DOT cuts ties with McCann after ad controversy

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) discontinued its partnership with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, after the advertising company was accused of plagiarizing a South African tourism commercial. (READ: New DOT ad criticized for being 'unoriginal')

"In the midst of this controversy, the DOT expects a public apology from McCann over the negative feedback that the department has been receiving, owing to the glaring similarities between McCann's 'Sights' ad and South Africa's ad released in 2014," the DOT said in a statement on Thursday, June 15.

The DOT added it will return to its previous slogan "It's more fun in the Philippines," junking the new slogan that was used in the McCann commercial, "Experience the Philippines."

"We also wish to announce that we will reopen the procurement process for the production of a new advertising material, which will be more consistent with the current slogan, 'It's more fun in the Philippines.'"

DOT announces they have decided to discontinue partnership with McCann Worldgroup PH. Story soon on https://t.co/cLMeMMTzIb pic.twitter.com/qLGDkViI4n — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) June 15, 2017

 

The "Sights" commercial has since been removed from the DOT's Facebook page.

The DOT's statement on Thursday is a reversal of its previous stand on the controversy. It initially said last Tuesday, June 13, that it was standing by the commercial.

The DOT had said on Tuesday: "We stand by McCann; we stand by the creative execution. We know for a fact that the Philippines is a choice destination and is also a choice place to stay for retirees. It's all part of the choice series of ads to show the spirit of the Filipino."

McCann, meanwhile, earlier denied the plagiarism allegations. "We underscore that there has never been any intention to copy others' creative work. McCann Worldgroup Philippines has always strived to adhere to our guiding principle, 'Truth Well Told,' in everything we do. We stand by the integrity with which this campaign was developed," the ad agency said on Tuesday. – Rappler.com