How do you repair a damaged brand image? What if it’s ‘masa’ brands like Binay or Mar? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022


Continued from last Sunday, a reprint of an interview I gave:

What advice can you give companies with superior products but really small budgets for advertising nowadays?

Real superior products sell by word of mouth. Use your small budget at point of contact or go straight to the consumer or use the Internet. Or be like Tony Tan of Jollibee; spend all your income on advertising as soon as you smell blood.

There have been many criticisms of the business model of advertising where revenues mostly come from pushing TV, to the detriment of some clients. Where do you see the trend going? Do you see TV networks changing their revenue model, as well?

As long as the TV set is in the sala of the masa home, as long as the masa housewife buys her needs in the wet market, as long as the sari-sari store is doing good business in masa neighborhoods, TV will continue to do brisk business with commercials.

Only commercial TV can drive mainstream household needs—food and beverage, personal care products and over-the-counter medicines which are budgeted daily or sold tingi.

How do you repair a damaged brand image? What if it’s personal masa brands like VP Binay or Secretary Mar Roxas  for the 2016 presidential elections?

For repairing a damaged brand image, do the honorable thing. Car companies recall defective models and do the repairs for free, including the replacement of defective parts.

On damaged things, change the topic. Our PLDT “Bring Him Home” campaign on long-distance calls to alleviate homesickness got good reviews. It did not dwell on PLDT’s insufficiency in installing more phones in the ’70s.

DBP’s crony bank image was reformed by promoting “Delicadeza” and “Palabra de Honor” as a national transformative vision after the Edsa Revolution.

No comment on Binay-Mar issues. The tipping point will take care of the fight, based on media headlines they generate.


You retired as chair of the Publicis Group of Companies in the Philippines. What were some hard-to-forget marketing or business failures you can share, and  lessons you have learned?

Lower-priced flank brands trying to establish shares for alternate usage or steal market shares from the  leaders are difficult to swing. There’s always a bias for lower-priced brands. The market leader holds the quality satisfaction.

Such was our experience when we handled Asia Breweries’ “Beer na Beer,” and before that, Gold Eagle Beer for San Miguel.

We failed to do the magic. The best flank beer brands can do is to exist sporadically in few odd places, never hitting the mainstream market. It’s not a fun job.

People describe you as an advertising icon, creative genius, legendary, a rare fusion of ideas and business acumen. How would you like people to remember you?

Icons (including Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander the Great) ultimately end up in the dustbin of history.

I’ll be happy to be remembered as the promdi who made the biggest tsamba in advertising when he wrote “Langhap-Sarap” beneath the Jollibee logo 35 years ago.

E-mail the author at

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.