Philippines Tourism Board Ridiculed For Including Images of the Wrong Country

A tourism campaign for the Philippines has been widely ridiculed after a video included footage from other countries.

The ad agency hired by the Philippines tourist board has had its contract canceled after creating a video that included stock imagery from Brazil, Switzerland, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.

It’s reported that the Philippine Department of Tourism paid $900,000 for the “Love the Philippines” campaign but it was forced to remove the offending video from its social media contracts because of the blunders.

DDB Philippines, the ad agency behind the video, has apologized and blamed a failure in quality control for the fiasco.

“Proper screening and approval processes should have been strictly followed,” DDB says in a statement.

“The use of foreign stock footage in a campaign promoting the Philippines is highly inappropriate and contradictory to the DOT’s [Department of Tourism’s] objectives.”

Kangan Lake in the Philippines
It is not as if the country is short on beautiful destinations, pictured is Kayangan Lake in Coron, Philippines.

Creative Bloq notes that it was a Filipino blogger called Sass Rogando Sasot who was among the first people to point out that parts of the video showed countries that were not the Philippines.

This includes pictures of rice terraces in Bali, Indonesia, the sand dunes of the United Arab Emirates, an airport runway in Switzerland, and a fisherman from Thailand.

The Love the Philippines campaign was launched on June 27 with a glitzy party attended by high-level officials but now the campaign is in tatters.

The tourism ministry says it “repeatedly sought confirmation from DDB on the originality and ownership of all materials contained in the audio-visual presentations.”

“In all these occasions, DDB repeatedly assured the DOT that the originality and ownership of all materials are in order,” the ministry adds.

Tourism is an important industry for the Philippines, a beautiful country in Southeast Asia that boasts gorgeous beaches and nature spots but it lags behind neighboring countries like Indonesia and Vietnam because of its poor infrastructure and high costs.

According to The Guardian, 2.7 million people visited the archipelagic country last year which is down 68 percent from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Image credits: Feature photo licensed via Depositphotos.