Battle for context: GMA7 and Christopher Lao

News is no longer news if it's out of context

GMA7 News erred big time when it showed Christopher Lao’s pitiful situation on national television showing him angry at the authorities (or people in the neighborhood) for not warning drivers – like him – of the waist-deep flood along Mother Ignacia Avenue in Quezon City. The public then took the news online and  in two days, Christopher Lao became all too famous for being selfish, arrogant, and indignant person blaming other but not himself.

For their part, the Kapuso news team didn’t think the item would be harmful to Mr. Lao.  They took it just as that – news. What they didn’t take into consideration was the online community’s appetite – wrong or not – for things like this that they can just share with others without thinking. What the GMA News team failed to think about is the context of Mr. Lao’s reasoning why he did what he did.

Since 24-Oras took the story to their nightly newscast, they should’ve been fair not just to Mr. Lao but to the public. The public was fed by what the news anchor, Mel Tiangco, said and told the viewers – that Mr. Lao was not apologetic and was even blaming others (the government in particular) but himself. This was GMA News’ context but not Mr. Lao’s. As read in this article, Christopher Lao: GMA7 News Victim, Mr. Lao was rushing to get to his family. The GMA reporter failed to ask that all-important question and concentrated his story in showing Mr. Lao as an angry man and made him to appear unfavorably in the eyes of the public.

Big network companies like GMA 7, ABS-CBN, TV5, and other news channels delivering information should understand the all-important rule and responsibility to be more circumspect in giving their spins on news they deliver – especially if they do not have all the facts. In fact, getting the context of a story should be included in getting the facts right because it’s not fun to be judged nor to be put on the microscope and scrutinized unfairly like what happened to Mr. Lao.


Ad FAIL: M. Lhuillier’s Sleeping Guard

The security guard was unfairly portrayed as someone sleeping on the job

Have you seen the latest M. Lhuillier – Kuwarta Padala (Cash Remittance) commercial?

The advertising agency in charge of this account failed to uplift the honorable, decent, and worthy profession of our common, well-meaning folks – a security guard.

PLOT: M. Lhuillier endorser-lead character, Ogie Alcasid, shown excited to remit money to his daughter in college late in the evening only to be disappointed to see his usual remittance location already closed. A sleeping guard then “answered him in his sleep” that a nearby remittance location is open to serve his needs.

THE PROBLEM: Why portray a security personnel sleeping on the job? Is this the overall It’s not a question of reality because the focus is the lead character’s discovery that a nearby agency accepts 24-hour remittance service. The advertising agency could’ve shown an alert security guard that interacts with brand endorser, Ogie Alcasid. The alternative approach could’ve given honor to the profession and it would’ve justified the latter’s suggestion that referred Ogie to the nearby 24-hour M. Lhuillier money remittance location.

The ad left a bad taste because one, it typecast all security personnel as lazy, irresponsible that didn’t build the character of the profession and two,  as a business-owner we make light of serious situation that should not be communicated this way.

M. Lhuillier should know better. Humor for the sake of profit or putting others down is no way to do business for a big company like M. Lhuillier.

Low ‘Bench’mark Insults

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Have you seen the newest bench billboard ads? What do you think about it? If Bench could  come out with ads like these, then why didn’t they do this to begin with? The ads are clean and they are true to their word when they say, “Throw your support behind the Philippine Volcanoes.” This ad is now in context, meaning the company is intending to support Rugby as a sport WITHOUT asking the team ANYTHING IN RETURN – like asking them to pose in their underwear.  Popular fashion companies should help the sensibilities of the people especially those who appreciate new sports coming out aside from basketball. Not like this. Not this way.

Lesson I learned from this brouhaha? Advertisers needs to weed out through their creative geniuses and ask themselves – “What’s our intention to begin with?” Old school paradigm in marketing says, “Sex, Drugs, and Rock N’ Roll” is the way to go through promotions in advertising. That’s true – if you want to cheat and brand your product cheap? The way Bench promoted the sport of Rugby the way their previous billboards did is crass, thoughtless, and mindless. Imagine introducing us – who do not know the sport – to Rugby with men in their briefs posing in front of darkened skies. Huh? Where’s the action? Rugby is an action sport. Where’s the dynamism? Why would I support them? Because they’re handsome, buff, and good looking? Huh?! But I’m not fit! What did they do? What’s Rugby? I don’t know why that idea became the million-peso concept Bench approved? Bench, your market are men who – for the most part – don’t look like them. I wouldn’t feel good wearing Bench if my body don’t look like Rugby players. Your concept is a stretch (read in Filipino: Pilit!) that’s why people think you’re out for those who gets attracted to them in the wrong way. Challenge our wits, Bench! Up until now, I still remember Michael Jordan’s Hanes underwear campaign (2003). Up until now they haven’t made him wear briefs and yet their message stuck. It’s time to get your creative people out of their caves and achieve your purpose and help more people love your brand. Unless you change gears, you may just be diving to your brand’s demise.

