"This was an idea that was presented to me"
A bachelor who advertised himself on billboards to find a wife has potentially disappointed thousands of women after it was revealed to be a publicity stunt for Muzmatch.
Mohammad Malik attracted attention when he was pictured lying down on billboards across Birmingham.
It included the words: “Save me from an arranged marriage.”
Mohammad also set up the website ‘findmalikawife.com’ in a bid to find a wife.
However, Muslim dating app Muzmatch has now admitted it was behind the publicity stunt.
But the company insists that Mohammad is still looking for a wife.
Now when users try to access Mohammad’s website, it has been rebranded to ‘Find Malik on Muzmatch’, with singletons being directed to the dating app.
The revelation has led to mixed reactions.
One person said it is the “best marketing campaign” they had seen in ages.
But some have called it “unethical” and “misleading” for customers.
Before emerging as a publicity stunt, more than 5,000 women contacted Mohammad via his website and another 1,000 have messaged him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Entrepreneur Mohammad previously explained how he plans to sort through all the interest.
He has enlisted a few friends to create spreadsheets and will then “audit” his way through all the messages.
Speaking about the publicity stunt, Mohammad said Muzmatch’s marketing team pitched the idea to him late in 2021.
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 the billboards, Mohammad can be seen lying on his side pointing to the slogan with a big smile.
Mohammad is from London but calls Birmingham his second home because of the “top quality food spots in the city centre, bustling Alum Rock (and) the incredible mosques”.
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.”
Mohammad is being helped by Muzmatch to go through the thousands of responses he has received so far.
He says he has responded to 100 so far.