The Belo Medical Group has apologized for the advertising campaign that drew criticisms for supposed racist connotation, pulls out ad, Manila Bulletin reports. (Source)
You know how people have said that the supposedly bigoted ad of clothing brand Bayo was a brilliant advertising move because regardless of the negative publicity, it was able to put the brand in the spotlight and got people to talk about it? Well, I think, Belo is going for that same reaction from Netizens.
With a series of ads showing that people with lighter skin are more sosyal or generally better than the brown-skinned counterparts, Belo has succeeded in generating more attention than what regular ads get. Personally, I think this was made with the intent to offend. I just cannot accept that we have this many stupid people in the advertising agency especially after the recent outrage for bigoted ads. If anything they should have been more careful.
Coming up with something like this after the recent outrage over Bayo, EO Optical and that Bella Padilla FHM cover (and don't even get me started on Manny Pacquiao and Miriam Quiambao) tells me one thing only. That Belo is employing a cheap trick that plays out like this:
1. Create an offensive ad
2. Get netizens to react, create memes condeming/making fun of the ad (free publicity)
3. Deny that ad was supposed to be bigoted (issue statements, tv interviews)
4. Issue an apology (explicitly deny any bigoted intent)
5. Release 'new' ads (possibly the original ones they wanted to release but now people will be watching out for this-more attention)
With everyone playing their part as planned, Belo is getting the media mileage that they expected off a badly made and cheap looking ad. And this is just sad. I do not think that bigotry should be used to play on reactions of people especially when there are those that are liable to take ads like these seriously.
I think that anyone employing the same cheap trick as this should be boycotted altogether (upcoming apology or not) and not just because the ads are offensive but because they are actually playing on the (negative) reaction of people and hope to benefit from that.
Here are other much talked about ads of the same theme: