DOT dumps McCann, demands public apology

June 15, 2017 - 5:51 PM
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A screenshot from the 'Sights' video produced by McCann Worldgroup Philippines for the Department of Tourism's campaign. The government office is discontinuing its partnership with the agency after the video was criticized for being plagiarized from a South African tourism campaign video. Screenshot from the 'Sights' video on youtube.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has decided to discontinue its partnership with McCann Worldwide Group Philippines over the issue of the alleged plagiarized “Sights” video campaign.

This was announced on Thursday (June 15) by DOT Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre in a press conference held at the DOT office in Makati City.

“After a diligent review of the ad materials in question, the DOT has decided to discontinue its partnership with McCann Worldwide Group Philippines,” Alegre said in a statement.

“In the midst of this controversy, the DOT expects a public apology from McCann over the negative feedback that the department has been receiving, owing to the glaring similarities between McCann’s “Sights” and South Africa’s ad released in 2014,” he continued.

‘Sights’ is DOT’s newest video campaign aired last Independence Day. The video drew controversies as it shown similarities with a South African tourism brand video released in 2014.

Last Tuesday, DOT released a statement saying, “We stand by McCann, we stand by the creative execution.”.

However, Alegre said after investigations, they have decided to cut ties with McCann and move forward.

DOT Asec. Ricky Alegre (right) and McCann Philippines AVP for Corporate Affairs Niña Terol face members of media to clarify matters on the tourism department’s allegedly plagiarized ‘Sights’ tourism brand video, June 13, 2017. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

“We’ve mentioned the other day that In situations like this, nothing is final. After a thorough review, after listening to stakeholders of the industry, after all these and exhausting what we saw online and offline, we figured that this is the best way to move forward,” Alegre told the press.

“Secretary Wanda Teo is very clear with her instructions to us this morning that we have to move forward. There is so much work to be done to promote the country,” he added.

The department also announced that they will be opening the bidding process for the production of new materials.

DOT spokesperson Ricky Alegre announced in a press conference on Thursday, June 15, that the government office is discontinuing its partnership with McCann Worldgroup Philippines after its ‘Sight’ tourism promotion video was criticized as being plagiarized from a South African video. Photo by Bernard Testa/InterAksyon file photo.

“We also wish to announce that we will reopen the procurement process for the production of a new advertising material which will be consistent with the current slogan…”It’s More Fun In the Philippines,” Alegre said.

“Thus, we encourage those with fresh and original ideas that will showcase our diversely-tourist destinations and the unique Filipino hospitality to join this venture,” he concluded.