BAYO failed to mix equality and forward thinking in their ad

A racist is someone who believes in racism, the doctrine that a particular human race is superior to another or all others. Are Filipinos racists? Generally speaking, yes. Most Filipinos are even racist to their own kind in the way they consider people with fair or white skin and those with straight noses superior to those with brown skin and flat noses. This is evident in the number of Caucasian-looking men and women who succeed in show business and in the modeling industry.

If you don’t believe my claim, just ask the advertising agency behind the controversial advertisement of clothing line BAYO. Or, you could even ask the owners of BAYO themselves because the said ad wouldn’t even make it to print without their seal of approval. Although the company’s latest ad was immediately toned down, it still received a backlash from Netizens because the campaign sent “mixed” messages to the public. If you ask me, their message was pretty clear. Here’s an excerpt of the copy from the said advertising campaign:

This is just all about MIXING and MATCHING. Nationalities, moods, personalities and of course your fashion pieces. 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. We always have that fighting chance to make it in the world arena of almost all aspects. Be it Fashion, Music, Science and Sports. Having Filipino lineage is definitely something to be proud of.

One can be forgiven for thinking that whoever wrote that ad must have been smoking something illegal. And since BAYO executives approved it, they must have inhaled that smoke too. It has to be one of the lamest ads I’ve ever read. No wonder it had to be pulled out for being a flop. It ranks right up there with the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. That one also went up in smoke.

So according to BAYO, having Filipino lineage is “something to be proud of”, but that the “mixing and matching of different nationalities with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.” Their statement is just a subtle way of saying that if you are 100 percent Indio, you are not beautiful and definitely not world class. Worst of all, you won’t have “that fighting chance of making it in the world arena of almost all aspects. Be it Fashion, Music, Science and Sports.”

Their fashion statement only makes sense to those who buy into skin whitening products. And that’s probably a big percentage of the Philippine population. To quote the Marie Claire article “Who’s afraid of Kayumanggi?”

“Most Pinays unboudtedly still want to be fair. A 2004 Synovate study showed that 50% of Filipinas used a skin-lightening product. Today, whitening products control over half of the local skincare market. Even Isabel Daza, the 22-year-old daugher of trailblazing morena beauty Gloria Diaz endorses a whitening product.”

It’s bad enough that a big percentage of Filipinos have an image problem, BAYO’s ad had to emphasize that looking like an Indio is akin to being a kulelat.

Could it be that BAYO was trying to promote the idea that we Filipinos should mix our genes with those they consider to possess superior genetics so as to improve our lot? It would seem so if you go by their statement it “is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class”. Or could it be that BAYO was just stating reality? Most Filipinos do tend to idolize the mestizas and mestizos in Philippine society and also treat them better compared to their negrito counterparts. Let’s face it, in our society fair-skinned people get treated like gods and goddesses. It doesn’t help that most advertising agencies almost always use white-skinned instead of brown-skinned beauties in their advertising campaigns.

To be fair, the phenomenon is not unique to Filipinos. A study by a Harvard professor also highlighted how “most Americans prefer lighter to darker skin aesthetically, normatively, and culturally”. To quote:

Film-makers, novelists, advertisers, modeling agencies, matchmaking websites – all demonstrate the power of a fair complexion, along with straight hair and Eurocentric facial features, to appeal to Americans.2 Complexion and appearance are also related to how voters evaluate candidates and who wins elections.

Unfortunately, the study also showed that “racial minorities with dark skin in the United States have been disproportionately disadvantaged for centuries.”

In September 2005, a CNN news anchor remarked that the most devastated victims of Hurricane Katrina “are so poor and they are so Black” (Blitzer 2005). He presumably was referring to the fact that most displaced people were African American residents of New Orleans. But behind his comment was a physical fact about the people appearing on television sets across the country; those left behind were the darkest as well as the poorest of their race. Commentators have spoken endlessly of their poverty–but beyond this comment, not at all of their complexion.

Blitzer’s remarks were prescient; as the first epigraph suggests, racial minorities with dark skin in the United States have been disproportionately disadvantaged for centuries. Relative to their lighter-skinned counterparts, dark-skinned Blacks have lower levels of education, income, and job status; they are less likely to own homes or to marry; and dark-skinned blacks’ prison sentences are longer. Dark-skin discrimination occurs within as well as across races. Some evidence suggests, in fact, that intra-racial disparities are as detrimental to a person’s life chances as are disparities traditionally associated with racial divisions.

