The Borneo Post Rejected My Advertisement

This week marks another milestone for my business.

Since we opened about five months ago, Level Up Fitness has been making waves within our local community when we introduced many new equipment and new types of group exercises into Kuching.

But tomorrow, we’re doing something big.

We’ve teamed up KL’s pioneering pole-dancing school Viva Vertical. For the first time ever in Kuching, we’re bringing pole-dancing workshops to my humble little town.

Already, we’ve been getting overwhelming responses from our members. And I figured it’s only the right thing that we spread the word to the community at large by putting an advertisement in our local newspaper.

Obviously, I was aware of cultural sensitivities and I understand that putting an ad on pole-dancing classes may raise a few eyebrows, so I chose the most tame and conservative image I could find to put on our newspaper ad.

This ad was what we sent in to The Borneo Post.

Guess what? It still got rejected.

And the reason the newspaper gave us? “Her legs are opened up too wide! CANNOT.”

What the hell right? Maybe I should just submit this pole-dancing ad instead.




Confirm pass.

AD: Season 2 of Project Alpha – the reality TV show about Malaysian bloggers is launching on April 19th! There will be a press conference and Bloggers’ Launch tomorrow at Cathay Cineleisure. The Bloggers’ Launch starts 7.30pm, and there will be a premiere screening of the Project Alpha Season 2 trailer, followed by a screening of the movie "Kick Ass".

I’m particularly looking forward to the episodes where they flew all the season 1 bloggers to Kuching to visit my fitness centre! 🙂 Project Alpha is presented by Adidas Action 3 and supported by P1 and MAS.

85 Replies to “The Borneo Post Rejected My Advertisement”

  1. ah fuck your own ego la noob, do you even know how to design a proper ad? the ad sucks so badly it looks like an ad for hooker recruitment or something. what so proud about pole dacing…i noticed all pole dancers got fat legs, including the instructor in the video!

  2. Ooo ! pole dance. I also wanna have a try ! ^.^
    1.Ha Ha Ha !!! The way the guy hug on the pole is very very funny !
    2.your fitness centre catched my eyes. but sigh…it is in kuching ! arghhh !!!
    3.i tot the big boob made the borneo post people reject the ads. (bcos my eyes cun cun stick on that part in my 1st sight.)I don’t think the “leg” have seductive purpose lor. perhaps the people who reject that ads is “amu” which close minded a bit?

  3. Yeah too wide. Great excuse. They fail to realise their fellow Malaysians are doing far worse! But no, the focus on a photo!

  4. Come on lar, its pretty clear why those got rejected, especially the wide open legs n cleavage..
    used to read ur blog alot.. lately i find u super negative… anythin malaysian u cannot even consider to silent down.. i mean if political or wateva also ok la, private groups of ppl wanna try out f1 team also u wanna comment so bad.. i know its ur blog ls, but stil u r not taking a responsibility as a lead blogger in this region, to b wise in ur words.. tony’s blog also state directly that u say nasty things..
    b positive la bro, dun be nasty.. respect sumthin atleast.. that poster, is very rejectable for our culture.. dun do stupid things because the others do stupid things also.. be sensitive.. adios amigos.

  5. Absolute no idea. I tot pole-dancing picture SHOULD look like this.
    It would not be TAT eye-catching if the picture shows a model standing beside the pole.

  6. the sarawakian stereotype paper which only teaches people to be ignorant, stupid and nod your head until u’re old and dead. It should be named as the Borneo Poo. throw into trash bin please

  7. actually..on first look i thot they wuldnt get accepted too…perhaps if the model wore the pants of the earlier photo itll be better…its a newspaper meant for anyone so naturally itll be rejected..think of the controversy if they advertised it…even if it were worse irl the newspaper cant say so!

  8. Hahaha! they’re afraid that those hamsap old ah peks who read Borneo Post when they are pooing in the toilet might end up doing something else ;P

  9. yup i also know it won’t pass. so many times i had to revise choice of photos because the magazine goes onboard MAS.
    they did give me a list of regulations like no show of butt cleavage either.
    but it’s all in bahasa and I don’t understand!

  10. Even if it’s approved, I don’t think it’s a nicely done photo for a poster. That’s because:
    1. It is more suggestive of porn, with the cleavage and “kangkang” legs. (Though the legs wasn’t much for me either). The 1st thing that attracts attention is the cleavage and not ur pole dance. Unless ur selling cleavage and not pole dance, that is not what I would recommend.
    2. There are many pole dance flicks/poses that are more captivating and elegant.Even the pic by viva vertical is better than the one in your poster ads. The pose shown is dull, thus making the cleavage an even more obvious feature.
    3. The camera angle is just off. It looks rather 2-D rather than 3-dimensional. I’d thought she was sitting on the floor with the horizontal pole on her lap with some photoshop on the ponytail to make it fall that way. And the lighting on the poll is so dimmed as if you wouldn’t want people to focus on the pole at all.
    But this ad will sell in, because it has the same theme like your dirty jokes in your blog posts. Lol!

