Thursday, January 14, 2016

41. Kulang sa Ebidensya: THE ROYAL TRU-ORANGE-MIRINDA ORANGE WAR, 1976

THE CLAIM THAT STARTED IT ALL. Launched in 1965, Royal Tru-Orange's
"Yung May Pulp Bits Syempre" campaign ran successfully for over a decade,
until Mirinda dared to challenge its taste superiority promise.

Yes, it was MIRINDA who fired the first salvo and it was a deadringer.

 Yes, MIRINDA claimed in a full page ad in the local dailies that the majority of TRU-ORANGE drinkers confessed their love, devotion and surrender to MIRINDA. 

named its primary competitor--RTO--and pointed out its weakness in
a taste challenge conducted by Consumer Pulse. 1976. 

Yes, the conspiracy was hatched by the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of the Philippines, bottlers of MIRINDA; Ace Compton, the agency which handles the MIRINDA account; and Consumer Pulse, the research firm which supervised the taste test.

 No, TRU-ORANGE retorted. The MIRINDA ad spoke with forked tongue. And so San Miguel Corporation, producer of ROYAL TRU-ORANGE brought their case and wounded pride to the attention of the Philippine Board of Advertisers.

 Yes, the Philippine Board of Advertisers said, we must stop this MIRINDA aggression until MIRINDA and the gang can substantiate their claim by furnishing us the raw data of Consumer Pulse.

ROYAL TRU-ORANGE RESPONSE AD. RTO came up with its own defensive
print ad that encouraged consumers to conduct their own taste-test, while the
case against Mirinda was ongoing at the Philippine Board of Advertising. 1976.

 No, Consumer Pulse volleyed. We will only show our findings to the PBA fathers only if the examination will be made in our premises.

 Yes, other implications arose, Ace-Compton claimed that a butter ad appeared on TV employing the same methods as MIRINDA and got away with it. So why the fuss about our ad.

 Yes, by supreme coincidence, the alleged inferior butter being put down was under the account of Ace Compton. Something was fishy.

 No, the PBA boomed. The butter as was not in anyway the same or similar to the softdrink ad. But from now on, the PBA will prohibit comparative advertising that directly and specifically mentions its competitor.

 Yes, the PBA also pored through the raw data of Consumer Pulse and declared it insubstantial. Yes, the MIRINDA was banned from all media.

 Yes, TRU-ORANGE and the whole San Miguel Corporation were about to drink champagne to their victory when…

MIRINDA'S REVISED CHALLENGE AD. The direct reference to
Royal Tru-Orange was dropped; instead, it was referred to as "the leading
orange soft drink". It didn't matter--the damage has been done.

 Yes, MIRINDA came out again with another ad that complied with the PBA rules and extended their Mirinda Challenge to malignant limits.

No, there’s no telling what ROYAL TRU-ORANGE will do in the next few days to get even. But it sure is getting to be a lovely advertising war.

This article originally appeared on ERMITA, vol. 1, no. 9, October 1976 issue.


  1. While mentioning the competitor's name in an advertisement is banned here in the Philippines, it is also allowed in the U.S. (for example, Colgate vs. Crest).

    At least, Filipinos are more polite when we don't mention our competitors in ads.

  2. This is similar to the Pepsi Challenge in the US.

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