The Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) recently fired the advertising firm that used videos of other countries for its controversial “Love the Philippines” campaign.
Background info: The DOT reportedly agreed to pay 49 million Philippine pesos to advertising firm DDB Philippines to rebrand its tourism marketing campaign. DDB Philippines came up with the slogan “Love the Philippines” to replace the DOT’s popular, award-winning campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!”, which was conceptualized in 2011.
What happened: On June 27, the DOT launched its new “Love the Philippines” campaign but quickly faced online backlash after several social media users accused the DDB-produced video of featuring stock videos of other countries.
AFP news agency analyzed the video and determined the countries to be Brazil, Indonesia, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Responding to the backlash: On Saturday, the DOT declared it “will not hesitate to exact accountability and take the necessary action to protect the interest of the country.” It has already taken down the original “Love the Philippines” video posted on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
Meanwhile, DDB Philippines released a statement on Sunday, claiming that the controversial video was a “mood video” meant to “excite internal stakeholders.”
While the use of stock footage in mood videos is standard practice in the industry, the use of foreign stock footage was an unfortunate oversight on our agency’s part. The use of foreign stock footage in a campaign promoting the Philippines is highly inappropriate, and contradictory to the DOT’s objectives.
Cutting ties: On Monday, the DOT told reporters that it will no longer be working with DDB Philippines.
As DDB Philippines has publicly apologized, taken full responsibility, and admitted in no uncertain terms that non-original materials were used in their [audio-visual presentation], reflecting an abject failure to comply with their obligation/s under the contract and a direct contravention with the DOT’s objectives for the enhanced tourism branding, the DOT hereby exercises its right to proceed with termination proceedings against its contract with DDB.