DDB Philippines Apologizes for Use of Foreign Footage in 'Love the Philippines' Tourism Campaign

MANILA, Philippines — DDB Philippines, the advertising agency responsible for the recently launched “Love the Philippines” tourism campaign video, has apologized for its use of foreign stock footage.

The campaign video, which replaced the previous “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan, has been facing criticism on social media since its launch on June 27.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is currently investigating the video after allegations surfaced about the use of footage from locations outside of the country, such as rice terraces in Indonesia and sand dunes in Brazil.

Other shots were found to feature locations in Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, and Sri Lanka. The video has already been removed from the DOT’s social media accounts.

In a public apology, DDB Philippines admitted that while the use of non-original clips is standard practice in the industry, this particular instance was an unfortunate oversight and contradictory to the DOT’s objectives.

The agency added that proper screening and approval processes should have been strictly followed.

The DOT has emphasized that no public funds were released or would be released to fund the video, which was produced by DDB Philippines at its own expense. DDB Philippines has pledged full cooperation with the DOT’s investigation and called the incident isolated.

This new tourism campaign, which was created by DDB Philippines after winning the bidding process, has been under scrutiny since its release. Some of the stock footage used can be traced back to websites like Pond5 and Videvo.

Additionally, it was noted that several locations within the Philippines, such as the Mayon Volcano, were missing from the video.

Despite these issues, the DOT maintains its focus on promoting the country’s tourism industry, aiming to improve upon the 2.7 million inbound tourists received last year, a figure significantly down from pre-pandemic levels.