  11. Are you serious that you are not allowed to publish that in Malaysia?? Anyway, why don’t you give out flyers instead and paste it around? 🙂

  12. Maybe you should use the guy’s photo instead. 😛
    Or get a clown to do it, sure can pass AND atract attention wan!

  13. Whoaaa…..Now I wish I WAS THERE!! I’d love to join the workshop!
    but really, that’s good value for money. Even here in Kl you can never get this great price for a sure fire great pole-dancing experience..
    Hmmm…maybe I find the time to get to Viva Vertical huh..

  14. hahahaha that guy hugging the pole makes me laugh (very funny) must be drunk
    why need to advertise in Borneo Post when u have a famous blog?

  15. Well, that’s Borneo Post for you. I’m not surprised, given my personal experience dealing with one of their editors.
    I honestly think there’s nothing overtly sexual about that picture, Borneo Post & some of the commenters here are just too close-minded. It’s their loss tho, over-conservative people like them are gonna be left behind in our ever globalised world.
    I would disagree that the picture is suggestive of porn; the clear theme here is physical endurance, given the stance of the lady.
    Cleavage? Please, it is nowhere close to being the focus of the picture, the lighting blocks most of it. Open legs? The legs are facing away from the camera

  16. Think most Malaysian still can’t accept pole dancing as part of the sport. But about your poster, is not that appropriate la. haha It looks more like a porn poster.
    If you put the viva vertical one, then i think might be work.;)

  17. frankly i think pole dancing doesn’t always gotta have ka kui kui ladies clinging on the pole. some images found on the internet that are way much better than the one used on your ad, such as this, this, this, this, or this.
    i just wonder if you’re selling pole dancing as a form of aerobic workout or reaffirming people’s general belief about pole dancing. what i’m saying is there’s a fair reason why people are conservative when it comes to pole dancing. after all, it was started out as a performing art in strip clubs before regarded as a form of exercise (only in recent years too).
    in any case, i hope things turn out well for you.

  18. i expected the reason to be because of the word “Pole Dance”. Didn’t expect it to be the pic ture

  19. I agree with YM on the choice of photo for your ad. There are other more elegant positions, just like the viva vertical picture. In yours, I noticed her cleavage and how wide apart her legs are. You know that our country is conservative, why can’t you just find another more decent and tasteful picture instead of just being so negative? It’s not always a bad thing to be conservative. Plus, pole dancing already brings sexual connotation and you still want to couple it with a picture like that? You should know better.

  20. lol.. like that also kena rejected! giez.. maybe get the bomba to pose with the pole for the adverts. LOL!!
    Can’t wait to join the workshop tonite :3

  21. I do agree with YM. The poster is a little dull… Viva Vertical’s picture will be eye-catching. =) Hmm…what to do? Pole dancing not really acceptable by most of the Malaysians…

  22. Hey, pole dancing in western countries is associated with women who eventually take off their clothes and then show their chee bye and men sitting down there sipping their drinks would put in dollar bills into their garter strings.
    It is not the legs kang kang or the cleavage, Kenny. It is the ideology behind it where something negative would come out with respect to society’s view towards the people who particpiate in such activities and also to those new younger kids who get enticed by such forms of marketing. In a hick place like Kuching, pole dancing would bring in men who think with their dicks when they look at the women who whore themselves thinking that such things are forms of exercise whereas the entire planet view pole dancing as an outlet where desperate women sell their bodies to get quick bucks. Would you let your daughter, sister, wife and mother yank themselves up and down and slide all round the pole, Kenny Sia?

  23. i find you ignorant in so many ways. culture is evolving and society is changing. swimsuits used to be a one peice that covered women from head to toe now they are more like small peices of strategically placed cloth. what was unacceptable back then is acceptable now. your conservatism knows no bounds. i dont know where you’re from. if you’re from malaysia, you’re probably one of those fucktards that dont knwo what progress is. live on in your stagnant world and dont interact with us.

  24. Hahaha! Kenny, perhaps you should change the poster to a Malay Lady doing it wearing tudung, I think that would be acceptable LULZ~
    Malaysia apa pun boleh one la, ban muslim from pratice Yoga, blah blah blah.. I feel shame sometime

  25. agree with ym – an image using the pose at 2:03 in the video would be much better i think. strength, lean, classy.
    yours is just crude and too suggestive, which leads to people forming the opinions such as that described by ‘angry parent’.
    think about your market and convince them.

