MANILA –Advertising agency McCann Worldgroup Philippines on Tuesday came to the defense of the Department of Tourism (DOT) after its most recent campaign advertisement received backlash for allegedly copying the campaign of South Africa in 2014.
Several netizens were quick to point out the DOT ad as similar to a South African ad which also featured a man who was only revealed to be blind when he was shown using a cane.
However, DOT denied copying the South African ad noting their ad was based on a true story of a Japanese retiree in the Philippines.
McCann Worldgroup, for its part, acknowledged that the way the story in the DOT ad was told “may have similarities with the South African tourism campaign” but denied that it was copied.
“…We underscore that there has never been any intention to copy others’ creative work,” McCann Worldgroup said in a statement. “We stand by the integrity with which this campaign was developed.”
McCann Worldgroup also took full responsibility noting that “all ideas and storyboards presented were conceptualized.”
“It is unfortunate that the DOT has been called out and accused of plagiarism, for work we have done to highlight the testimonial of a real retiree,” McCann Worldgroup said.
“Our latest film, ‘Sights,’ was particularly inspired by the story of a visually-impaired foreigner who has made the Philippines his home and who has come to experience the Philippines in different ways,” the agency added.
McCann Worldgroup bagged the PHP650-million project to create campaign advertisements for the DOT.
It will include audio-visual presentations, TV and radio commercials, print advertisements, and the DOT’s an upgraded website which will be placed in countries classified as emerging markets.
The PHP550-million funding will be sourced from the PHP1 billion previously earmarked by the previous administration for the ‘It’s More Fun’ campaign.
DOT’s new ad was first launched worldwide in various TV and online platforms on Independence Day.