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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Truth in advertising

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We share the disappointment —and the hope as well—of Senator Grace Poe after the Department of Tourism lost its balance in a marketing campaign aimed at propping up the tourism industry.

This is the government’s agency mandated to encourage, promote, and develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity to generate foreign currency and local employment and to spread the benefits of tourism to a wider segment of the population with the support, assistance, and cooperation of both the private and the public sector.

The gaffe from the new “Love the Philippines” video – which featured materials filmed abroad – has been likened to a scam but her hope should be heard by other government agencies that there will be no reruns of such marketing mistakes.

“We expect the incident will not happen again especially to government agencies like the DOT that our people trust,” Senator Poe said.

The tourism department immediately expressed outrage and extreme disappointment at the use of non-original/stock footage purporting to be scenes from the Philippines in the audio visual presentation prepared by the advertising firm that produced the video.

And the DOT is now processing terminating its contract with the ad agency DDB Philippines, which the former used for the tourism branding campaign.

We are knocked out the ad agency blatantly failed to remember what college advertising students learned semester after semester before they get their diploma that there must be truth in advertising.

Truth in advertising is a maxim, an enforced concept of being truthful and accurate about products and services offered.

Neither can we fathom the go-ahead by understudies at the DOT when, as it should be practiced, the product is presented for final approval before the launch.

Or did they think perhaps that the foreign scenes were those breathing in the Philippines, the Land of the Morning with 114 million people from Batanes down to Tawi Tawi?

It speaks a lot of our philistinism when it comes to the Philippines we want our countrymen and foreigners to love.

Such ruthless racket, or, in the language of Senator Poe, an advertisement scam—whether the ad agency had been paid or not for its easy efforts is immaterial at this point.

The DOT, in a statement, has noted that DDB Philippines “has publicly apologized, taken full responsibility, and admitted in no uncertain terms, that non-original materials were used in their AVP, reflecting an abject failure to comply with their obligation/s under the contract and a direct contravention with the DOT’s objectives for the enhanced tourism branding, the DOT hereby exercises its right to proceed with termination proceedings against its contract with DDB.”

Will see how the sun rises tomorrow.


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