ICYMI: Belo’s controversial ad #PandemicEffect is under fire on social media. Here’s why

Belo Medical Group faces social media backlash after releasing an ad on social media yesterday, August 10, 2021. Dubbed #PandemicEffect, its newest advertisement featured a skinny girl with flawless skin as she watches the news full of alarming and negative reports due to COVID-19, and transforms in the process. Netizens immediately began expressing dismay over the ad, saying that the video fuels insecurity in many people, especially during the pandemic.

In the less than two-minute commercial, as the featured character digests all the bad news on TV, her appearance also changes into “a worst version of herself.” She then goes on a video call with a friend, and the person on the other line asks, “Anong nangyari [what happened]? The ad, made by Gigil, ends the video with a tagline, “tough times call for beautiful measures,” which didn’t resonate very well with the online community. 

The ad is part of Belo’s campaign, #PandemicEffect, which some “Belo Babies” participated in, such as Claudia Barretto, Saab Magalona, and Gabbi Garcia. The brand says that the campaign was “a reminder… that if you’re ready to decide to take care of yourself again, Belo is there to help.”

Some online and known personalities, such as Mari Jasmine, Macoy Dubs, and Nick Daez, however, expressed their disappointment through the comments section of the now-deleted post of Belo Medical Group. Some netizens also expressed their opinions across all social media platforms, most of which are describing the ad as “insensitive,” “tone-deaf,” and “triggering.”

Here are some of it:



After the heavy criticisms received by the brand last night, the beauty chain clinic decided to take down the video from Belo’s official social media accounts and released an apology statement past midnight. 

“We apologize about our recent Pandemic Effect film. Thank you for being gracious in letting us know your thoughts about it,” the Belo group says in the statement. “We commit ourselves to learning from this and to bring our learning into the future.” 

According to Medical News Today, while COVID-19 is most taxing on physical health, our mental health is also at risk. One survey shows that “38% of people were feeling tired or lacking energy, 36% were having sleep disturbances, 43% felt nervous, anxious, or on edge, 36% reported not being able to stop worrying, and 35% said that they were finding it hard to relax.” This only proves that while we’re doing our best to shield ourselves from the threats of COVID-19, we should also not take our mental health for granted. 

In the Philippines, the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) June 2021 data shows a 57% increase in suicide rate the past year. This only proves that while we’re doing our best to shield ourselves from the threats of COVID-19, we should also not take our mental health for granted. 

If you want to have a more comprehensive look at the real #PandemicEffect happening in the country, online organization PAGASA presents on Instagram a list of credible statistics on what the pandemic has caused our fellow countrymen. 

According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), as of July 2021, 27.6 million Filipinos experienced hunger during this pandemic. On the other hand, the PSA listed 3.76 million jobless Filipinos as of June 2021 and another 6.409 million Filipinos underemployed. 

These problems are aside from the fact that we face a much bigger problem: the surge in the COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. Just today, August 11, 2021, a record-breaking number of 12,012 has tested positive for the virus. 

The actual effects of the pandemic are sickness, death, anxieties, hunger, and so much more. At times like this, a beauty problem should be the least of our worries.

A friendly reminder from CHiNOYTV to make staying safe and sane our utmost priority during these trying times. Gaining weight, having acne, and growing body hair in the time of a pandemic are all normal, no need to beat yourself up over natural things to being human. Let’s keep taking care of ourselves and, most importantly, be kind, as we don’t know what battles people are currently facing.

This is a developing story. How do you feel about the ad? Let us know in the comments below. 

If you need someone to talk to, you may contact MindNation here

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