MANILA-- The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Monday said that at least 12 advertising agencies have expressed interest to create a new campaign advertisement for the department after it terminated its contract with McCann Worldgroup last week.
"Twelve have expressed interest," DOT Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Frederick Alegre told the Philippine News Agency in a text message.
"We met some today. We are meeting stakeholders tomorrow and more agencies on Wednesday," he added.
Alegre, however, said that he could not name the agencies that have expressed interest at the moment.
Last June 15, the DOT announced that it has decided to terminate its contract with McCann Worldgroup for producing an ad that had "glaring similarities" to a South African ad in 2014 which also featured a blind retiree.
The DOT also expected a public apology from the ad agency after the ad received backlash mostly in social media.
The department, meanwhile, reopened the procurement process for a new advertising agency to create new advertising campaign material.
"We will reopen the procurement process for the production of a new advertising material which will be consistent with the current slogan 'It's More Fun in the Philippines'," Alegre said in an earlier press conference.
Alegre said that the DOT would be partnering with a new agency that would provide material for them "one at a time".
"We're going to look at the agency that can create one material at a time, it will vary depending on the terms of reference. This time it's not bulk," Alegre said.
McCann Worldgroup, for its part, said that it respects the DOT's decision to end their contract.
In a statement, McCann said that it regretted the decision of the DOT to discontinue their partnership but acknowledged that "it is in the best interest of all parties to discuss a sensible resolution to this matter."
McCann also thanked the department for their short stint and wished them continued success.
Meanwhile, several reports showed the wife of the blind Japanese retiree -- whose life story inspired controversial ad story -- expressed surprise that the ad was accused of copying another ad.
Kukai Nye, the Filipino wife of Mr. Uchimura, claimed that what was shown in the ad actually happened in real life.
Source: Philippines News Agency