MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) should penalize advertising agencies that give "unoriginal”" concepts so as not to compromise their integrity as a government agency, a senator on Wednesday, June 14,
"We should start penalizing ad agencies for giving our departments, especially the DOT, ripped off creative handles or not-so-original work," Sen. Nancy Binay, chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism, said in a statement.
"It compromises the integrity of the government agency, as well as the ad agency itself," she added.
Binay made this remark after the DOT launched its newest campaign advertisement on Monday which drew flak from netizens who claimed that it was "copied" from a South African ad in 2014.
She said that advertising contracts between the DOT, including its attached agencies, and ad agencies should have a legal clause or a disclaimer which stipulates that the agency handling a particular campaign would either be penalized or not be paid if the ad copy, concept, or peg was found to be copied.
"Tama lang na maging accountable sila di lamang sa DOT kundi sa taong bayan (They should be held accountable not only to the DOT but also to the public) Every time the ad is aired, taxpayers' money is being spent," Binay said.
Meanwhile, she urged the DOT to be more discerning on concepts, storyboards, and drafts that ad agencies present to them.
"Nasa DOT ang final say ng mga in-execute na ads at mga collateral, dahil nasa kanilang area of responsibility ito (The DOT has the final say in executing the ads and collateral because it falls under their area of responsibility). It also saves them the time and effort in defending the material that comes out," Binay said.
She also expressed hope that the next DOT advertisements would not meet the same fate as previous advertisements.
This is not the first time that the DOT and its agencies on record became controversial.
DOT and ad agency Campaigns and Grey were also criticized in 2010 for its "Pilipinas kay Ganda" logo, which netizens said was lifted from Poland's tourism logo.
DOT’s "It's more fun in the Philippines" slogan also became controversial in 2012 when it was said to resemble the "It’s more fun in Switzerland" tagline.
Both the DOT and its current ad agency McCann Worldgroup Philippines on Monday denied copying the South African ad and stood by it being based on a true story of a Japanese retiree in the Philippines. -- PNA