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Billboard Beer ad pulled out for derogatory women portrayal

Manila – The Magna Carta of Women (MCW) implementation is now in full swing as one advertisement of the Colt 45 Vava Vroom Real Man Promo was pulled out while another went deletions of scenes showing a lot of skin. These were done after the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) demanded for Asia Brewery, Inc., the manufacturer of Colt 45 beer, to stop making commercials demeaning to women.

PCW’s action spurred from two ads of the aforementioned promo where prizes at stake are a brand new Colt 45 Ford tough truck and a weekend getaway with celebrity Cristine Reyes. The first ad featured Reyes getting ready for her date after taking a shower. The second showed her in a beach setting with a presumed winner.

In a letter addressed to Asia Brewery, Inc.’s Senior Brand Manager Joseph Ryan Consul on July 12, PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Verzosa said the ads treat Reyes as a mere commodity. “The part of the commercial wherein the man was holding the bikini top of Ms. Reyes insinuates sexual interest, hence, depicting Ms. Reyes as a sex object,” Verzosa explained. Derogatory portrayal of women in media is highly opposed by PCW. The government agency pushes for the promotion of brand recognition through non-sexist approaches.

Citing Colt 45’s past commercials which promote gender stereotypes of what a real man should and should not do, PCW said it will no longer be “forgiving” of Colt 45 commercials. “PCW remains steadfast in its position to oppose any efforts of commodifying women and perpetuating sex stereotyping,” Verzosa added.

Meanwhile, Consul responded saying that Asia Brewery, Inc., did not view the promotion as a derogatory portrayal of women as a commodity or prize. He said the date concept with a celebrity is a “rather common and highly accepted experience most people would aspire.” Furthermore, the weekend getaway with Reyes “simply focuses on the enthralling experience…of having a personal interaction with a celebrity,” Consul added. The nationwide consumer promotion started on May 1 and is set to end on September 30.

Consul said Asia Brewery, Inc., respects PCW’s stand on Colt 45 Vava Vroom Real Man Promo ads. “We already pulled out one TVC material (i.e Cristine in a beach setting with with a presumed date) last June 22 and deleted some scenes on our other ad,” Consul added. Asia Brewery, Inc., had secured an Ad Standards Council (ASC) clearance “as testament to our concurrence to the standards being set upon all advertising materials.” Also, he said the company “will ensure to uphold equality in sexes, and uplift the image of women” in all its communication drives.

Section 16 of R.A 9710 (Magna Carta of Women) on the Non-discriminatory and Non-derogatory Portrayal of Women in Media and Film asserts that the State shall endeavor to raise the consciousness of the general public in recognizing the dignity of women and the role and contribution of women in the family, community, and the society through the strategic use of mass media.

PCW is mandated as the primary policy-making, coordinating and monitoring body on women and gender equality under the Office of the President. It is also the overall oversight body that ensures the implementation of the MCW.

The MCW took effect on September 15, 2009 while its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) became effective last July 10.

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