Department store gets viral ‘luggage boy’ to star in ad, gets flak over ‘contractualization’ allegations

Screenshot from SM Shoes and Bags Facebook video.

Starring in a viral video can open up all kinds of opportunities and in the case of “luggage boy” Christian Tecson, it led to starring in an online ad.

Tecson is a working student who first went viral late last month after videos of his very “extra” sales strategies were posted online. In the videos, Tecson can be seen presenting features of the bags he was selling with dance moves and splits.

In a video posted by the SM Shoes and Bags on Facebook page on Friday, Tecson stepped up his moves with a fully choreographed dance on a rooftop.

The video, being an ad and all, has him posing beside multiple pieces of luggage while dancing, splitting, and walking runway style with bits of slow-motion in between.

It has been shared close to 7,000 times and now has more than 1 million views.

Many were amused by Tecson and complimented his moves and dedication to his job.

“Good job! This is an awesome salesperson. He has his own technique to sell its brand and help the company. [H]e should get a reward!” Facebook user Ralph Birches said.

“Congrats!!! Because of his dedication to his work and because he enjoys every hour at work. He deserved to be recognized and be given this opportunity to be known. Keep up the good work,” Maurice Jill said in Filipino.

“I LOVE [his] PERSONALITY!!! That even when work is difficult and there are stressful people, he can still enjoy his work,” Cris Jhon Gordo said.

But the video also became a lightning rod for criticism on SM, a department store that allegedly hires employees in fixed contracts of not more than 6 months. This is a practice done by some businesses to get out of providing benefits required by law for permanent employees.

SM is owned by Henry Sy, the richest man in the Philippines, and is the biggest mall operator in the country. It has denied ‘contractualization’ allegations and said that they have a lot of regular employees but also “hire for seasons.”

Commenters on the SM ad featuring “luggage boy” called out the company to “regularize” its employees.

“SM, see how valuable, talented and skillful your employees are? These people deserve to be regularized, they deserve benefits and job stability. Please end contratulization (sic)!” Nethaneal Abuda Cadayong said.

“Please regularize your workers SM,” said Noelle De Guzman. “They deserve full benefits.”

“I hope he’s no longer a contractual employee,” Anne Cortez said about Tecson.

What do you think of the online ad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.

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