The Department of Tourism (DOT) in the Philippines has ended its contract with advertising firm DDB Philippines following controversy over the inclusion of stock footage from other countries in a promotional video for the new campaign, “Love the Philippines.”
The DOT has not yet paid DDB for the rebranding and plans to review standards of performance and claims for payment.
The video, which had been removed from social media, used stock footage that showed locations in Brazil, Indonesia, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.
DDB defended the use of stock footage, saying it was a common practice in the industry and the video was intended to create excitement about the campaign.
Criticism also came from the slogan’s similarity to campaigns from other countries, such as “Love Cyprus” and “Love Barbados.” This is not the first time the DOT has been accused of copying slogans; a previous campaign was alleged to have borrowed from a Swiss slogan.
The scandal could impact the DOT’s budget, and lawmakers have demanded accountability, stating that the DOT spends public money on advertising agencies.
They urged the DOT to rectify any issues, ensure brand integrity, and present authentic promotional materials to avoid negatively influencing travelers’ decisions and the country’s image.