld the complaint, stating there is no specific regulation of dating services in Ireland and that it considers the ABIA to be an industry body and not a regulator.

The BAI also upheld two other complaints about a wind energy advertising campaign called The Power to Power Ourselves co-ordinated by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA).

Francis Clauson submitted two complaints about the advert on TV3 and RTÉ.

He stated the IWEA is a special interest lobby group supported by state and semi-state organisations and that the advert was in contravention of the ban on political advertising.

The BAI upheld the complaint stating the advert was broadcast in the immediate run-up to a general election where planning and other issues related to wind energy and to a lesser extent renewable energy, “were live and contentious issues in a range of constituencies”.


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