MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is investigating the alleged use archival material taken from other countries in its Promotional video for “I love the Philippines”.
Clips from the said video, which is purportedly intended to show Philippine tourist attractions, were allegedly stock footage from Thailand, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates accessible on Storyblocks, a rapid video creation platform, according to several online users.
In response, the DOT said Saturday that it began conducting an investigation “to determine the truth of these allegations and to gather the full power of facts.”
It added that DDB Philippines, the agency that prepared and published the audiovisual presentation, has repeatedly confirmed the originality and ownership of all materials in the video.
“During the various meetings and consultations held in connection with the enhancement of the tourism brand, DOT, for its part, repeatedly sought confirmation from DDB as to the originality and ownership of all materials contained in the AVPs and key images submitted to the Department,” the DOT said. he said in a statement.
“On all of these occasions, DDB has repeatedly assured DOT that the originality and ownership of all materials is in order,” he added.
The tourism department also clarified that the newly launched campaign video, which costs P49 million as revealed by Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco in an interview on CNN Philippines’ “The Source,” did not use public funds.
“While no public funds have been paid for the AVP in question, as this particular component of the launch was launched at DDB’s expense, DOT has a responsibility to promote the country at the highest level,” he said.
“Therefore, it will not hesitate to hold accountable and take necessary measures to protect the country’s interests, even if it continues to exhaust all efforts to develop and promote the Philippine tourism industry,” he added.
Use of archival material
DDB Philippines, on the other hand, issued an apology to the DOT and the public, as it admitted to using non-original or stock footage for the Love the Philippines campaign video.
He also stressed that the video was produced “at his own expense, and no public funds were released or would be released to finance the video,” adding that “the use of stock footage in humorous videos is standard industry practice.
“[T]The use of foreign archival material was an unfortunate oversight on the part of our agency. Proper selection and approval processes should have been strictly followed. The use of foreign archival material in a promotional campaign for the Philippines is highly inappropriate and inconsistent with DOT objectives,” DDB said.
“This is an isolated incident and the AVP has already been removed as of this time. The following publicity materials have not yet been produced for this campaign,” he added.
DDB further disclosed that it is already cooperating with the DOT investigation.
“We sincerely hope that this does not diminish the genuine love and appreciation that stakeholders and the public have shown for the Love The Philippines campaign,” he said.