MANILA-- Advertising agency McCann Worldgroup, the agency which created the controversial campaign ad for the Department of Tourism (DOT), on Friday said it respects the former's decision to end their contract.
It may be recalled that the DOT's most recent ad called Sights had glaring similarities to a South African ad in 2014 which also featured a blind tourist.
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.
...We respect any decision made by the DOT and, while regrettable, we thank the DOT for the opportunity to serve, and we wish them continued success in their future endeavors, the agency said.
The agency, meanwhile, said that it only learned about the decision of the DOT to terminate their contract through various news reports and the press conference on Thursday.
We learned yesterday afternoon, through various news reports and the press conference held by the Department of Tourism (DOT), that it has decided to discontinue its partnership with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, the statement read.
At the time of this press release, however, McCann has not received a formal communication from the DOT about termination of our contract, the agency added.
On Thursday, the DOT announced that it has decided to cut ties with McCann after a diligent review of the ad materials in question.
DOT Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Frederick Alegre said that the department also expected a public apology from the ad agency.
"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," he added.
Meanwhile, Alegre said that the DOT is reopening 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'," the tourism official said.
For the meantime, the DOT will be temporarily using the first ad created for the agency, Anak which features a blonde-haired tourist visiting the Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur.
The DOT made no comment on McCann's statement.
Source: Philippines News Agency