(Manila) Much embarrassed, the Philippine Ministry of Tourism had to quickly remove a video supposed to promote tourism in this country: it included images of sites located in Indonesia, Brazil and Switzerland.
The advertising agency DDB Philippines, which produced the video, apologized on Sunday for the “totally inappropriate” images in it, showing for example rice terraces in Indonesia and sand dunes in Brazil or United Arab Emirates.
The video was part of the “Love the Philippines” promotion program, which launched on June 27 and cost the government $900,000.
It was a very popular Filipino blogger, Sass Rogando Sasot, who revealed the thing on Facebook.
Analysis by AFP’s Fact Check team confirmed that the video included footage showing locations in Brazil, Indonesia, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Apologizing, the DDB agency, which says it paid for the production of the video, admitted to using stock photos, without having “checked carefully enough” the origin of the photos.
The Ministry of Tourism removed the video from its Facebook page.
He also claimed to have “repeatedly asked DDB to confirm that all images used in the campaign’s audiovisual presentations were original and their property”.
“Each time, DDB has assured us that this is indeed the case,” he added.
Tourism, a key industry for the Philippines, has suffered from the COVID-19 years, and the government is seeking to revive it.
Last year, 2.7 million tourists came to the Philippines, 68% less than in 2019, according to the UN World Tourism Organization.