Here is the press release of Unilever regarding their pulling out sponsorship from Willie Revillame's show and other live game shows.
This is to make public a set of actions taken by Unilever Philippines after an incident in a popular TV show a few weeks ago. The incident featured a 6-year old boy doing a dance number as part of a reality game show.
We recognised that this incident has drawn mixed reactions from different sectors in the society.
In Unilever Philippine’s view, it was a serious incident and as a result, we acted by immediately engaging the network authorities, expressing our serious concern and demanded assurance that similar incidents would not happen again.
TV5, the network, has apologized to us and committed to a series of “self-regulation” measures including the appointment of an internal ombudsman to supervise stricter program guidelines and impose a moratorium on the presence of kids in their live reality shows until a complete investigation is finished. This seems to have been validated by MTRCB as per article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on April 6, 2011, Page F3.
We see all these actions as positive steps, but we also look forward with great interest to the prospect of MTRCB strengthening regulations on content across all live game shows and making clear the potential sanctions for erring programs.
In support of the above, Unilever Philippines has decided;
1. To temporarily suspend effective Monday, April 11, 2011, our participation in ALL reality-based live game shows across all networks. This measure will be in place until we observe stricter and objective self regulatory guidelines across networks and proper enforcement by the relevant government agencies of existing content regulations.
2. We will actively seek for PANA’s (Philippine Association of National Advertisers) involvement and leadership to help the networks develop a strict and consistent self-regulatory framework. We expect this to be in place no later than one month.
3. In all these, Unilever Philippines actions are oriented to:
a. protect the rights of contestants (especially women and children),
b. provide responsible content for TV viewers, and
c. ensure a safe communications environment for sponsors and brands.
With these actions, we expect something good will come out of this incident.
Unilever Philippines will continue to positively influence the media landscape and work on strengthening our long-standing partnership with all TV networks.
VP for Corporate Affairs
External Communications Manager