advertising industry

4As Philippines suspends Gigil over controversial Belo ad

4As Philippines suspends Gigil over controversial Belo ad

'TONE DEAF.' Belo Medical Group's 'Pandemic Effect' campaign by ad agency Gigil gets flak on social media.

Belo Medical Group's YouTube

The ad, released in August, drew flak for its 'insensitive' portrayal of women

The Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines (4As Philippines) suspended ad agency Gigil over the controversial ad campaign it did for the Belo Medical Group in August.

Their “Pandemic Effect” campaign was anchored on a minute-and-a-half long video that showed a woman gaining weight, growing body hair, and getting acne as she watched a continuous stream of bad news on television.

Many people felt the ad was tone deaf, and needlessly body shamed women in the middle of a pandemic. 

According to adobo magazine, Gigil’s suspension will be in effect for a year. In a report they said that after an investigation, 4As Philippines found the ad in violation of certain terms in their code of ethics. 

In a statement, Gigil said they “respect and abide by” 4As decision.

“We acknowledge that alongside the unexpected thinking that comes with our work, we must always be mindful of sensitivity and respect,” they said.

They also said that their business will continue and that the decision won’t affect the work they do for their clients.

The 4As decision comes as Gigil’s co-founder Herbert Hernandez faces sexual harassment accusations from an ad industry colleague. In August, creative director Denise Tee posted on Facebook about how Hernandez allegedly invited her to his hotel room at an industry festival in 2015.

Hernandez has filed a cyber libel complaint against Tee, though she has been backed by women’s group Gabriela, who said they were approached by other women who were also allegedly sexually harassed by Hernandez. – Rappler.com

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