In an overwhelmingly Catholic majority country, the CBCP wields significant influence across politics and society. It was upset over a 30-second TVC, developed by Leo Burnett Manila, that showed a young boy and girl wooing each other. The girl asks if she can be his girlfriend, but the boy responds that he isn't ready because girlfriends are too demanding and want a lot of things. However, he changes his mind upon learning that all the girl wants is 25 pesos (US$0.58) worth of french fries from McDonald's.
"Its very shallow. It cheapens human relationships," noted Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life. "If the ad attempted to teach commitment, it failed because it was too superficial to point to a packet of french fries as the basis of a relationship."
Margot Torres, vice-president for marketing and communications at McDonald's Philippines, acknowledged that the fast food chain giant recognised and respected the stand of the CBCP and stopped airing the commercial across all television stations as of noon yesterday.
"Over the years, we have strived to produce advertisements that highlight positive values like love for family (Karen-Lolo) and charity (Ronald McDonald House Charities) which mirror those that the brand stands for. McDonald's remains committed in promoting values and will continue raising the bar to be better at what we do — whether it is our food, our service, and to even how we communicate to the public," added Torres.
Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, head of the permanent committee on public affairs at the CBCP, expressed his thanks and appreciation to McDonald's Philippines for their immediate response and action.