Filipino clothing brand Bayo has apologized for its recent ad campaign, which was criticized for allegedly being "racist" and demeaning to Filipino women, reports Interaksyon.com.
Bayo's "What's Your Mix?" campaign aimed to promote the versatility of their clothes by comparing them with the mixed-race lineage of six half-Filipino women. One of the ads featured actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith, who was, according to the brand, "50% Australian and 50% Filipino." The ad's copy read, "Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalities with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world-class." It ended with the phrase "Buy Filipino."
According to Bayo’s General Manager, Pinky Estrebillo, the campaign was thought of by the clothing brand's in-house creative team, along with a consultant.
The ad circulated around different social media websites, and a lot of Filipino citizens reacted negatively to the campaign.
"The writer wasn't able to convey the real message of the ad responsibly. I hope someone could have proofread the content of this before publication. It is offending that Filipinos are extra amazing only [if] they're MIXED with a foreign lineage," said a Facebook user named Eunice Felipe.
Lyn Agustin, Bayo's Vice President for Product Research and Development, issued an official statement on the brand's website on June 7 regarding the ad campaign.
"We at BAYO deeply apologize for the message our campaign—'What's Your Mix?'—has unintentionally conveyed. We would like to express our regret to those who have been offended or felt discriminated against," the statement read.
"Our company and our partners have always taken pride in being pro-Filipino as we continue to celebrate our uniqueness and achievements. We believe that being a Filipino will always make you 100% beautiful. It is unfortunate that this message got lost along the way. We thank everyone who has shown support for our thrust of promoting Filipino beauty, talent, and creativity."
The image on this page is part of the controversial ad series. This image was posted on the Bayo Manila official Facebook page and was easily accessible to the public.