The relationship between Chemistry.com and eHarmony.com is anything but harmonious. Chemistry’s new ads featuring attractive young men and women wondering why they were rejected by eHarmony strikes a sour note with eHarmony.
Chemistry.com is the new kid on the block (born last year) but does have serious backing. The conglomerate that owns Chemistry also owns match.com, ask.com, HSN and Ticketmaster.
EHarmony has spent seven years building its reputation and a service that boasts 13 million signups. Fearing its carefully built reputation is being seriously tarnished, eHarmony is fighting back.
In addition to name calling and insults between the two entities, eHarmony’s outside legal counsel approached NBC and People magazine in an effort to get the ads suspended or altered. People magazine, knowing controversial ads can be excellent for business, declined involvement and kept running the ads. Interestingly enough, eHarmony’s legal counsel, Larry Davis, handled media issues for the Clinton-Lewinsky affair.
One of the most serious weapons wielded by Chemistry.com is the “rejected by eHarmony” red graphic accompanied by the notice that over 1 million people have been rejected by eHarmony.
EHarmony doesn’t deny that they don’t accept everyone who applies. What Chemistry.com isn’t revealing is the reason why applicants are rejected.
The number one reason for rejection at eHarmony? Marriage. Yes The legal union of two people in holy wedlock. One third of rejected applicants are rejected because they are already married.
Other reasons for eHarmony rejection include age (must be 21), inconsistent answers to questions, and being married more than four times.
EHarmony doesn’t accept gay singles. Officials state that’s because the software and the site are set up for heterosexual relationships. The option may be available at a later date. Chemistry.com accepts gay applicants and declares that the ads are to highlight differences between the two companies.
“We’re saying that we’re very accepting and very non-judgmental,” says a Chemistry.com representative as reported in several newspapers.
Not true declares eHarmony. One ad shows a young black man stating he was rejected. EHarmony fears viewers will see the ad and read racial discrimination.
As if all the other differences weren’t enough, a Chemistry.com ad also focuses on religion. A young woman mentions her love for Buddha. Ouch. EHarmony is a primarily Christian singles group.
Brotherly love probably won’t be demonstrated anytime soon by either company. The battle continues. Since the battle is more about the money to be made with on-going monthly memberships and less about matching singles, those looking for love will be the losers.