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DOT’s contracted ad agency apologizes for use of stock footage in ‘Love the Philippines’ campaign video

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jul 02, 2023 3:07 pm

The Department of Tourism’s contracted agency for its “Love the Philippines” campaign has broken its silence on the issue in line with the stock footage featured in its accompanying video. 

In a statement provided to PhilSTAR L!fe on Sunday, July 2, DDB Philippines “profusely apologized” to DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, the entire department, and the Filipino public “for the apparent use of non-original/stock footage in the audio-visual presentation shown in the launch event of the ‘Love the Philippines’ campaign.” 

“As DOT’s agency on record for the launch of this campaign, we take full responsibility over this matter.”

According to the ad company, the AVP “was intended to be a mood video to excite internal stakeholders about the campaign.”

DDB Philippines noted that the video was produced by the local agency “at its own expense” and that “no public funds were released, or would be released” to fund it. This was simply its 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. Proper screening and approval processes should have been strictly followed,” it said. 

“The use of foreign stock footage in a campaign promoting the Philippines is highly inappropriate, and contradictory to the DOT’s objectives,” it added, describing the matter as an “isolated incident.”

“We are fully cooperating with, and assure our full compliance towards the Department of Tourism’s investigation of this matter.”

“We sincerely hope this will not diminish the genuine love and appreciation the stakeholders and the public have been showing for the ‘Love the Philippines’ campaign,” DDB concluded.

This comes after netizens posted stock videos that look similar to some of the frames featured in the ad on Saturday, July 1. They alleged that they were not taken in the Philippines and were only downloaded from subscription stock footage website Storyblocks.

According to the DOT, they “repeatedly sought confirmation” from DDB “on the originality and ownership of all materials contained in the AVPs and key visuals presented to the department.”

“In all these occasions, DDB repeatedly assured the DOT that the originality and ownership of all materials are in order,” it said. 

The DOT launched the new “Love the Philippines” slogan on Tuesday, June 27 to mark the 50th anniversary of Philippine tourism. The department’s secretary Christina Frasco described it as “a recognition of our natural assets, our long and storied history, our rich culture and diversity.”

“[It] is not a mere branding campaign, but rather a call to action to every Filipino citizen to remember the beauty of our country, to honor our past, and to look forward to the future armed with the virtues, (and) values of being a Filipino,” she added.

The campaign video has been set as private and is now unavailable on YouTube.