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Thursday 09 October 2008

Costly safe-sex ads spark NZDating debate

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By News Staff - 30th August 2007

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The NZDating website has become the focus of heated discussion in New Zealand's online LGBT community and even a call to boycott the site, after the NZ AIDS Foundation revealed it spends over $3,500 weekly when advertising male-to-male safe sex messages with the site.

Auckland Gay and Lesbian Welfare's General Manager, Neil Denney, says he was upset at the news of so much money going to the website. "I don't think NZDating supports the community," he explains. "I worked out that well over 30% of their users are gay men, yet they're not willing to support us at all. I say boycott it. Then they'll listen to us."'s readers presented a variety of views on the issue via our message boards, most of them agreeing $3,500 per week going to one website was excessive, but understanding why the NZAF's presence on the site was important.

"In an ideal world, NZDating would provide suitable and purposeful information that was clearly accessible and visible to users of the service," read one entry. "But NZDating does NOT provide the required information, so it's over to the NZAF to pay for it - and in those circumstances a discount should be given. It's not charitable donation, I don't see how you could ever look at it like that. It's a moral and ethical obligation."

Another reader opins: "Most businesses realise these days that it is good business to have a social conscience. It's cheap P. R. and it does work. Besides, it has all sorts of spin-off benefits. But it isn't compulsory."

The NZAF began its latest campaign - a nationwide search for 'Safe Sex Poster Boys' - on NZDating this week.

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