Aegis ad ‘below the belt’ — Palace
MANILA, Philippines – “It was a below the belt advertisement,” Malacanang said Tuesday of the Aegis Malaysia video that put the country in a bad light.
“I think whoever did that particular ad should be admonished,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
He also thanked Filipino netizens who “expressed outrage” and defended the country.
He did not answer if the Philippine government accepted the apology of Aegis Limited but pointed out that the advertisement was for a business process outsourcing (BPO) company and not Malaysia as a country.
The three-minute advertisement, which became viral on social media, boasted of Malaysia’s business environment compared to that of the Philippines. It said Malaysia was replacing the Philippines as an investment destination because of its better infrastructure and climate.
It said not only was the Philippines vulnerable to natural disasters, it also has inadequate infrastructure, less security and a lack of government support.
But Lacierda dismissed such claims, saying: “What we’re very sure of is that we’re the number one BPO center in the world.”
He said the country definitely has the business environment necessary to attract foreign investors.
“Some people will try to bring the Philippines down in so far as to grab some of the businesses away from us but we have proven ourselves. The BPO industry remains strong, remains solid,” he said.
In turn, such success had led to employment of Filipinos and other multiplier effects.
“We will continue to provide an environment where BPO and call centers will flourish and grow,” he said.
Aegis Limited has its headquarters in India. It apologized on Monday night for the advertisement, which it claimed was made by a Malaysian agency and not approved by Aegis Corporate.
Aegis Limited said the Philippines was a “catalyst” for the company’s growth since the acquisition of People Support in 2008.
“We would like to articulate that Aegis has had a wonderful experience in the Philippines – great clients, a great leadership team and above all great employees. We apologize and regret any communication that may have inadvertently hurt any sentiments,” it said.
Many Filipino netizens were offended by the video, prompting the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia to demand an explanation from Aegis.