Apparently, preference for fair skin is universal. It doesn’t matter that white-skinned people invented tanning machines; there is still this underlying notion that people with whiter skin are better even if it’s only a perception. And that perception can be changed as soon as advertising agencies for companies like BAYO put less emphasis on this narrow-minded preference.

[BAYO has since issued an apology for any offense the ad had caused.]


Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

Leave a Reply

22 Comments on "BAYO failed to mix equality and forward thinking in their ad"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I think this is more applicaple, rather. ^^;

comment image


1. yes pinoys are racists since their appreciation of sports , singing contests, philanthropy and natural wonders always hinge on race.

2. To quote the Stranglers in the context of pinoy values “you better watch out for the skin deep.”


The ad wasn’t racist, it was stupid. I’m guessing they probably meant mixing Filipino and foreign designs or clothes, but of course it looks like the ones who made the ad thought they were being…skillful with words.

Bayo did put into words though the Pinoy paradox of lineage that no one wants to hear: when we look at ourselves, we should have foreign blood in order to look “beautiful”. When we look at foreigners, having Filipino blood makes them even more “beautiful”.

Will people still be proud to be Pinoy with such idiotic idiosyncrasies like this?


I agree it’s stupid for 2 unrelated but significant reasons:
1. They look for foreign blood in Filipinos (BAYO); and
2. They look for Filipino blood in foreigners (Jessica the American).

I got Gitano and Aztec ancestry on top of old Ilocano. Wonder what those BAYO dipwads would make of me considering I’m too dark and grim-looking for their tastes.

Adik lang

colonial mentality = racism


Could this be a revenge of the less educated, less endowed, flat nosed and dark skinned Pinays who failed to get the attention of our local macho men, went abroad, married a caucasian, came back with their good looking children with funny accents and idolized like homecoming queens and prince charmings?

The Skinfreaks are at it again in The Balut Society! Prejudice is ignorance period, does’nt matter where one is and/or class, even if one has a Phd. All these politically correct gone wild is crapper. Mass Media always like to stir the potty and throw it on the face of the unsuspecting public. The ad targets a particular segment of the society. However, in the more develop countries of the west, particularly the US, tone is becoming less and less of an issue, consumers just lol at the ad, gap it off, and spend their money with the other competition… Read more »
“We are citizens of the world. The tragedy of our times is that we do not know this.” – Woodrow Wilson “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world” Socrates “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” John donne People should not be so sensitive or insular – or buy so many whitening products if they are so proud to be filipino! The philippines mix 15% – single parents 15% – absentee fathers 14% – gay 10% – abroad 40%… Read more »

“It doesn’t matter that white-skinned people invented tanning machines; there is still this underlying notion that people with whiter skin are better even if it’s only a perception.”

Maybe this is why they make fun of the people from New Jersey so much.


Don’t overanalyze this, people. This is just horrendous writing gone public, period.

it is after all a matter of perspective. In my perspective, i see the ad as something that empowers the Filipino blood. In my view, i can say that other races mixed with Filipino blood can surely succeed, i don’t feel like the ad is saying that the Filipino blood needs other races to succeed. It’s just most Filipinos see other races as superior making our view to this ad skewed to the negative side. BAYO failed to consider the Pinoy psyche, they should have consulted the local media ABS and GMA, they seem to be very good at pleasing… Read more »

You have to decide if you want to be “descriptive” or “normative”. Marketing is usually descriptive, i.e. it plays to the crowd. It is schools and people in authority who must be normative, to teach values.


What is it with skin?Some say:A moreno and a morena would never get partners in life.Only white looks good and is just so right.(topics like those make the nazis and klansmen blush.hahahaha!)

Sheesh…For once being attractive goes beyond the superficial.I maybe white but do I like it when bozo pinays claw over me because I look like their ticket out of this basketcase country?No Siree!No way!No me Frego!


[…] fails to emerge. Just several weeks ago in early June, an ad campaign by clothing line brand BAYO drew flak and ridicule for its allegedly “racist” undertones after featuring mixed-race models in its ad posters and made the following assertion in the […]


[…] exactly been doing anything to overcome their insecurities, either. Ad campaigns like that of Bayo and Belo men did nothing but aggravate the problem and scream political incorrectness all over the […]