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Orban mocked for family value ads

The Hungarian Government is mocked online for its billboard promoting conservative family values, which features the internet's most famous unfaithful partner.

The Hungarian Government has been mocked online for its billboard promoting traditional family values, which features the internet's most famous unfaithful partner.

The political advertisement is part of leader Viktor Orban's push to increase the birth rate in the country rather than relying on immigrants to boost the population.

"Young married couples are receiving support while they expect a baby," the slogan reads, as translated by The Guardian.

But that conservative, family message is being undermined by the choice of the potential father in the equation.

He is known around the world as the 'distracted boyfriend', having achieved global fame for his appearance in a stock photo that became one of the internet's most well-known memes.

The photo, which appeared in the Shutterstock collection, was part of a series featuring the pair.

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Photographer Antonio Guillem described the photograph's scene as a "disloyal man walking with his girlfriend and looking amazed at another seductive girl".

The image has been shared countless times on social media, so when locals spotted the billboard, many immediately recognised the faces.

A Hungarian man posted a photo of the political ad on Facebook pointing out its irony, prompting a stream of related memes.

The man, who did not want to be named, told BuzzFeed News he did not support the policy promoted in the advertisement, adding it had a "keep Hungary Hungarian" vibe.

A brief history of the 'distracted boyfriend'

The image was uploaded to Shutterstock in 2015, but it took a while for the image to really make its mark on the internet.

According to MemeDocumentation, the first appearance of the photo was in a Turkish Facebook group in January 2017.

However, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of memes, particularly when they do not include searchable key words.

The earliest public versions of the meme include the ignored girlfriend representing a neglected potato, while another mocked Phil Collins' pop music.

Since then, the image has been repurposed and reposted on social media many, many times.

In an interview with Wired in 2017, Guillem said he was "not worried about the meme situation".

He said those who featured the image on social media accounts had done so "in good faith".

"I think the image was a good foundation to whoever had the great idea to turn it into a metaphor that works for almost everything," he said.

'We need Hungarian children'

In February, the Hungarian Prime Minister announced a suite of financial benefits for families.

One of the measures included waiving personal income tax for any woman who had four or more children.

"There are fewer and fewer children born in Europe," Mr Orban said.

"For the West, the answer [to that challenge] is immigration.

"For every missing child there should be one coming in and then the numbers will be fine.

"But we do not need numbers — we need Hungarian children."

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