Muslim dating app Muzmatch revealed it was behind the publicity stunt to ‘Find Malik a Wife’
A billboard advert asking people to “save” a man from an arranged marriage and “find Malik a wife” has been revealed as a publicity stunt.
Thousands of women contacted the lonely bachelor who was apparently advertising himself on billboards to find a wife. Mohammad Malik, 29, was pictured lying down on huge hoardings across Birmingham with the words: “Save me from an arranged marriage.” He also set up a website ‘Findmailkawife.com’ in order to catch the eye of a potential partner .
But Muslim dating app Muzmatch has now revealed it was behind the publicity stunt but stresses Mohammad – a stand-up comedian – is still looking for love. Now, when users try to reach Mohammad’s website, it has been rebranded to “Find Malik a wife on MuzMatch”, with hopeful suitors being directed to the dating app. The revelation has prompted mixed reactions online, reports Birmingham Live.
One user said it is the ‘best marketing campaign’ they had seen in ages, while others slammed the stunt as ‘unethical’ and ‘misleading’. More than 5,000 hopefuls had contacted him via his website and another 1,000 or so have slipped into his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook DMs.
Mohammad, an innovation consultant and entrepreneur, previously told how he intends to sort through the avalanche of interest. He said he had enlisted a few friends to create spreadsheets and will then ‘audit’ his way through all the messages. Mohammad, speaking about the revelation that it was a publicity stunt, said Muzmatch’s marketing team pitched the campaign to him late last year.
He denied the campaign was disingenuous and said: “This was an idea that was presented to me and I thought ‘It’s genuine, I’m 100% looking’. But these guys just absolutely took it on steroids. I’ve always been a bit tongue in cheek. A bit quirky. I’ve done a bit of stand-up comedy. So I think it was quite in line with that.”
Shahzad Younas, the chief executive of Muzmatch, said: “Malik was very keen to stress that there’s nothing wrong with an arranged marriage. For a lot of people it works. The whole premise touches more upon how young Muslims are increasingly becoming empowered through Muzmatch to find their own partner, but still do it in a way that’s respectful of their faith, their traditions, their culture.”
In Mohammad’s billboards he can be seen lying on his side pointing upwards with a big smile. He is from London but calls Birmingham his second home thanks to the ‘top quality food spots in the city centre, bustling Alum Rock (and) the incredible mosques’.
Mohammad said he considered himself ‘more on the orthodox, conservative side’ of Islam.
He said: “When going on dates, it’s always a chaperone date. From a spiritual angle, the purity is intact in terms of there’s no ulterior motives. What you’re focused on is marriage.”
He is currently being helped by Muzmatch to go through the thousands of responses he has received to far, with Mohammad saying he has responded to 100 so far.