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Gigil gets suspended by 4As Philippines over their controversial Belo ad

By Camille Santiago Published Oct 07, 2021 4:57 pm Updated Oct 07, 2021 6:53 pm

Advertising agency Gigil was given a one-year suspension by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines (4As Philippines), following their controversial Belo ad.

In a report by Adobo Magazine, the controversial ad campaign Gigil did for the Belo Medical Group in August was found to violate "specific items in 4A's code of ethics." The decision was reportedly made after a "thorough investigation and assessment by the Professional Practice and Ethics Committee."

The "Pandemic Effect" campaign, which portrayed a woman who underwent bodily changes in the middle of a pandemic, received criticism from the public for its tone-deaf message. Both parties have apologized for the campaign, and the ad has since been taken down.

Gigil, on the other hand, said they "respect and abide" by the ruling of 4As Philippines.

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

Gigil also guaranteed the public that business will go as usual and that the suspension will not "in any way hamper" their work.

This suspension also comes after the controversy involving Gigil's co-founder Herbert Hernandez. Hernandez was accused of alleged sexual harassment by creative director Denise "Deng" Tee on social media.

Hernandez filed an "official criminal complaint" of cyber libel against Tee to the Department of Justice on August 26.

This also led to 4As to hold a meeting to address the allegations due to Hernandez's "unprofessional conduct" that violates the 4As code of ethics.

In addition, 4As also said it is working on a new code of conduct which, according to a report by Campaign, "aims to help its members who may not have the benefit of tools and protocols in coming up with their own handbook on proper conduct and ensuring a safe workplace."

PhilSTAR L!fe has reached out to 4As Philippines for a statement. We will update this article once we hear from them.