Bayantel Ad/Billboard: Sex in Advertising?

      65 Comments on Bayantel Ad/Billboard: Sex in Advertising?

bayantela.jpgEdit (July 8, 2006)- This ad has been changed (see this entry). On our way from Makati to Quezon City, my daughter quickly took a photo of this BayanTel billboard on the Guadalupe MRT station. They were mortified to see this billboard which shows a semi-naked woman with a “pleased expression” , to put it mildly. SATISFACTION GUARANTEE (sic)? BayanTel is supposed to be a telecommunications company but nowhere in the ad does it show any sign of a phone or internet service.

Connie already blogged about responsible advertising. In her entry, the Hush Puppies billboard showed a woman with her Hush Puppies sandal but the picture portrayed more than that. The model exposed a plunging neckline with legs spread apart and exposed thighs. Irrelevant and irresponsible advertising. Now take a look at the Bayan Tel Billboard. What kind of [tag]advertising[/tag] is this?


At least Hush Puppies showed their product inspite of the sexy model in the ad. When motorists pass by the Bayan Tel billboard, will they remember the word “Satisfaction Guarantee” and relate it with the model or the brand name, BayanTel? It clearly shows the desperate nature [tag]BayanTel[/tag] is doing to push their products and services. They use imagery to capture their target market. Sex in advertising creates controversy. Sex sells. BayanTel knows that this kind of ad might create some waves. Why does our government allow this kind of advertising to be posted where even children question it. At least my girls were disgusted at such irrelevant ad.

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Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • mike

    Unfortunately, sex sells nowadays. I’ve seen many ads that is even more sexier than this. There are all over the place.

  • Mike: True but show some semblance of a product. This is just a photo of a woman who is “satisfied”. I’ve seen sexier ads too but it had some sort of product or service in place with the model.

  • yeah, where’s the phone? that’s just stupid. whoever thought of that concept should be fired.

  • dexie: Maybe the phone is not seen in the photo :). It’s somewhere below the bosom.

  • Pati pala diyan, they use sex to advertise. Sex does sell. It’s just sad.

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  • niceheart: how sad indeed.

  • Absolutely disgusting! If they want to be sexy, they can do it some other way. Minus points for this company and the ad agency that did the ad.

  • vemsan

    Sex, sells! hehehe

  • it impresses me that this ad promotes phone sex? lol…
    poor (disgusting?) taste, and purely IRRELEVANT.

  • Kleenexlambot

    Oh my, that billboard is horrendous!

  • Cathy: Talagang the image has no connection with BAYANTEL. And desperate to get a market share from PLDT. Why couldn’t they put a sexy woman calling someone at the least?

    Rhodora: Most likely phone sex. Very tasteless ad.

    Kleenexlambot: BAYANTEL sucks. They want an ad that people can talk about for the WRONG reasons

  • hi there,

    i’m an employee of bayantel and too was surprised of the how they came up with idea.

    yes, this is (billboard) in someway disgusting because it was placed where censorship is useless.

    irrelevant advertising, no. irresponsible, yes.

    why not irrelevant? because we aim here to promote that once you get the product/services, you’ll be as satisfied as the girl on the billboard – get the idea?!

  • Toe

    That message here is explicit. It doesn’t take a genius to understand the sexual connotation. I vaguely remember that they censored an alcoholic drink a few years ago because of the explicit message.

  • Shattered soul: tell me if product/service sales increased. And if customer satisfaction rating is high

    Toe: very explicit. Yes…That alcoholic drink in the billboard- “Nakatikim ka na ba ng kinse [anyos]?”

  • simple_BI


    Actually we were all stunned upon seeing this ad. Very sad I guess… but still bad publicity is STILL PUBLICITY!!!


  • erzon

    whats the issue about this ad? seems nothing wrong.. this is just an ad.. and no sex involved..

    Ad is an AD…

    Thats it

  • With regards to the said “Bayantel Billborad”… I don’t think na mismo kay bayantel galing yan… I am a part of Bayantel and we don’t have any idea na merong lalabas na ganitong klaseng Ads… For God Sake it is Disgusting!

  • PRU

    Ang ganda ha, ayos! kapansin-pansin! kulang lang sa props..

