‘Boycott’ calls vs local cookie brand launched as leaked lewd chats of executives surfaced amid #HijaAko tweets

June 22, 2020 - 3:16 PM
Cookies by the Bucket on Facebook

A local cookie brand came under fire online over the weekend after testimonies of alleged inappropriate behavior of its staff and its chief executive officer were uploaded online.

In an #HijaAko Twitter thread shared June 19, TV host and model Kim Cruz shared supposed screenshots of the group chat of the executives of Cookies by the Buckets where they were revealed to be spreading her private contact details which were supposedly for marketing purposes only.

The local cookie brand executives were also allegedly making lewd comments about her photos on the same group chat.

Cruz said the screenshots of these messages were provided to her by a former student baker of the cookie company.

“This disgusting behavior and the fact that these pervs are spreading private addresses and numbers given to them for marketing purposes is sickening,” Cruz said.

She added that the staff members have also shared private information of other female influencers formerly asked to promote the cookie brand, noting they violated Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

Cruz said that the salaries of the former staff members and student bakers of the cookie company who reached out to her were allegedly held back after they broke their silence on the issue. She also attached screenshots of these testimonies with their usernames removed.

“I am sick of men getting away with things like these and I am tired of seeing women traumatized by how they’re objectified and treated. For you to use a brand to get private information – only to maliciously use them is extremely low. Not to mention, against the law,” Cruz said.

The influencer used the hashtag #HijaAko on her tweet. This campaign was created to fight victim-blaming against women.

Recently, local celebrities Xander Ford and Vhong Navarro were also called out by their victims through this movement.

The hashtag was made popular by singer-songwriter Frankie “Kakie” Pangilinan who schooled veteran broadcaster Ben Tulfo over his outdated notions on women’s rights and clothing.

Meanwhile, influencer Phoebe Nicole Jaravata Fructuoso shared a compilation of allegations against CBTB.

Aside from Cruz, the compilation included the experiences of personalities Kim Nichole Baranda and Jamina Cruz with the brand. They shared their tales via their respective Instagram stories.

‼️ BOYCOTT Cookies By The Bucket ‼️Influencers/Bloggers/Celebs, be mindful of the private information you give out to…

Posted by Phoebe Nicole Jaravata Fructuoso on Thursday, June 18, 2020

Statement deleted after backlash

CBTB’s CEO Francis Mariano on Friday released a statement on its official Facebook page following Cruz’s allegations.

However, the statement was eventually deleted after earning criticisms in the comments section. Some online users still managed to screenshot the statement and shared it online.

“Certain issues have surfaced recently. We do not condone this behavior and this is not what the company stands for. We apologize to those who were affected by this matter,” the now-deleted statement read.

“We have investigated the matter and fired the people involved. Moving forward, we will be implementing stricter company guidelines to prevent this issue from happening again,” it added.

Boycott calls

On the same day, the phrase “Boycott Cookies by the Bucket” trended on local Twitter amid the allegations. The boycott calls went on over the weekend as some online users also raised other complaints against the bakeshop and its CEO.

Some concerned online users were also tagging Kapamilya actress Liza Soberano, the cookie company’s main endorser in their tweets. Soberano last month took a stand against online sexual exploitation of children and had since become a vocal advocate of which.

A tabloid reported that Soberano deleted her posts about the bakeshop on her Instagram account.

On Friday, E-sports team “Amihan Esports,” also owned by CBTB’s Mariano, announced that it is dropping the cookie company as its sponsor.

This statement likewise earned mixed reactions with some doubting its veracity because it is owned by the same company

Amid the boycott calls, Twitter user @aleligregorio_, meanwhile, responded on Cruz’s thread with a disclaimer to clarify that the CBTB franchise in Robinsons Galleria South is not involved in the executives’ misconduct.

“We firmly stand with the women victimized and will never condone any act that promotes sexual assault,” the statement said.