About the images: thanks to GMA 7 Blog for the photo. Mabuhay Media altered the image.

New Bench Billboard Unfolds Today

BREAKING: After the much controversial removal of the Benchtm billboards on EDSA-Guadalupe, Mandaluyong by its city mayor, the said local shirt company is now putting something back in its stead. It’s unknown what they replaced it with but the first of four gigantic billboard says, “Throw”, which is one of the words Bench used in its underwear campaign with the Philippine Volcanoes (An All-Filipino Rugby Team).

The “Throw-Your-Support-Behind The Philippine Volcanoes” Bench underwear campaign caused a lot of stir with residents of Metropolitan Manila showing the national team rugby players in briefs. Majority of this nation has no previous knowledge of the sport, the club, nor their exploits, nor the players, which questioned the whole context of the said ads.

All eyes will definitely be on Bench again when they unfold their new billboard campaign this weekend and I’m sure they’re digging this post.

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Join Poll, Help Willing Willie Advertisers, and Win!

Let’s help Willing Willie advertisers determine where to put their promotional budget. We will give out three Php100 fastfood gift certificates if you (1) answer this poll and (2) by ‘LIKING’ Better Filipinos on Facebook (click the Facebook link below the poll).

We will close the poll after Sunday, May 15, so make sure you tell as many people as possible about our polling.

LIKE our page here and you may just get one of the three humble raffle prize we have for you. It is our way of saying thank you for participating in this advocacy.

Announcement of our three winners will be on May 16 via Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress. Thank you for joining the poll! For Better Filipinos, don’t forget to always MIND YOUR MEDIA.

By krisatienza Posted in Shows

Pro-Poor Willie? Here’s Five Ideas for you

Willie Revillame

Are you sincere in helping the poor, Willie?

“Di ako masamang tao. Ang hangan ko lang ay magpasaya at makatulong sa mga mahihirap.” (I’m not a vicious person. My only desire is to bring happiness and to help the poor) – Willie Revillame, TV host (April 8, Yahoo! OMG Phils)

Willie, if you are sincere in helping “the poor”  please take my five suggestions then. If you are comfortable enough to say that you can go down from your lofty place to help the poor then you can help out more causes – if you are already doing so.

These are things anybody can do to help the poor.

  1. Build and operate shelters for the poor
  2. Join and support Gawad Kalinga projects
  3. Support a foundation that sends underprivileged teens to school (Real LIFE Foundation
  4. Support programs that inspire poor to build livelihood for themselves
  5. Put up an after school program for kids

His words remind me of politicians – and those who are in power – who timelessly use and patronize the poor to cement their “claim” as their champion. I think it’s time to really put money where your heart is, Mr. Revillame.

Five questions we dare ask Willing Willie

Willie Revillame

Should we return power to this show?

Set aside morals and ask this, “Do we want Willing Willie back on air?”

I will attempt to post only five questions that will help me answer not just the sentiments of the recent controversy because that’s too shallow but to look at the show’s merits (and other shows for that matter) and see if this show has any worth to the public. Continue reading

Why boycott CDO?


UPDATE (April 9, 2011) We invite you to read a related post on this matter of consumer activism, which many of us have become part of.

UPDATE (April 8, 2011) – IN A SUDDEN turn of events, CDO Foodsphere, Incorporated announced their advertising budget pullout from Willing Willing Show on TV5 this afternoon. “True to our statement dated March 31, 2011, this is to announce that our sponsorship Continue reading

Let’s take Jan-Jan’s Cause to Congress!

THERE’S POWER IN NUMBERS. Thank you for supporting our effort in writing all Willing Willie advertisers. Let’s now take our cause to the 15th Congress. The House Committee On Welfare of Children has led any efforts to act on Jan-Jan’s case so I made another letter template asking why they haven’t done more to lead this investigation.

Please copy and past the petition below and email it to Hon. Aurora Enerio-Cerilles who is the committee head of the said group. This effort is not to put down any lawmaker. This is to see if they’re out for our nation’s good. Let’s continue the work.


