One step forward for equality, two steps back.
This week, Bench launched a series of billboards along EDSA Guadalupe featuring “all kinds of love,” with Gloria Romero and her grandson Chris Gutierrez, Solenn Heussaff and Nico Bolzico, Preview magazine creative director Vince Uy and boyfriend Nino Gaddi, and makeup artist Ana Paredes and interior designer girlfriend Carla Pena.
In the series of billboards, they are seen celebrating their love by hugging or holding hands. The idea started when Bench’s B/Blog online editor Paolo Lorenzana pitched the idea of having a gay couple kissing on one of Bench’s billboards. What started out as a joke became a full-blown campaign.
However, two days later, a black smudge was sloppily painted over the hands of Uy and Gaddi, which received severe backlash on social media. Social media influencer Thysz Estrada first shared the photo (credited to Niche Dumlao), with the caption “What do they think they’re painting over? #LoveAllKindsOfLove” The hashtag #PaintTheirHandsBack was born, and artists began sending humorous versions of the ad with painted hands.
No one is taking the blame for the sloppy paint job, but they probably didn’t anticipate this kind of reaction.
Apparently, according to a recent update from StyleBible.ph, Bench did its own self-censorship.
Mr. <Jojo> Liamzon (Advertising and Promotions Manager at Suyen Corporation, the company that owns Bench) clarified that when the billboard was unveiled last February 11, the hands in the image of Uy and Gaddi were already blackened out by their printer to comply with the material submitted by Bench to the Ad Standards Council. The image submitted by Bench and approved by the Ad Standards Council for the Edsa-Guadalupe billboard showed the couple with their hands blurred.
See the best memes below:
By Rob Cham
By Chi Jihan
By Tony del Gucho
By Ana Gonzales
By Mark Buenaobra
Do you have your own photo to share? Share them in the comments section below!