In the past, brands have tried to be creative with their marketing strategy by coming out all sorts of names and campaign ideas for the sake of profit. A good example is the toothpaste brand Darlie who was once called “Darkie” and featured a black man smiling with white teeth before changing to its “white-washed” appeal in 1989.
In light of that example, the name of a chocolate biscuit has recently sparked outrage among the Philippines people after discovering it was named after their nationality.
The Spanish chocolate snack − Filipinos − has made Filipinos uneasy when they found it selling in a selected local store.
To add fuel to fire, the description to the snack has an N-word in it: Con autentico chocolate neg**. In Spanish, it means “with authentic black chocolate.” No one in the company realized the controversial wording… at all?
Reporter Cedric Castillo found the chocolate snack was sold in a membership shopping club in Manilla. It is said that the product was not allowed to be sold in the Philippines.
“It is not allowed to use a country or nationality in a brand, it may be allowed in their country (Spain) but is not allowed here”, said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary, Ramon Lopez.
Yet, Filipinos managed to slip into the Philippines. It comes in several chocolate flavours, which is either coated with milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark chocolate. The milk and dark chocolate flavours come with a light-coloured biscuit, whereas for the white chocolate flavour, it has a darker-coloured biscuit.
Side note: The Philippines was once conqoured by Spain in the early 1500s to the late 1800s.
LOOK: A membership-shopping club sells “chocolate negro” snack labeled “Filipinos.” Sec. Ramon Lopez tells @gmanews, @DtiPhilippines will investigate as it is “not allowed (in PH) to use country or nationality in a brand.” pic.twitter.com/fl0EUSXhud
— Cedric Castillo (@cedric_castillo) February 17, 2019
The dark and white chocolate flavours also come in smaller packets, called Filipinos GoPack or Mini Filipinos. The multi-chocolate-doughnut-biscuit has been in the market for more than four decades and has been owned by various companies over the years.
Before it was owned by Nabisco, there were claims that the snack’s name was a metaphor for the locals there that explained: “being dark on the outside, yet striving to be more white on the inside”.
A resolution was filed by then Philippine Congressman Heherson Alvarez, stating: “These food items could be appropriately called by any other label, but the manufacturers have chosen our racial identity, and they are now making money out of these food items.”
The then Philippine president Joseph Estrada also called the brand “an insult.”
Watch a review video of the snack on the next page.