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Bishops not amused by TV commercial

By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 04:17 AM April 12, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The fallout from “Willing Willie’s” weeping boy macho dancer has spilled over to a packet of French fries.

Officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) are not amused by McDonald’s latest TV commercial and want the giant fast food chain to pull the ad out pronto.

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The 30-second commercial shows two cute youngsters apparently wooing each other. The little girl asks the boy about his age, if she can be his girlfriend. But the boy tells her he’s not ready yet because girls are too demanding. The boy changes his mind when the girl tells him all she wants is P25 worth of French fries from McDonald’s.

The ad has gone, as techies put it, “viral,” hitting such social network sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

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“It’s very shallow … It cheapens human relationships,” said Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.

“At a very, very young age, these kids should instead be taught the value of loving their parents, their country, environment and God, not about a relationship not yet appropriate for their age,” Castro said over the Church-run Radio Veritas Monday.

“If the ad attempted to teach commitment, [it failed] because it was too superficial to point to a packet of French fries as the basis of a relationship.”

The Philippine Daily Inquirer sought a reaction from Alliance Global Inc., but the parent firm of the local McDonald’s franchise had not responded at press time.

The Church reaction came amid public indignation over a recent episode in Willie Revillame’s game show that featured a boy dancing and crying as the popular host laughed and jumped in glee, along with his audience.

Wrong message

The show has been hit by an ad boycott and was suspended for two weeks. It also has ignited a belated public soul-searching on how TV shows through the years have eroded the nation’s social and moral values.

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Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez warned that the McDonald ad could send the wrong message to young viewers.

“The two children are not even at the right age for this kind of relationship,” noted Iñiguez, head of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, also on Radio Veritas.

“It might also pave the way for us to lose sight of the good ways of shaping the values of our children,” he added.

Feedback urged

Castro said the TV ad must be pulled out immediately, especially now that many children were on a summer break spending time watching TV.

He encouraged the faithful and consumers to send their feedback to the company so that the issue can be addressed right away.

“[The ad] is not a good sign because it’s toying not with sensuality, but with the emotional and relational bonding of people,” said the priest.

There are other “positive ways” to capture the intended consumer market through a TV commercial, he said, aside from “twisting the essence of the emotional relationship between a man and woman.” With a report from Daxim Lucas

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