BLINKs found themselves perplexed and torn today after a Filipino hygiene product brand captured attention for their very unexpected parody of BLACKPINK.
Available in stores across the Philippines, Hygienix stocks a range of home hygiene products, from hand sanitizers to soaps. With germicidal formulas that kill 99.99% of diseases-causing bacteria, it’s no surprise that Hygienix’s current social media campaign centers on the prevention of COVID-19. One of their latest Facebook posts, however, was a big shock to BLINKs.
On August 13, Hygienix uploaded a post promoting their Germ-Kill Alcohol—with BLACKPINK as the focus. It’s not uncommon for today’s brands to piggy-back off the success of K-Pop by appealing to fans, but Hygienix took a truly bizarre turn by turning BLACKPINK into… germs.
How you like that, dapat always with mask on and alcohol in hand. We stan #FightWorldGermination by using Hygienix…
Referencing the lyrics to “How You Like That” in their post, Hygienix uploaded a photo of a germ version of BLACKPINK, aptly named “BLAH PINK”. Each of the monstrous-looking, green germs (who Hygienix says are “ready to attack our fave Kpop [sic]“) correspond to a different BLACKPINK member. Germsoo is based on Jisoo, Lisakit (“sakit” being “sick” in Filipino) is based on Lisa, Roseeww is based on Rosé, and Germnie is based on Jennie.
Unsurprisingly, when the post spread across Twitter on August 19, fans of BLACKPINK had no idea how to react. On one side, many BLINKs are angry at Hygienix for using BLACKPINK’s likeness without permission.
What in the sick fvck were you thinking @hygienix_ph ????
Not only you used BLACKPINK for your disgusting agenda but you also made them out to be germs, GERMS!!?? Are y’all nuts? What TF is this? pic.twitter.com/GeDhqUPsZ9
— 𝓐𝓽𝓱𝓮𝓷𝓪 ♛ (@blink_elite) August 19, 2020
Given that BLACKPINK are being compared to germs in the illustration, it’s no surprise that fans are angry. Plus, alongside going out to the brand’s Facebook following of 128,000 people, Facebook’s Ad Library shows that the brand began running the post as a paid advertisement today too. Naturally, fans feel the ad has the potential to damage BLACKPINK’s personal brand and reputation.
BLINKS, let's report @hygienix_ph's advertisement on Facebook.
In the advertisement they have Created germ character's of BLACKPINK and changed there names.
This is defamation to BLACKPINK.
— Blackpink India ( 브링크)🍦 (@BLACKPINKIndia) August 19, 2020
On the other side, however, some fans are seeing the ad as a funny and lighthearted pick-me-up during a serious pandemic. On Facebook, the post has 14,000 “Haha” reactions, as opposed to 4,800 “Angry” reactions.
As of today, neither Hygienix nor YG Entertainment has issued a statement clarifying the issue.