Bench, unclothed.

This is the poster, larger than life size, that greets you when you enter the main atrium of Starmall in Mandaluyong. It is, obviously, a poster of Borgy Manotoc in briefs carrying a skateboard. First question comes to mind is: “Do people go skateboarding in briefs?”. And second question is: “How many children pass here everyday, and see this?”

I know Bench wants to sell. And they use scantily-clad bodies to do most of their selling nowadays. From huge billboards in major thoroughfares, to spreads in magazines, to underwear “fashion” (read: sex sells) shows. Bench is becoming (or has become?) the brand that is synonymous with nudity, sex and I-will-use-anything-and-everything to sell.

At what cost? Our values? Our morals? Yes, there are people who know their limitations. And yes, they have a target market they want to appeal (arouse?) to. But they do not need to impose their standards and lack of morality on everyone. They can have posters as such as above INSIDE their stores, in the underwear section – if they must have them at all. They DO NOT have to put them in a high traffic, high density area where minors pass.

These minors who will see that it is ok to use your body to spread a message – a message that promotes false (photoshopped) body types and irrational activities (skateboarding in briefs? come on, we teach safety). We do NOT need to see these kinds of advertisements. The billboards on EDSA featuring the Philippine Volcanoes in their underwear were taken down. And now it features clothed personalities. I think they’d sell just as many clothes. And without having to corrupt boys and girls passing that area.

I remember the first commercial of Bench. Very simple. Very artistic. Why not go back to that? Go back to a good, clean message. Anyway, you are selling clothes, and not the lack of it.

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