BOGOTÁ –– Bancolombia, one of Colombia's big banks, portrayed a gay couple as its customers in a recent advertisement. While some have welcomed it as a bold and inclusive move, others weren't as pleased.
Representatives at Bancolombia say they're sure they made the right decision.
The advertisement depicts two men and their pet dog, and is one of seven prominent images in the bank's marketing campaign, which goes by the tagline "This is Everyone's Moment" (Es el Momento de Todos).
The photo sparked a debate on social media. Some customers even threatened to pull out their cash, arguing that a national institution was misrepresenting families.
Inclusion should be seen as normal.
The bank’s response? "We understand and respect the sexual, racial and religious differences of Colombians. We just want to show a bit more reality."
The local head of the advertising firm Ogilvy and Mather, Mauricio Barrriga, says Bancolombia’s campaign wasn’t clear in its communication, and that it was better suited for "a person, a politician, a foundation, anything but a bank." But a national LGBT trade chamber welcomed the advertisement. The group's president, Felipe Cárdenas, says the campaign is an inclusive one.
Ogilvy's Barriga argues that financial services have nothing to do with inclusion. "Inclusion should be seen as normal," he says, adding that showing pictures like this "does not make this the most modern bank."