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Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Controversial EDSA Billboard of Executive Optical

MANILA, Philippines - After the flak received by a recent ad campaign by local clothing brand Bayo, an optical shop is now being criticized by netizens for its allegedly racist advertisements.

"Don't be a loser. Have your eyes checked," read a billboard by Executive Optical (EO) along EDSA, showing a woman being embraced by a dark-skinned man wearing a polo, knitted vest, a bowtie and glasses, while another suitor, a light-skinned man with no glasses, looks on in dismay.

The woman was presented by a bouquet of flowers by the man with glasses, while the other, whom she supposedly rejected, is holding a large head of cauliflower.

A photo of the billboard was posted on Twitter by @shihboy, who commented, "This is so much worse than the Bayo campaign! I agree to catchy ads. They're quite entertaining actually but I'm surprised Pinoys don't find this one offensive."

This Executive Optical billboard is going viral on social media. Courtesy of Mike Shih The billboard is part of an ad campaign by Executive Optical, which has been running since 2009. The previous ads also featured a woman with a dark-skinned, bespectacled partner. A print ad has the caption "More women have eye damage than men."

EO's marketing consultants have denied that the ad is racist. "There is no intent of presenting racism at all," said Karen de Asis, Chief Brand Strategist of MKS Marketing Consulting, the company that conceptualized EO's ads. "It's a presentation of a real-life situation. The two suitors have contrasting personalities. Both are Filipinos. It's not about color. The ad is simply about poor eyesight," she explained. "The ad simply showed that the suitor with flowers won over the girl versus the suitor who inadvertently gave a cauliflower," she added.

Source: ABS-CBN News