The dating site said it had "taken note of the response to the advert", the latest instalment of its Love Your Imperfections campaign. The wording of the ad had caused hostility on Twitter from redheads and non-redheads alike.
The adverts are designed to encourage everyone to be proud of their individuality, as the features that make us unique are often the ones that make us most attractive.
In a statement acknowledging it had made a mistake with the advert, Match said:
"We believe freckles are beautiful. The intention of our ‘Love Your Imperfections’ campaign is to focus on the quirks and idiosyncrasies that people wrongly perceive to be imperfections – this can include freckles, a feature that is sometimes seen as an imperfection by people who have them.
"We’re sorry if this ad has been interpreted in a different way and we apologise for any offence caused, this was not our intention.
"Our overall campaign is all about celebrating perceived physical and behavioural imperfections, from having freckles to being chubby, messy or clumsy.
"The adverts are designed to encourage everyone to be proud of their individuality, as the features that make us unique are often the ones that make us most attractive."
The ASA told the Guardian it had received around half a dozen complaints about the ad, appearing in London Underground stations, which shows a close up image of a highly freckled face with the text ‘If you don’t like your imperfections, someone else will.’
Many more took to Twitter to register their disapproval.
Livid. Hey https://t.co/9QiZ7HSSeO who are you to say that freckles are 'imperfections' maybe its non freckly people who are 'imperfect'— Lisa Bond (@lisaraynsford) April 12, 2016
— Daniel Williams (@DanielW094) April 12, 2016
A less than perfect campaign?
The freckles poster is the latest in a campaign that has run since 2014 focused on celebrating imperfections - though in previous instalments the imperfections in questions have been to do with personality and forgetfulness.
Those adverts - featuring characters such as Hannah, who ‘still giggles at Cockfosters’ - have generated an enthusiastic response in their own right, for different reasons. Some users felt that the imperfections suggested by Match were too easy to forgive, and raised the stakes.
Others were less willing to condone these personal inadequacies. Mark, who ‘never has his travel card ready’, came in for particular ire. Even poor, despised Mark has his defenders, however.