A new Hungarian Government pro-family campaign is using a popular stock photo of a couple who is not known for embodying a healthy relationship.
The advertisers may want to rethink their branding strategy because the happy couple on the billboard has had a troubled past.
Do the models look familiar? They should.
The male model in the Hungarian poster is the same dude known as the "Distracted Boyfriend." In a different photo, he casts a not-so-furtive glance at another woman while in the presence of his put-off girlfriend.
The stock image is part of a series of photos taken by Spanish photographer Antonio Guillem in 2015 and became a viral meme in 2017.
Here's one example.
According to Buzzfeed, a Hungarian software entrepreneur who wished to be anonymous took a photo of one of the billboards in Zugló, which is the 14th district in Budapest, and posted it on Facebook:
"I was driving my kids to school and my son noticed this new billboard — it's the Hungarian government's new ad for their pro-family benefit programs. And my son immediately said, 'This is the couple from that meme.'"
But he didn't appreciate the sign that encourages a Hungarian population growth as an alternative to immigration.
"Young married couples are receiving support while they expect a baby."
A European Union poll from 2018 indicated that Hungary has a xenophobia problem, with results showing only 10% of Hungarians saying they would feel "totally comfortable" with having an immigrant friend, while 50% expressing they would feel "uncomfortable."
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is known for his anti-EU "family protection plans" that give Hungarian women, with four or more children, lifelong tax breaks as an incentive to boost the population.
Orban is the leader of the Fidesz party – Hungary's right-wing populist political party – which won a third consecutive term in government last year. They promote strong Christian values and emphasizes the importance of traditional families as a solution to addressing Hungary's declining population.
Despite the government's controversial pro-family message, people were distracted by the familiarity of the "Distracted Boyfriend" models portraying a blissful moment as a happy couple.
Twitter user Nate Obermiller summed up the irony best:
"The point is that these two models are widely known for the 'sh***y boyfriend/upset girlfriend' meme. To use a stock photo of those two in a positive light is poor and interesting decision to say the least."
After the billboard photo went viral on Facebook, Hungarians roasted the prime minister and Fidesz for their unfortunate photo choice.
Twitter enjoyed creating the couple's backstory.
Speculation about the models posing for the same photo session was confirmed based on the wardrobe choices.
According to this story line, being a thrupple is a winning solution.
We have a feeling this won't be the last we'll see of the stars of "disloyal man walking with his girlfriend and looking amazed at another seductive girl."