Press Release
June 14, 2017


The Department of Tourism (DOT) should start penalizing advertising and creative agencies giving "unoriginal" works, if Senator Nancy Binay had her way.

"We should start penalizing ad agencies for giving our departments, especially the DOT, ripped off creative handles or not-so-original work. It compromises the integrity of the government agency, as well as the ad agency itself," Binay, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Tourism, said.

The DOT launched on June 12 its "Sights" ad, which advertising agency McCann Worldgroup Philippines made. It drew flak from netizens who said it was similar to an ad the South Africa Tourism Board released in 2014.

"Mukhang di pa po tayo natututo sa nangyari sa mga nakaraang pagkakataon na hindi original ang logo, slogan, o design," Binay said.

This is not the first time that the DOT and its agencies on record became controversial.

In 2010, the department and ad agency Campaigns and Grey were also criticized for its "Pilipinas kay Ganda" logo, which netizens said was lifted from Poland's tourism logo.

The "It's more fun in the Philippines'" tagline also became controversial in 2012 when it was said to resemble the "It's more fun in Switzerland" tagline made in 1951.

Binay said that advertising contracts between the DOT, including its attached agencies, and the promo/ad/media/marketing agencies should have a legal clause or a disclaimer which stipulates that the agency handling a particular campaign would either be penalized or not be paid if the ad copy, concept, or peg was found to be copied.

"Pera ng taumbayan ang ginagastos ng DOT para bayaran ang mga ad companies. Tama lang na maging accountable sila di lamang sa DOT kundi sa taong bayan. Everytime the ad is aired, taxpayers' money is being spent," Binay said.

She added that it is the responsibility of the advertising agency if the proposed ad, slogan or logo has similarities on previously ran campaigns locally or abroad.

"Dapat maging honest at magkaroon full disclosure ang mga ad agencies para di kahiya-hiya ang Pilipinas," Binay stressed.

She added that the DOT should also be more discerning and critical on pegs, concepts, storyboards, and drafts that ad agencies present to them.

"Nasa DOT ang final say ng mga in-execute na ads at mga collateral, dahil nasa kanilang area of responsibility ito. It also saves them the time and effort in defending the material that comes out," Binay said.

The lady senator added that she is hoping that the next DOT advertisements would not meet the same fate as previous advertisements.

Binay said that the criticism on advertising only adds to the negative image of the country, especially for foreign tourists.

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