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Bancolombia advertisement featuring a gay couple
Bancolombia advertisement featuring a gay couple
Stefany Castaño Muñoz

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."

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

Keep reading...Show less

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