  • simple_BI: you had nothing to do with this ad. It’s marketing management and the bayantel ad agency that planned all this.

    erzon: nothing is wrong to you but what about the children who see this ad. My girls are in college and they think it is disgusting and tasteless. Men don’t see anything wrong in it .

    smok3: like I told simple_BI, it’s not your fault. it’s management decision.

    PRU: maybe to you maganda but not to some of us.

  • scratch

    irrelevant??? irresponsible???disgusting??? why??? because its against the rule? or maybe we have dirty imagination??? pano mo ba malalaman na bastos ang isang bagay once you think it is bastos di ba!!!is not being pro here but just being open minded lang…but hey bayantel already succeed in this ad di ba!!!! they caught our attentions….heheheheheh

  • jdu420

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. It is just the way advertising is nowadays.

    We’ve even seen billboards of skimpy bench models in their underwear which don’t specifically state “Bench Underwear”. For sure, children traveling with their moms do not have to wonder what it means since there are mostly no words printed on these billboards except for the word “Bench”

    I’ve heard that Bayantel put this midget TV talent “Mahal” a few years back in billboards and on TV and it did not really leave a very good impression. It was so bad that no one actually remembers the ad.

    I believe that Bayantel even became the butt of all jokes when they got Mahal as endorser since it somehow gave the impression as a small player in the Telecommunications industry.

    Now, how could a a face of a woman that is shown from shoulders up with no hint of any private part shown be considered worse than bench billboards that have models in their underwear?

    Before this Bayantel ad is maligned, i think purists and conservatives should go after other ads that leave more to the imagination such as those skimpy Bench ads.

  • culturevulture

    I am a brand consultant and I wish I thought of this strategy! To the detractors of the ad, my apologies, but I think you are missing the point.

    This is not an ad — it is a strategy. Any recepient of information needs to experience Dislodgement and as far as advertising is concerned, the ad obviously rocks.

    Anyone who thinks the ad did not deliver it’s intended message is myopic: the move to create and exploit new advertising strategies is the message. It’s advertising 101: the medium is the message. There is no message in it I think, but the move of bayantel itself to create an ad of the sort which positions them as aggressive marketers. Now that people are talking about it, thats where the corporate strategy starts. If you are a telco customer, this is a message of increased competition in the telco industry. It’s supposed to be good news for us consumers.

    All the above negative comments by other readers are obviously stated with a Catholic-Christian leaning that views sex negatively. This country is always about hush-hush when it comes to sex, yet all market indicators show sex is on the rise in this country.

    The same strategy is being used by many philippine brands: century tuna, c2/one and the healthy/sexy bandwagon, clothing, TV, magazines, even pldt with the girl moaning “yes,yes…” while chatting… I think these people are hypocrites not to admit that it’s everywhere. Do you honestly believe the ad is talking to young people like your daughter, instead of decision makers? I think it is better to educate them about it and learn the birds and the bees the right way, than let their peers explain to them a wrong concept of orgasm.

    The conflict here exists between those that are accepting and those resisting westernization in this country. I think to criticize or to support the ad merely confirms where one is placed in the spectrum of the moral debate.

    At the end of the day, it merely confirms that this country is changing: some people are ahead of others, some people remain in the taboo standards of the no-skin-must show 1930s. Come on, grow up… times changed! Post this same ad in France, or India, or Brasil, and you will get a different reaction.

  • steady

    Satisfaction guarantee implies an assurance of contentment and fulfillment. Since Bayantel has improved their services throughout the years, the ad promoted this key factor the company has worked on for so long.
    Creativity is used to imply what Bayantel is proud of. Being part of a telecommunications company (in fact, a competitor), the idea of pleasing customers is number one on our list. Bayantel’s satisfaction guarantee ad promotes the very essence of customer satisfaction
    Now, this is what I call art!

  • culturevulture: excuse me my daughters are not little girls. They are adults who study from UP and Ateneo college who have discernment between right and wrong strategy. Bayantel won’t last long even with that kind of brand strategy. First of all their product or services need to be improved.

    It seems strange that suddenly I have visitors with bayantel IP address. Perhaps the last few visitors are all from Bayantel. NICE TRY!


