Wednesday, March 24, 2004

You Know Who You Are, part 2

To paraphrase William Shakespeare, methinks the company doth protest too much.

I overhead on the radio on my way to work a radio interview with senatorial candidate and former City of Manila mayor Alfredo Lim and Bonifacio Alentajan, a lawyer for Destileria Limtuaco, the company behind the controversial Nakatikim ka na ba ng kinse anyos? Napoleon Brandy billboards.

Now, ever since I first posted about their really weird-funny-creepy ad on East Avenue in Quezon City, a lot of furor has been generated about this with civic organizations and women's group pouncing on the alleged immoralities connoted by this billboard.

Nothing new about that.

However, what's new-- and interesting to note-- is the liquor company's knee-jerk reaction to each and every person and/ or group that has targeted their ad. And how they reacted!

When militant women's group Gabriela president and former partylist solon Liza Maza first complained about their ad to the Ad Board, the latter concurred, asking Destileria to bring the ad down.

In response, the company lawyers unleashed a barrage of counter claims by filing graft charges against Maza at the Ombudsman's office (not knowing the fact that she had already resigned and therefore ineligible from being charged) and saying the Ad Board has no right to judge them.

When lawyers Katrina Legarda, Erid Mallonga, Minerva Ambrosio, Cristina Sevilla and children’s rights advocates Maria Isabel Ongpin and Ray Salvosa retaliated by lodging a criminal complaint against the company for an advertisement deemed obscene and offensive to women and minors, Destileria filed a countersuit.

Demanding P26 million in damages, the company filed perjury charges, saying the lawyers' group made false testimonies or accusations against Destileria officials responsible for the advertisements.

And now the war has escalated with two senatorial candidates-- Lim and movie actress Boots Anson-Roa-- being charged by the company for tearing a portion of the 8x4 meter Napoleon billboard along Roxas Boulevard in Parañaque City. Lim used a firetruck to reach the 50-foot high overhead billboard to strip the word "kinse" from the ad while Anson-Roa stood behind him.

Because of this, the liquor manufacturer is preparing charges of malicious mischief and destruction of private property against the two and is also set to file a disbarment case against the former mayor, a lawyer himself.

Now, isn't the company overreacting a bit?

Myself-- as a male-- I figured the ad was good for a laugh or two for its salacious content. But seeing how Destileria is reacting to each protest against the ad, I'm starting to see them as money-grubbing greedy corporate-heads who don't care about the consumers they sell their products to.

I mean, what the fuck? Repeat after me: The billboard is the means, not the ends. Billboards don't buy your products. People do.

Makes me wonder why the company didn't file corresponding charges against the Roman Catholic Church when the latter recently threw their support behind the civic organizations battling Destileria. What, cat got their tongue all of a sudden? Not feeling combative anymore?

What a fuck-up...

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