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5 Most 'Controversial' Filipino Commercials That Were Banned

Commercials are the best way to get your message or products across to your potential customers. However, some commercials are so bad that instead of promoting a product or an idea, they repel the very audience that they are meant to target. Add to the fact that the Philippines isn’t amongst the most liberal-minded countries around the world, and you don’t even need anything controversial in your commercials to get into trouble.

Don’t believe us? Well, here are 5 Filipino commercials that were banned for all the crazy reasons that you can think of.

1. EQ Diapers: Lapu-Lapu Ad

Do you know what caused the Battle of Mactan? Well, EQ Diapers would have you believe that it was the inferior quality diapers. No wonder, this was enough to trigger massive controversy.

The commercial shows Lapu-Lapu challenging Ferdinand Magellan to a fight after he disliked the diapers that the latter gave him. The members of the National Historical Commission and the people of Lapu-Lapu City criticized it heavily for “mocking and distorting” history.

The outrage led to the commercial being pulled off the airwaves by the Advertising Board of the Philippines.

2. Colt 45: Vava-Vroom Real Man Promo

When Colt 45, America’s leading strong beer, came up with this commercial in 2010, it was noticed instantly, not only by men but by women too.

The steamy commercial features sexy actress Cristine Reyes in a white bikini being massaged by a guy on a beach. The ad was supposed to be a promo wherein a lucky winner would get a chance to spend a weekend getaway with Reyes.

Instead, the ad came under heavy criticism by the Philippine Commission on Women (PC), which said that it reduced women to mere commodities. Although the company defended the commercial saying that the concept of winning a date with a celebrity isn’t new, it withdrew the commercial later.

3. Nice Day: Ellen Adarna Commercial

I still don’t know why this commercial was banned. The sad truth is that had it been aired, it might have been liked by a few people- at least by most men, including myself.

The commercial features Ellen Adarna who showcases some provocative poses while promoting the brand. But this was enough to irk the censor board who never gave a nod for this commercial to be played on national TV. But don’t you worry, you can still watch the commercial here.

4. T-Bar: Sexy Girl Fight

Just like Ellen Adarna’s coffee commercial, this T-Bar commercial would also never see the light of day on public TV. But we’ve got it for you!

The ad features two scantily-clad girls fighting and ripping each other’s shirts off. While the commercial could be termed slightly racy, I still think it shouldn’t have been banned. Had it been released, it would have taken the advertising world by storm; the one million views on this commercial on YouTube bear ample testimony to this.

5. McDonald’s: Dada

Making a mountain out of a molehill- that’s what the controversy behind this commercial is all about.

This 2002 McDonald’s commercial features a father handing out French fries to his daughter under the table to get her to favor him over her mother. While this looked cute and innocent, it earned the wrath of Senators Juan Flavier and Manny Villar.

Both accused the commercial of encouraging bribery to get results. McDonald’s eventually pulled down the commercial.

Wrapping Up

Honestly, there isn’t much that you can do to steer clear of controversies if you’re going to create a commercial for your Filipino audience; controversies have a way of finding you there. But try being as discreet as you can. Commercials that are usually called “sexy” in other parts of the world have a greater affinity to criticism here. So, plan your commercials accordingly.


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