    Visitor IP Address
    Date 13 Jun, Tue, 16:07:08 Net Speed Cable/DSL
    Organization Bayantel DSL Infrastructure

  • I just want to comment on that bayantel employee when he said “why not irrelevant? because we aim here to promote that once you get the product/services, you’ll be as satisfied as the girl on the billboard – get the idea?!” I think he’s trying to spin the whole situation here, cuz not everyone will think that if they get the products/services they will be satisfied as the girl was on the ad. people will pay more attention on the girl’s sexiness on the ad. I just thought that was really funny trying to spin the situation. 🙂

  • It’s still cheap advertising for me. Advertisers can’t think of anything better and more creative these days. Sex and women have to be used.

  • Because sex is what sells & it ticks me off too.

  • Mike:Obviously he is spinning the situation

    Angeli: That’s because Bayantel can’t beat the major players yet. So cheap tricks are necessary. Hopefully Sen Miriam Santiago will be able to implement the billboard ban ASAP.

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  • BayanSucks

    What satisfaction ? What is guaranteed ?? ‘langya sila, okay lang yan ! bastos ang ad? sus 2006 na for fuck’s sake. tama yung sinabi nung isa. sa ibang bansa tolerated na yang mga ganyan sa utak ng mga tao. kaya kita mo sila maunlad. dapat ibahin na talaga mentalidad ng mga pinoy. pero ang ibig ko lang sabihin, maglalagay lang ang bayantel ng ad, sana naman yung totoo na ! langya yung bayantel landline namin araw araw nawawalan ng dialtone. kailangan mo pa ipa-release sa customer service maya’t maya dahil sobrang IDT (intermittent dial tone) yung line namin. and yung mga bobong tech sa switching dept. nila morethan a year na hindi pa maayos ayos. IS THIS GUARANTEED SATISFACTION ?? lose the tag, spare the satisfied woman.

  • perfidia

    I have children and yes the billboard is offensive to some and we should respect that. But if you are concerned about sex in advertising well its not the billboards that are all hanging along edsa that is to be blamed. The real culprit of sex is found in the sites in the internet, 2.bad company of friends and barkadas, 3.wrong parenthood and most of all no spiritual life.

  • culturevulture:
    it is still an ad.the strategy was in the choice of the kind, outdoor, print, TV, newspapers.

    The message is in the ad copy.

    As I have written in my advertising 101 the number one rule in admaking is the truth. Regardless of what picture you put in your advertisement, if it does not tell or suggest the reality i.e. efficient service, the message falls in the deaf ears of the silent consumers.

    Excuse me, the use of sex in ad is not creativity. and it is not a new thing.

    With regards competitors’ ad strategy such as PLDT, there is also such a tenet in strategymaking that is to analyze competitors’ practices but not necessarily adopting the same for your company.

    “think it is better to educate them about it and learn the birds and the bees the right way, than let their peers explain to them a wrong concept of orgasm.”

    Well if this is the message of the ad about satisfaction
    from sex expressed in orgasm, you are going to fail.

    not all women experience orgasms not because sex is not good but because of some other factors such as fatigue, stress and overwork.

    And is not taught verbally even in Western countries like the US. Sex is taught in the school but not that stuff. It is talked about in shrinks’ offices.

    If you are talking about target of decisionmakers, then it is also a wrong strategy. Billboards do not discriminate viewers. It is a waste if you put that for the purpose where traffic comes from different population demographics.

  • Cath: Very well said.

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  • ii

    I don’t consider myself a prude, nor a conservative. If this campaign is part of an overarching strategy, and if we accept that even bad publicity is good, then the ad works:

    It shows that Bayantel and other Lopezes cater to the basest in human nature, that the people who approved this placement are the same people who approved the Wowowee/Ultra campaign.

    Way to go Lopez ad “people”! It’s just all about market share right? Forget about quality, just rake in the money. No wonder Lopez customer service sucks– it’s just a PR device.

  • treble

    wow! you make it all into such a big deal! fact is you noticed the ad. fact is it struck you. fact is you remember it. so is it an effective ad? if the purpose was to catch attention, then certainly, YES, it was very effective.

    irrelevant just because it doesn’t show a phone or other telco product anywhere in the picture? why? do we expect all ads to be explicit in what product is being promoted? where’s the challenge in that? can’t bayantel, or any other company for that matter, assume that we are discerning (and humorous) enough to get the point?

