By Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce
Three days after the launch of the Philippines’ newest promotional tourism video, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that it is terminating its contract with the advertising firm behind the controversial ad campaign.
In a press conference yesterday afternoon, DOT spokesperson Frederick Alegre said the tourism department decided to cut ties with McCann Worldgroup Philippines after they saw “glaring similarities” between the controversial promotional advertisement “Sight” and the promotional video released for South Africa years ago.
“We will no longer use the material…. We saw very glaring similarities between the one produced by McCann and the one released for South Africa in 2014,” said Alegre, who is also an assistant secretary at the DOT.
During the Independence Day celebration last Monday, June 12, the DOT launched its new campaign video which features the true story of a Japanese retiree who is currently enjoying his stay in the Philippines.
The video has touched a lot of hearts, especially in social media, but several others said the same was similar to another material released in South Africa.
“Since Tuesday, we have been gathering all the information we can. Now in social media, we’re able to gather more information faster. But we have to validate those information. But once we have validated everything, we decided on this direction,” the DOT official noted.
“We have been meeting with them [McCann] since Tuesday. In fact, up to last night [Wednesday], Usec. Kat [de Castro] and I were in touch with them. We have the interest of our people that we have to protect. Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo has a duty to protect the interest of the department and the Filipino people that is why this is the decision that we have to take,” he added.
Alegre added that they decided to scrap the contract with McCann after consulting the tourism agency’s legal department.
“We have consulted our legal department…. It’s something that we are allowed to do,” he said.