Food supplement ad claims Filipinos have low IQs, receives no mercy in return

April 3, 2018 - 11:55 AM
The controversial ad from the Appeton HI-Q Facebook page


  • An advertisement for a dietary supplement cites a big claim about Filipinos’ intelligence. Understandably, this is hard to swallow for many. There are questions over the strategy behind it.
  • The source of the supposed study comes with a noteworthy disclaimer.

MANILA, Philippines — The country has seen its fair share of unconventional but successful commercial ads in recent years. Among these were a series of heartbreaking short films that doubled as fast food commercials and a popular snack company’s morbid but surprisingly appetizing online comic strips.

Now, a vitamin and supplement company is under fire for a very forthright Facebook ad.

Appeton Hi-Q recently uploaded a series infographics on its Facebook page that posits the question of IQ levels in the county and claims to have found research ranking the Philippines 10th in average IQ in Southeast Asia.

A good number of people in the comment section denounced the ad and found its claims dubious.

There were also however who weighed in and found the value in Appeton’s very unconventional manner of peddling their wares.

One user took the high road.

Source is a website with a warning

The controversial ad campaign has also reached discussion board Reddit PH, where many have discussed its allegedly dubious IQ rankings and the ad campaign’s strategy or lack thereof.

According to the source cited by the ad, the Philippines ranked 21st in the world with an IQ level of 86, but shares the spot with Kuwait, Seychelles, and Tonga. Hong Kong and Singapore share the top spot at 108. At the bottom rung is Equitorial Guinea with 59 at solo 43rd.

The website offers no scientific literature and does not elaborate on the details of the metrics used for exam, nor does it shed any light on how the team behind it gathered their data.

The website also has a prominent disclaimer on its homepage:

“These results are controversial and have caused much debate, they must be interpreted with extreme caution.”

On its homepage, the website claims to have based its test on the work of a certain Dr. John C. Raven, and that “numerous works and scientific publications dedicated to this kind of IQ test have been published.”

A more scientific study titled “Perils of Perception” published late last year, however, ranks Filipinos as the third most inaccurate in their perception of issues among 38 countries surveyed. These subjects included murder rates, terrorist deaths, teenage pregnancy, diabetes and how healthy people felt. reported:

“Despite being among the most ignorant, respondents from the Philippines, India and Peru were among the most confident in their answers, the study said.”