Masters of the bizarre GIGIL were suspended for one year by its advertising peers over their commercial for Belo Medical Group that went viral for body-shaming during the pandemic, according to the agency and an official document.
For the duration of the suspension, GIGIL will not have access to special rates and discounts given to members of 4As or the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines.
"We acknowledge that alongside the unexpected thinking that comes with out work, we must always be mindful of sensitivity and respect," GIGIL said on Facebook.
"We also assure all that this does not in any way hamper our ability to represent and deliver work for clients. Our business continues," it added.
What went before
Released August 10, the ad made for Belo's anniversary was criticized for its portrayal of people's bodies during the pandemic, particularly women.
"Tough times call for beautiful measures," the ad said, suggesting that it only takes a cosmetic fix-up by the beauty company to get a person's confidence back up. This did not sit well with Filipinos who, since 2020, have been stuck suffering from the COVID-19 crisis.
Following the fiasco, GIGIL's creative partner Herbert Hernandez also made headlines after he lodged a cyberlibel case against an industry colleague, Denise Tee, who said on social media that she was sexually harassed by him in 2015.
Hundreds of advertising professionals rallied behind Tee, a Wunderman Thompson Manila creative director.