The Department of Tourism has terminated its contract with DDB Philippines, the advertising firm that produced the campaign video for the country’s new tourism slogan "Love the Philippines" featuring stock footage.
In a statement issued by the department’s secretary Christina Frasco, DOT stressed that they are "in solidarity" with Filipinos who expressed their outrage and extreme disappointment at the firm's use of non-original or stock footage for the campaign video highlighting the country's new tourism slogan "Love the Philippines."
Investigations regarding the video were launched when netizens started posting stock videos that look similar to some of the frames featured in the ad.
They alleged that they were not taken in the Philippines and were only downloaded from subscription stock footage website Storyblocks.
Despite the video now unavailable on YouTube, various international news sites have gotten wind of the issue and have reported the investigation into the tourism campaign, including BBC News, the Straits Times, and the Independent.
DOT stated that DDB Philippines has apologized and admitted that non-original materials were indeed used in their AVP.
This violates the terms governing their tourism branding campaign contract with them, which states that "material/s produced by the winning bidder should be original and aligned with the DOT’s advocacies."
"The DOT hereby exercises its right to proceed with termination proceedings against its contract with DDB," the tourism agency stated.
According to them, no payments have been made to the advertising firm under their contract, but that they will exercise their right to forfeit performance security as a result of default in obligations under the contract, as well to review standards of performance with regard to any claims for payment or engagement.
DOT ended its statement by promising to remain "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 are a source of great love and pride for all Filipinos."
PhilSTAR L!fe has reached out to DDB Philippines for a comment on the matter but has yet to receive a reply.