Hours after posting it online, the Belo Medical Group took down its “Pandemic Effect” ad after it drew flak from netizens for how it portrayed the challenges of coping with the deadly pandemic. According to Philstarlife.com, the ad portrayed the physical transformation of a woman while seemingly being stressed out from the news about the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the ad, a woman sat on the sofa watching the news. She then gained weight, grew face and armpit hair, and got eyebags and pimples. The advertisement then ended with the tagline, “tough times call for beautiful measures” and a call to book a consultation with Belo.
The ad immediately drew heavy criticism from people because of how it made light of a situation wherein thousands of people lost loved ones, and are going through harrowing medical and financial challenges. To add to this, a lot of people have been struggling to cope with the pandemic mentally as well.
In a statement on its social media accounts, the Belo Medical Group acknowledged the error of its ways and committed to learning from its mistake. We apologize about our recent Pandemic Effect film. Thank you for being gracious in letting us know your thoughts about it,” they said. “We hear you. You helped us see what we failed to see, which is that the film is insensitive and upsetting. Because of this, we have taken the ad down. We commit ourselves to learning from this and bringing our learnings into the future.”
The advertisement was created by the ad agency Gigil, the same people behind the viral RC Cola and Julie’s Bakeshop ads. They might have been trying the same formula that made their past campaigns go viral, but this time around, it just didn’t work out.