Edsa billboard promotes gender equality, ‘all kinds of love’ | Lifestyle.INQ
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Screen grab from Solenn Heussaff's Instagram account

Edsa billboard promotes gender equality, ‘all kinds of love’

Screen grab from Solenn Heussaff's Instagram account
Screen grab from Solenn Heussaff’s Instagram account

MANILA, Philippines—A billboard promoting gender equality and celebrating “all kinds of love” has risen along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) in Guadalupe, Makati City.

The billboard, which is part of the latest advertisement campaign of lifestyle brand Bench, shows magazine creative director Vince Uy holding hands with boyfriend Nino Gaddi and makeup artist Ana Paredes being hugged by girlfriend Carla Peña.

The four-part billboard also features movie icon Gloria Romero with grandson Chris Gutierrez and actress Solenn Heussaff with fiancé Nico Bolzico.

The Bench campaign has earned the admiration of netizens for its “bold” move that they said could “change the game of advertising.”

Screen grab from Mara Chua's Instagram account
Screen grab from Mara Chua’s Facebook account

However, the hands of Uy and Gaddi in the billboard were painted over days after it had been set up, earning the ire of some netizens.

A report from Scout Magazine on Friday said that in 2011, Bench was compelled to take down its billboard featuring the Philippine Volcanoes in fitted underwear after Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos requested the billboard be dismantled, saying people deemed it “inaapropriate and offensive.”

As to how the painting over their hands happened, Uy was quoted in the story: “I do have a feeling that perhaps it was to get AdBoard to give a go signal on the materials.”

“We feel that the positive reception to the campaign shows that Filipinos are more open-minded and progressive than we’re given credit for. On the bright side, we are still happy and thankful because, holding hands or not, Bench still gave the opportunity to spread the message of acceptance, tolerance and equality of any kind of love—perhaps slowly, but definitely surely,” he added. NC