MullenLowe Singapore partnered with the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), Vietnam’s foremost organization fighting for human rights and diversity, to highlight the stigmatization and discrimination experienced by the country’s LGBTQ+ community which too often leads to depression or suicide.

Over 30% of Vietnamese people believe that being LGBTQ+ is a disease. The discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, particularly evidenced by the popularity of gender treatments and conversion therapy, leads to physical and mental trauma that can last a lifetime. The “Leave with PRIDE” campaign seeks to petition the World Health Organization (WHO) to affirm that this is not the case.

The campaign follows the absurd belief that LGBTQ+ is a disease to its logical conclusion: “If LGBTQ+ is a disease, shouldn’t the “afflicted” be entitled to sick leave?” The team asked practicing doctors to issue a valid medical certificate, then enlisted LGBTQ+ volunteers to go undercover and ask their superiors for sick leave. The shocking reactions were captured on video and posted online as part of a four-week social campaign launched in November, which is Pride Month in Vietnam.

After 36 hours on Facebook, the campaign had attracted 100,000+ impressions, 35,000 engagements and thousands signed the online petition.