  • The BAYANTEL ad while ‘suggesting’ a sexual context on satisfaction, i think, does not mean to demoralize us or present a sexual act on the making. Fact is, it’s one of the advertisements we see around suggesting or related to sex. There are many along EDSA.

    I think the bayantel ad is SMART. Yes it is smart! It had an effect on so many people right? That’s the point. Advertising evolution in the making.

    Why don’t people just comment on ads by bench who depict models in underwear? is that a suggestion for sex too? I don’t think so. Why won’t people comment on the ads of FHM?

  • I just have one thing to add: Satisfaction guarantee? Wrong grammar! Or is that part of the brilliant strategy too?

  • Connie: to get attention siguro.

  • treble

    connie: it’s not to say they’re guaranteeing satisfaction, that’s why there’s no “d” after “guarantee”. they’re saying that they offer a guarantee of satisfaction. guarantee here is a noun.

  • Treble: it’s not usually common to use it as a noun. They really meant 15 day money back guarantee but of course they needed to add gimmick .

  • i do get to see this billboard everyday in lupe. and only onecoes inmymind. bayantel and their ad agency is sick.

    ganyan na ba ka baba ang pagtingin nila sa atin? they dont need toresort to this kind of crap, if they know that theirproduct is good.

    tsk tsk

  • Eric: They finally replaced that awful billboard. Read my entry here

  • M&M

    To the author of this blog site i just want to challenge your move re the new bench billboards – check out the young celebrity who forgot to shave his pubic hair or it is just nature. tingnan gna natin kung may magawa ka!!tingnan natin yung galing mo. hmmm!!

  • kiku

    eric I think you have to open up your mind. A person who has a healthy mind is someone who is open to new ideas. Andy warhol once said anything can be art. You just have to open your mind.
    A former Publicis worldwide creative director once said: Creativity in advertising is about “finding harmony between commerce and art. And what about the publishers of FHM phil. This magazine really shows naked bodies of Filipina women. Bench who shows men and women in thier underwears.
    Are they sick? Open up eric. After all it’s just a picture of a beautiful woman with eyes closed.

  • M & M:
    The Department of Public Highways are doing something about it but somehow the mayors are resisting. Read

    According to the NBCDO chief, inspections conducted by the DPWH in Northern and Southern Luzon showed that many billboards have been put up beside thoroughfares and in full view of motorists.

    In Metro Manila, larger-than-life billboards, some featuring scantily-clad models, also loom over busy thoroughfares. Cuntapay pointed out that in Singapore, billboards face the buildings, not the roads, because their targets are not drivers but building occupants.

    I have also written about the Bench Ads in another entry.

    Kiku: What kind of logic do you have? The difference between the billboard and the FHM magazine is that NOT everyone can have access to the mag. You have to buy the magazine.

    Billboards are in plain sight to anyone…kids, teens and adults. That particular billboard is in high traffic location.

  • kiku

    Go out and smell the roses. FHM can be found anywhere it is sold
    at any magazine stands in metro-manila. Past issues are even cheaper.
    You can read it while waiting at popular salons, barbershops, etc.
    Some copies are even open in magazine stand bookstores. Do you honestly think this will never reach or read by anyone who wants to read it.
    Get real.

  • Kiku: compare the exposure to billboards . You are talking of more numbers in billboard versus magazine ads. Get real . Go out and smell the EDSA smog.

  • Mars

    Kiku: You know very well that the billboard was more than just face value, more than “just a picture of a beautiful woman with eyes closed”.

    Honestly. If bayantel got away with it, does it make it ok for every single product in the market to use sex in their advertising?

  • carlo

    I also do not find the ad to be offensive. Granted, it is suggestive of sex, but it does not present it directly. The woman is not even necesarily naked. Some of you worry about it being visible to innocent children, but if one were truly innocent he would not associate this picture with sex. If your kid understands that the ad is meant to suggest an orgasm, then trust me: he’s seen a lot more indecent things before. We only make the association quickly ourselves because apparently we have sex on our mind all the time. :p

    I don’t mean we’re all perverts, only that we are always conscious of how situations might imply sex — even if it is just so that we can avoid such situations and remain polite within our social norm. But please, save your indignation for those noon time variety shows that are more sexually explicit than implicit.

