Today we learned an extremely important life lesson—think before you speak, or rather, post on social media. But not everyone seems to have gotten the memo: Appeton Hi-Q, a multivitamin for children that promises to aid in brain development. In its Facebook page post dated March 19, an ad promoting the product presented a survey of “IQ Ranking of South East ASEAN Nations,” listing Singapore as number one and the Philippines placing “last” in the top 10. It wouldn’t have irked a lot of netizens had it been a legitimate study backed by extensive research and credible sources, which was dubious to begin with. Well, it did haphazardly copy-paste a web link source (without proper citations) where the ranking was supposedly taken from. But the contention lies in the glaring headline questioning, “Bakit maraming bobo?”
The term “bobo” in Filipino language is equivalent to “dumb,” “brainless,” or “stupid” and it’s considered as derogatory. So naturally, people got offended and brought out their pitchforks, pointing out several things that went incredibly wrong in the ad.
The real basis of intelligence
Many commenters questioned the ad’s definition of intelligence and how it is measured. In a study published in the Independent UK, IQ tests were found to be fundamentally flawed because it disregards the “complex nature of human intellect and its different components.” “The results disprove once and for all the idea that a single measure of intelligence, such as IQ, is enough to capture all of the differences in cognitive ability that we see between people,” said Roger Highfield, director of external affairs at the Science Museum in London. In addition, the study also highlights that “instead of a general measure of intelligence epitomized by the intelligence quotient (IQ), intellectual ability consists of short-term memory, reasoning and verbal agility.”
Get a dose of your own medicine
For a product that supposedly helps in brain development, the ad ironically lacks in the thinking department. People are expecting a more intelligent, well-crafted, or at least thought provoking ad considering the nature of what Hi-Q aims to do. But sadly, that’s not the case. A lot of comments are saying that perhaps the creator of the ad should’ve had a dose of their own medicine first before posting.
But what’s surprising is the moderator’s replies that seem to justify the tactless message, saying that just because they used the word “bobo” doesn’t mean that it is pertaining to any individual, it “just means that a child should try Appeton Hi-Q to become intelligent in almost all aspects.” Riiiight.
Keep trying, Appeton.
Other netizens are calling this as a publicity stunt, since the post did go viral and it got a lot of callous replies asking about the price of the product and how to order it.
Derogatory, offensive, cheap shot
One commenter made a good point about a child protection specialist’s explanation of verbal violence against children, with the word “bobo” included in the list of name-calling words:
The ad has since garnered 1,094 shares and 3,800 reactions as of this posting, and the page moderator started responding privately to complaints while publicly replying to inquiries about the product instead. These two comments, however, sum up about how we feel about this travesty of an ad:
Feature image from Pexels