The Ad Standards Council has pulled out a controversial baby diaper TV spot that offended the Lapu-Lapu City government for allegedly twisting historical facts about their celebrated hero Datu Lapu-Lapu.
Mila Marquez, executive director of the Ad Standards Council (ASC), said she received a cease and desist order from The National Historical Commission (NHC) on 19 April to recall the EQ Diapers commercial by revoking its clearance to air.
Marquez noted in the letter she sent to Adboard executive director Jones Campos that a notice will be sent to the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters ng Pilipinas and GMA Network to act accordingly.
McCann Worldgroup, the advertising agency behind the commercial, has also been informed of the recall. The Philippine Association of National Broadcasters will be advising JS Unitrade Merchandise Inc., the owner of the local diaper brand, to issue a public apology demanded by the city.
The decision came just 13 days when Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza complained about the ad she declared as a “mockery” of one of the country’s celebrated heroes. She thanked the Adboard, the ASC and the National Historical Commission for the prompt action.
“I thank the Cebuanos and my fellow Oponganons for standing up with me in denouncing the ad as a distortion and mockery of our gallant history.”
“Without our collective effort to promote with great accuracy our history and to preserve our culture and heritage, we would not have been successful in our endeavor,” she adds.
The 30-second spot shows Magellan offering Datu Lapu Lapu, the former chieftain of Mactan and his wife Reyna Bulakna a box of diapers as a gift. Bulakna, however, declined to receive it and asked her husband to inspect it more closely.
Lapu-Lapu was enraged after discovering Magellan gave him poor quality diapers, challenging the conquistador to a battle alluding to the revered Battle of Mactan.
The Code of Ethics of Advertising states that historical events and national heroes “can be used in advertisements only if presented accurately and respectfully used to promote positive values.” In history books, the battle is celebrated as the country’s first resistance to foreign rule, a cause far from a squabble over leaky diapers.