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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 05:40 GMT 06:40 UK
Text date advert 'irresponsible'
The poster depicted a bikini-clad woman holding a mobile
A County Down firm has been criticised over an advertisement for its text dating service which could encourage teenagers to make dates with strangers.

The poster, by Bangor-based Textandmeet Ltd, promised: "You could be meeting someone tonight." The words, "over 18s only" were featured in the small print.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it was possibly "irresponsible".

It was "concerned" the poster could imply it was "acceptable for young people to make dates with strangers".

It was spotted by a member of the public near a local swimming pool, cinema and a fast food restaurant.

Upholding the complaint, the advertising watchdog ruled that the poster could contain a more sinister message

It ruled: "The Authority concluded the poster was likely to be seen to condone or encourage irresponsible behaviour and told the advertisers not to use the approach again."

The posters depicted a bikini-clad woman sitting by a swimming pool with a mobile phone while three men looked on. All posters have now been removed.

Nicknames

Textandmeet said users communicated with each other using nicknames and did not exchange numbers.

It said all messages between users were moderated by an employee who removed contact details before the user's age was verified.

Safety tips were sent and messages could be blocked, it added.

Textandmeet claimed users who wished to meet were referred to another service which verified their ages.


SEE ALSO:
Online dating 'good for romance'
14 Feb 05 |  Education
Text message record smashed again
21 Jan 05 |  Technology


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