    Many have also complained about the relevance of the original ad. Is the new ad any more relevant to Bayantel? I still don’t see a telephone. The relevance of both ads are in the ideas that they want you to associate with their company. Apparently, Bayantel has decided they would rather be seen as wholesome and family oriented, than edgy and sexy. I think they should have a right to either strategy.

  • Trox

    carlo, the ad may not be offensive to you but to women, it may have . . .in fact it may not be offensive but it is very much suggestive, know what??? the ad says (meant) that the you/women should buy/subscribe Bayantel phones as it does not stop ringing/vibrating and it may be very usefull for you to use it in masturbation . . .know what i mean???

    it must be banned and the creator must explain to appropriate authorities.

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  • JP

    I don’t find the ad repulsive but if it bothers other people then we should pull it out. The basic idea here is that while those who see it in bad taste want it to be pulled out because of the fact that it discomforts them,on the other hand those who like it aren’t really affectd when the ad is pulled out.

  • ade

    And the grammar is horrible.

  • revisited your bayantel ad entry.. just want to share this post in my blog.. hope it relates.

  • @Ade- Well it’s a guarantee they say. Bayantel told me that they offer a 14 day guarantee to their customers. Hence called “Satisfaction Guarantee”

    @rhodora- Thanks! Please share.

  • Deviantchild

    I am not a conservative person. I like sexy pictures and even porn. But to use sex in advertising is way cheap, especially in billboard. These ad agencies should have respect to all groups of people. Yes, the world is getting more and more liberated, but at the cost of losing respect to others’ rights? There is a word called “ethics” you know. For some, sexual themes are offensive so be ethically considerate. Have respect. You can fuck a pig in your old private house but for God’s sake, don’t let anyone see you; some might puke. And yeah, sex sells if you are actually selling sex. If not, cut the sex crap!

  • @deviantChild- exactly. There is a place for these sexy ads like adult magazines or websites. Not billboard ads where children under 18 can easily view this

  • wolf

    i just want to belatedly comment on this issue. for all those who argue that having billboards like the one we’re talking about signifies development and emulates what’s being done in advanced western countries, i beg to differ. in the u.s. and other western countries ads like this one are strictly regulated. many people here in the philippines think that in the u.s. things are more liberated. false. if you have been to the states you would know that we have it worse here in the phils. like they said, ‘pag ang pinoy gumaya, mas malala’. our society, especially here in metro manila, for your information, is more sex-crazed and morally deficient than that of the u.s. only people who really havent been abroad have this idea backwards.

  • Anthony

    I agree that this ad is just plain crass. But I don’t agree with response number 2:

    “Mike: True but show some semblance of a product. This is just a photo of a woman who is “satisfied”. I’ve seen sexier ads too but it had some sort of product or service in place with the model.”

    Dude, having some semblance of the product being sold won’t do anything to the ad. Some of the greatest advertisements ever made don’t even show the product. Just a thought…

  • D

    i get the big idea of the ad campaign. and i dont think that there would’ve been a problem with the ad had it been posted somewhere more appropriate. like for example adult magazines / media where children are not allowed. the reason why the ad is creating noise is because it was placed in an unfiltered area. it’s a billboard! my gad. everyone looks at it. i believe the agency should’ve reserved the adult version of the ad in print ads where the audience is more specific since their target audience are decision makers already.. as for the immorality aspect of the ad, i think that’s the safest way they could’ve illustrated the big idea. innocent children wouldn’t remember the ad because they wouldn’t understand what the ad was saying / what the woman was feeling. in fact, i doubt if innocent kids would have a recall factor on matters they dont understand. thus, the ad wouldnt be a bad influence on the innocent–they would simply ignore the ad…

  • trinaclaren

    Have you seen the new print-ad of bayantel, i think it looked like strip-dancing, the people feautured in the commercials were only wearing Bras with letter P(upper case) on it. Yikes! They now promote STRIP-DANCING!(thats what i think about the commercial this 2008, but i don’t think that was the message)

  • They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.