On November 13, a series of new advertisements under BDO’s (Banco de Oro) “We find ways” campaign was uploaded on BDO Unibank’s Facebook page. They were also hurriedly taken down after the almost immediate backlash it suffered from appalled netizens.
Unfortunately for the bank, a few FB users were able to screen cap the ads before they were taken down, re-posted them, and made them go viral.
One of the ads shows a comparison between a man dressed as a superhero against that of a girl carrying boxes, the tagline reads: “Save the world or Save up on a new home?” Another shows a futuristic-looking soldier and a girl sporting a trendy hat, it reads: “Save the future or Save up on today’s trends?” While yet another shows an environmentalist and a backpacker that had the tagline: “Save the environment or Save up to see places?”
FB user Jae Manuel Sta. Romana was able to grab all of the ad campaign photos and re-upload them. On his post, he brings up the ads’ implication that BDO wants people to be selfish and think only of themselves.
“BDO Unibank’s latest ads for their #WeFindWays campaign apparently does not include saving the world, our environment or our future in general. They want us to be as selfish as we can and not care about anything else. So, who cares about the future when we can buy the latest trends? Who cares about the environment (remember their sister company, tearing trees down in Baguio to build a parking lot.) as long as we can save up for a trip? Who cares that the world is falling apart, as long as you have money for yourself?” Sta. Romana posted. (The sister company referred to in the post is the SM Mall in Baguio.)
Social activist and writer Renee Juliene Karunungan slammed BDO and the SM group, in general, for their seemingly wanton disregard of the environment. She re-posted the BDO “environment” ad with this caption: “Let’s not forget that it is owned by Henry Sy, who also owns SM. They cut down trees in Baguio to build a parking lot. They also built SM Marikina near the riverbank which caused (or exacerbated the already big problem of flood in Marikina) the massive flood during typhoon Ondoy because they blocked waterways. Not to mention that this ad is highly illogical. Save environment or save up to see places? What the hell does that mean?!?!”
On Karunungan’s screenshot, it can be seen that admins of the BDO page attempted to address the first few criticisms before they took down all the ads altogether.
FB user Pauboy Cervantes asked, “Hindi pwedeng pareho? Wag ganun, BDO. (Can’t it be both? Don’t be that way, BDO.)”
To which BDO replied, “…you may choose both, of course.”