THE DEPARTMENT of Tourism (DoT) on Monday said it would terminate its contact with the ad agency that designed its global campaign after it was found to have used stock footage of destinations in other countries for its “Love the Philippines” promotional video.

In a statement, DoT noted that DDB Philippines, the contractor, has publicly apologized and taken full responsibility for using nonoriginal materials in its audio-video presentation, which drew flak when it was launched on June 27.

This was “a direct contravention of DoT’s objectives for the enhanced tourism branding,” it said.

DDB did not immediately reply to a Viber message seeking comment.

DoT said it had not paid DBB for the project, adding that it would exercise its “right to forfeit” the performance security.

It said its contract with DDB provides that “materials produced by the winning bidder should be original and aligned with the DoT’s advocacies.”

“The DoT remains fully committed to developing and promoting the Philippines as a powerhouse of natural wonders, culture and heritage, and a fount of warmth and hospitality which is a source of great love and pride for all Filipinos,” it added.   

In a statement on Sunday, the DDB apologized for the use of stock footage in the video, saying it was intended to be a “mood video to excite internal stakeholders about the campaign.”   

It said it produced the video “at its own expense.” “This was a DDB initiative to help pitch the slogan.”

“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,” DDB said.

“Proper screening and approval processes should have been strictly followed. The use of foreign stock footage in a campaign promoting the Philippines is highly inappropriate, and contradictory to the DoT’s objectives,” it added.

Brand experts at the weekend said the new tourism slogan has failed to capture some of the country’s best qualities and does not give tourists compelling reasons to come.

“Love the Philippines,” which replaced “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” sounds like a command and lacks flexibility in terms of brand execution, they said.

The Tourism department has been drawing flak since it launched the campaign, which cost P49 million.

The slogan replaced “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” which was launched in 2012 under the late President Benigno S.C. Aquino III and which Filipinos loved instantly. The 2012 campaign also won international awards during its lifetime.

It replaced “Wow Philippines,” which was launched in 2002 under then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and which also easily got the thumbs up of many Filipinos.

Aside from sounding like a command, the new slogan is also being criticized for its lack of creativity. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave