DOT ends partnership with McCann over controversial ad
(Updated) The Department of Tourism (DOT) has decided to discontinue its partnership with McCann Worldgroup Philippines over the controversial “Sights” tourism ad, which was allegedly copied from South Africa’s tourism campaign.
DOT Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre made the announcement on Thursday, adding that the department will open the bidding for a new ad agency.
“After a diligent review of the ad materials in question, the Department of Tourism has decided to discontinue its partnership with McCann Worldgroup Philippines,” Alegre said in news conference.
The department earlier defended the controversial commercial, standing by its contractor, McCann, which took full responsibility over the incident.
When asked what prompted the department to dissolve its P650-million contract with McCann, Alegre said that they thoroughly reviewed the collateral in question and took note of the feedback of tourism operators.
“After listening to all the tourism stakeholders in which Secretary (Wanda) Teo is sensitive to, after all this and exhausting all what we see online and offline, we figure that this way to move forward,” Alegre said.
Alegre stressed that McCann’s contract was passed on by the Aquino administration. He said that the department was happy with its service until the fiasco.
With the firing of McCann, DOT announced that public bidding for the production of the new ads will be reoponed.
The new ads “will be consistent with the current slogan, ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines.’”
The department said that it is looking for “fresh and original ideas” that will promote the Philippines as a tourist destination.
This was not the first time that the tourism department drew flak over alleged unoriginal tourism campaign materials.
In the early days of the Aquino administration, DOT had been accused of copying the logo for its ad campaign of “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” from Poland’s “Polska.”
The “more fun” ad also had been criticized for being a copycat of the 1950s Swiss tourism campaign “It’s more fun in Switzerland!” JPV/rga
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