The website “Rich meet Beautiful”, through which “young female students” can look for “older rich men” known as “sugar daddies”, and vice versa, has withdrawn its controversial publicity campaign in Belgium. This was announced on Thursday by its Managing Director, the Norwegian, Sigurd Vedal, in Het Laatste Nieuws. Vedal said he was shocked by the repercussions of his organisation’s publicity campaign in the country.
In particular, it had led to the opening of an investigation by the Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office. A number of Brussels communes, as well as the city of Leuven, also prohibited the campaign. The Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, Bianca Debaets, announced on Tuesday that she would be lodging a complaint about the activities of the dating site. In addition, the Minister-President of the Brussels region imposed a prohibition throughout the capital.
The publicity was aimed at students, aged between 18 and 26, encouraging them to sign up to the website to find a rich man. Furthermore a complaint was made to the Ethical Advertising Jury (known as the “JEP”) which will consider it next Tuesday.