  26. Dear Angry Parent,
    Kindly have some respect for what others do for a living. Let’s view this with an open mind. Strippers still need to live and the $ pays the bill. So let’s not discriminate. It is not our place to judge.
    Yes, it is inevitable that many would associate pole dancing with stripping. I believe no1 would be stripping and pole dancing is a very good form of exercise. Also, I belive that in today’s progressing society, should your kid wanna take up pole dancing, no1 would think otherwise. Come on. Let’s face it, it tones our arms, legs, butts and abs. What is so bad abt it? Not everybody can pole dance, aight! It is not easy unless uve got strong arms n abs, to swing.

  27. Looking at the official religion of the country in subject, it’s no surprise that sexually suggestive poses, like ‘legs open too wide’ are bound for the thrash cans.
    Perhaps you might want to promote pole dancing as a ‘new sport’ or ‘rated-g hobby for all ages’?
    Would a drunk-looking chap hugging a pillar be approved? Perhaps.. perhaps not.
    Yo Kenny, it never hurts to get second and third opinions in your marketing and advertising campaigns. Seems like a Marketing Communications Executive post is due with LevelUp fitness’s rapid growth. Hehe.

  28. Hello Michaela, please enrol your daughter into one of those pole dancing classes. If you can cope with the general remarks made towards your daughter by a lot of men after that, and if you daughter does not mind as well, then of course, you would be entitled to think that pole dancing is a way to pay the bills. In the United States, pole dancing IS a way to pay the bills. Make sure that when your daughter grows up, she should know through you that pole dancing IS a good way to pay the bills IN KUCHING. Oh by the way, going to a regular gym, unlike Level Up, and training with the weights there is also a good way of toning the body up. Only difference is it does not have the degrading perception attached to it like what pole dancing brings with it. Here’s wishing your whole family a whale of a time sliding up and down those wonderful metallic poles. Merry Christmas and have fun while at it.

  29. dear angry parents and more angry parents,
    I think you are not thinking logically.
    Ask yourself where are you now? If you are in Malaysia, then act like a Malaysian. The pole dancing classes here has nothing to do with getting naked and wooing the guys.
    However, if you are in America, there are two types of pole dancing. The one associated with exercise and the one associated with stripping.
    Please get your facts right. We are now talking about keeping fit. Not otherwise.
    Ask yourself if pole dancing was never introduced and you have never come across pole dancing in your entire life, will you still associate the exercise with getting paid for dancing on a pole?

  30. I think it’s not about the picture but rather, the fact that ‘pole dancing’ is something the society view as ‘dirty’.. Regardless of the pictures, if you mention anything about ‘pole dancing’ people will automatically relate it to something sexual. It will take a long time for the society to accept something new. 🙁 so good luck to you in convincing and changing the view of these people..

  31. We are in Malaysia afterall dont we? The stereotype towards pole dancing (ie: stripping etc) is probably why ppl don’t accept it, particularly parents who are more conservative.

  32. I’m in the US of A. I have lived in SF and NYC and I have never heard of pole dancing as a form of exercise.
    Its weird what goes on in Malaysia these days… you guys try so hard to be westernized that you go overboard on it.

  33. not artistic enough la the ads.Yes,the legs really open too wide.that’s the first thing i noticed.Come on..u can tell,don’t you !
    still all the best to your business^^

  34. Aiya… you shld check first why the rejection. Maybe the Ministry got certain directive for adv. Dont think you are always right….Remember we are MALAYsian

  35. As a dance student, I see the ad just as it is – – – I like the emphasis on how the woman’s muscles working to support her weight and make that beautiful pose. It’s strength combined with beauty and the discipline required to learn pole dance – – – is a feat in itself.
    As for wardrobe, even if she’s all cloaked in curtains, if a person’s mind is dirty or has malice(it will) 🙂
    It’s all just a matter of perspective really. I see it as just dance, that’s it.

  36. “I chose the most tame and conservative image I could find”
    Haha….Kenny, no you did not!! That picture on newspaper would sure increase the occupancy of the hospital emergency wards!!!
    Try harder to find a more conservative image!! ^o^

  37. There are other poses you can use, like the superman pose (legs closed looks like you’re flying like superman) or the chinese flag (also legs closed requires a lot of strength)

  38. its not bout the cultural or wat-so-eva conservative issues going around. The ads itself, with such posing do raise issues. There are better poses than this one to be displayed as ads! Present it ass to suit ur objectives, body toning n etc?, so poses should deliver these…

  39. OMG!!! just because of ““Her legs are opened up too wide! CANNOT.” your ads got rejected?? Funny la weiii!!!
    How I wish I’m in Kuching to join the dance class… =P

  40. Hahahahaha..isn’t it funny,she not nude anyway…why don’t you ask the dancer to wear sport suit with 1Malaysia or BN logo.I’m sure they will accept yr Ad..

  41. dude, ur advertisement sucks. HIRE A PROPER ADVERTISING FIRM AND LET THEM DO IT FOR YOU. there’s much research to be done u cant just slap a photo with some words on it and call it an advertisement. AHAHAHAHAHHAHA WHAT A F-ING JOKE!

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