(Please copy the letter-template below, click the link below, and paste it on the field)

Dear Hon. Aurora Enerio-Cerilles:

Since Congress called for an investigation to the Willing Willie show incident, the Committee on Welfare of Children you lead have not made any visible steps nor file any bill that will protect the – welfare of children. The committee you head has jurisdiction over “All matters directly and principally relating to the needs, education and overall welfare of Filipino children. . .” I am surprised that it took Hon. Lorenzo ‘ Erin’ Tañada and Hon. Bernadeth Herrera-Dy to file House Bill 1146 (MTRCB Code of Ethics) and House Bill 4455 (Children Act of 2011) respectively. 

Children are not a side issue and as a citizen of this nation, I have equal responsibility to do every right thing to protect their rights. This includes closely monitoring every move congress makes that will curb abuse made on minors.

If congress will not do more, please know that this letter effectively becomes a record counting the number of days until members of this 15th Congress passes a bill that protects children’s rights. 

Respectfully yours,




Ipadala po dito: Hon. Aurora Enerio-Cerriles

Please send it here: Hon. Aurora Enerio-Cerriles




Tagalog version:

Salamat sa inyong pagsuporta sa pagsisikapang sulatan ang lahat ng mga advertisers ng ​​Willlie Revillame‘s show sa TV5, Willing Willie upang huwag nang mag-advertise sa show, gayunpamanhindi hihinto dito ang petisyon. Ang responsibilidad na ipasa ang mga batas na magpoprotekta sa karapatan ng ating mga anak ay nasa Kongreso. Dahil dito gumawa ulit po ako ng sulat upang ipetisyon ang agarang pagpasa ng nararapat na batas. Paki-copy and paste na lang po ang template na nasa baba at ipadala ito sa namumuno ng komite na si Hon. Aurora Enerio-Cerilles. Ang bawat miyembro ng kongreso ay may paunang responsibilidad na gumawa ng batas na magpo-protekta sa interes na ating bansa. Kailangan kumilos na po tayo ngayon upang masiguro ang pag-pasa ng batas para hindi na maulit pa muli ang pangyayari na katulad kay Jan-Jan.

Binibigyan ko din po ng parangal at pasasalamat sina Hon. Erin Tañada at Hon. Bernadeth HerreraDy sa agarang pagkilos sa isyu at pag-file ng House Bills 4455 at 1146.
Ipagpatuloy ang trabaho. May lakas sa nakararami.

Why are we doing this?

Every member of congress has the sole responsibility to enact laws that should protect our interest as a nation. We need to act responsibly and make every member of congress accountable to ensure passage of laws and such acts will not be repeated. 


Special Thanks

To this end, I want to thank Hon. Erin Tañada and Bernadeth Herrera-Dy for acting on the issue and filing House Bills 4455 and 1146. 




Help us Tell Willing Willie Advertisers, STOP!

(UPDATE! Send petition to congress too. Click here.)


THERE’S POWER IN NUMBERS: If you want to help stop Willing Willie’s unjustifiable maltreatment of its contestants – including children – please help me write letters to advertisers asking them to stop advertising in that show.

I made a template letter you can copy and paste to the heads of marketing from each advertiser of the show. I also posted the links of each advertiser’s ‘contact us’ form below.  

Dear Head of Marketing:

The Willing Willie March 12 incident became the spark of a public display of indignation detesting the culture manifesting from this show. The producers of the show lacked remorse when it issued a public apology supposedly addressing the situation. 

I can no longer tolerate the producers claim that this is an isolated incident. I detest the offensive excuse and remark TV5, Willie Revillame, and the executive producers gave in defense of their action towards the 6-year-old contestant, Jan-Jan. 

Willing Willie no longer reflect the ideals of your product. Please pull out your budget from the show and re-direct it in more effective promotions in other mediums/networks. If not, I will boycott your products as a sign of my support to the preservation of every person’s dignity guesting on this show.


WILLING WILLIE ADVERTISERS (Click on the link to re-direct you to the brand’s contact page)

Unilever – makes Vaseline

Contact Us:




Liwayway Marketing makes Oishi crackers, Smart-C Juice


P&G makes Head&Shoulders, Tide


SMART Communications


Aldrtz Corporation makes Pau Liniment


Technomarine (Asia Region)


Nurtiasia makes UFC Banana ketchup, Mang Tomas


Cebuana Lhuillier


Belo Medical Group (Reportedly pulled out but still send letter)



If you want to know more about why this move is relevant, please visit these other posts:

Parents, Willie Revillame, TV5, and Audience Shames Six-Year-old child

Despite apology, TV5 and Willie are not sorry

TV5’s Apology and What Jan-jan’s Face Shows