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MANILA, Philippines– The Department of Tourism (DOT) is seemingly keeping the “Love the Philippines” slogan despite severing ties with the advertising agency behind the concept over a video which featured shots from other countries.
Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco did not directly discuss the matter in front of tourism executives who attended a forum on Wednesday, July 5, but she repeatedly incorporated the controversial slogan throughout her speech.
“We all love the Philippines, and what better way to demonstrate the deep love that both Filipinos and foreigners have for the Philippines than in the robust numbers that we have just seen from the Philippine Statistics Authority,” Frasco said while pointing to a chart showing that tourism’s share to gross domestic product grew 6.2% in 2022, higher than the 5.2% recorded in 2021 and 5.1% in 2020.
“The Philippines is back and ready to tell the world the Filipino story and there are just so many reasons to love the Philippines,” she added.
The same tourism forum featured bags, shirts, and other memorabilia bearing the logo crafted by advertising agency DDB Philippines. A backdrop is also available in the forum should guests choose to take a photo with the slogan.
DOT’s Facebook page has kept the banner and profile photo and even shared posts referencing the campaign.
Frasco declined to entertain most of the questions from the press. But when asked if DOT is keen on keeping the slogan, she responded, “I think that was evident [in the speech].”
DOT is working on terminating the contract with DDB Philippines. It remains unclear if the government will pay for it, even though it is heavily implied that the creative output of the advertising agency will be used. (READ: Branding ng bayan: Tourism slogans for the Philippines through the years)
DDB Philippines’ P49-million contract required them to create a campaign, conduct market research, develop key visuals, strategic framework and a branding guide, as well as five audio-visual presentations with a duration of no more than 120 seconds per video and three 60-second television commercials.
DDB Philippines has not responded to Rappler’s request for interview. –Rappler.com