Philippine ad agency apologizes to authorities; admits using stock footage of other countries in tourism video

The video drew flak from locals, as various online users said that it contained clips from Thailand, Indonesia, and United Arab Emirates.

Faith Argosino

Faith Argosino

Philippine Daily Inquirer


DOT file image / JUNE 29, 2023 Department of Tourism Love the Philippines Photo from

July 3, 2023

MANILA — DDB Philippines, the agency that prepared and published the “Love the Philippines” tourism promotion video, apologized on Sunday to the Department of Tourism (DOT) for including stock footage clips of other countries in its audio-visual presentation.

DDB issued the statement after the video under DOT’s newly launched campaign drew flak from locals, as various online users pointed out that it contains clips from Thailand, Indonesia, and United Arab Emirates accessible in Storyblocks, a rapid video creation platform.

“DDB Philippines profusely apologizes to Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, the DOT, and the Filipino People for the apparent use of non-original or stock footage in the audio-visual presentation shown in the launch event of the Love The Philippines campaign. As DOT’s agency on record for the launch of this campaign, we take full responsibility over this matter,” the agency said.

“The AVP in question, uploaded by the agency on social media, was intended to be a mood video to excite internal stakeholders about the campaign,” it added.

It also highlighted that the video was produced “at its own expense, and no public funds were released or would be released, to fund the video,” adding that the “use of stock footage in mood videos is a standard practice in the industry.

“[T]he use of foreign stock footage was an unfortunate oversight on our agency’s part. Proper screening and approval processes should have been strictly followed. The use of foreign stock footage in a campaign promoting the Philippines is highly inappropriate and contradictory to the DOT’s objectives,” DDB said.

“This is an isolated incident, and the AVP has already been taken down as of this time. The succeeding ad materials have yet to be produced for this campaign,” it added.

DDB further revealed that it is already cooperating with the DOT’s investigation.

“We sincerely hope this will not diminish the genuine love and appreciation the stakeholders and the public have been showing for the Love The Philippines campaign,” it said.

Earlier, DOT said that the DDB has repeatedly confirmed and assured the originality and ownership of all materials in the video.

The tourism agency added that it will not hesitate “to exact accountability and take the necessary action to protect the interest of the country even as it continues to exhaust all efforts to develop and promote the Philippine tourism industry.”

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