MANILA, Philippines – Business process outsourcing (BPO) company Aegis Limited apologized for an advertisement that caught the ire of netizens because of its tone which promoted Malaysia as an investment destination at the expense of the Philippines.
Aegis (formerly People Support), the BPO arm of Indian multinational company Essar, said the video was outsourced to another agency whose output was not approved by Aegis.
“The video was developed locally by an agency and uploaded in error and the contents were not approved by Aegis Corporate,” the company said in a Facebook post.
The advertisement, which runs less than 3 minutes, promoted Malaysia as a “preferred alternate to the Philippines and is fast emerging as the ultimate investment destination for multinationals.”
It also alluded to the Philippines as an economy with inadequate infrastructure, a difficult bureaucracy and costly business processes – in contrast to Malaysia which the video says “is investor-friendly owing to flexible policies of the government.”
“We apologize and regret any communication that may have inadvertently hurt any sentiments,” the post said.
Rappler tried to ask Aegis Limited vice president for marketing Vinod Kumar M to elaborate, but he did not reply to our email.
A source from Aegis Philippines who refused to be named disapproved of the advertisement, saying the Philippines remains to be the leading provider of voice support globally.
“In fact in 2005, we only had 100,000 workers [in the Philippines]. In 2014, we already have close to 1 million workers,” the source said.
Although the video could no longer be found on Aegis’ Youtube account, the controversy caught the attention of the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
It said the advertisement “has [cast] the Philippines in an unfavorable light.”
The call center firm began operating in the Philippines in 2000 as PeopleSupport (Philippines) Inc prior to its acquisition by the Essar group in 2008. – Rappler.com