The Department of Tourism (DOT) in the Philippines is once again facing scrutiny, this time over allegations that its Love the Philippines campaign features footage from other countries, including Thailand. The DOT has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and take appropriate action to protect the interests of the country.
The controversy arose after posts began circulating online, pointing out that the campaign’s audio-visual presentation (AVP) allegedly contained stock footage from Thailand, Indonesia, and Dubai. The AVP was created by DDB Philippines, the agency contracted by the DOT for the campaign.
In response to the accusations, the DOT emphasized that it had sought confirmation from DDB Philippines on the originality and ownership of all materials used in the AVP and key visuals. The agency reassured the DOT on multiple occasions that the materials were original and in compliance with ownership rights.
As of now, DDB Philippines has not released a statement addressing the issue.
While clarifying that no public funds were used for the AVP in question, as it was solely the responsibility of DDB Philippines, the DOT stressed that the agency held the responsibility of promoting the country to the highest standard.
This incident comes shortly after the launch of the Love the Philippines campaign, which has already received criticism for lacking originality. The campaign, which cost P49 million, aims to encapsulate the essence of the Philippines beyond its fun and adventurous side. Tourism Secretary Cristina Garcia Frasco believes that Love the Philippines better showcases the country’s diverse offerings, such as its rich biodiversity, culture, history, flavors, and indigenous communities.
Frasco expressed that the complexities and nuances of the Philippines have yet to be fully communicated to the world. She believes that by telling the story of love, they can effectively convey the unique identity and experiences of Filipinos.
The DOT’s ongoing investigation will determine the authenticity of the allegations and gather all necessary information regarding the use of stock videos. As the department strives to protect the country’s interests, it remains committed to upholding the highest standards in promoting the Philippines as a premier tourist destination.