Binay says ‘Love the Philippines’ blunder is ‘unsalvageable’ | Inquirer News

Binay says ‘Love the Philippines’ blunder is ‘unsalvageable’

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 08:42 PM July 05, 2023

Senator Nancy Binay, chair of the Senate committee on tourism, on Wednesday said the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) controversial “Love the Philippines” campaign is “unsalvageable” after it drew criticisms from across the globe for using foreign stock footage in its promotional video. 

Sen. Nancy Binay presides over the public hearing of the Committee on Tourism. Senate PRIB file photo / Joseph Vidal

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay, chair of the Senate committee on tourism, on Wednesday said the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) controversial “Love the Philippines” campaign is “unsalvageable” after it drew criticisms from across the globe for using foreign stock footage in its promotional video.

Binay expressed appreciation for the DOT’s actions against DDB Philippines, the advertisement agency the department hired for the campaign.


“But the big question right now is whether or not to continue with the ‘Love’ campaign,” she said in a statement.


Binay noted that the tourism sector caters to a “sensitive market.”

“Political unrest, negative media and people’s perceptions influence travelers’ decisions. Because of what happened, we’ve become subjects of headlines from around the world. Our slogan has become a laughing stock, and the campaign was badly affected. It is saddening to see that on our first step for the campaign, we took a step back instead of moving forward,” she said partly in Filipino.

The lawmaker said it is unwise for the Philippines to keep the “Love the Philippines” campaign since its reputation had already been tainted even in the international community.

While it may look good on paper, Binay said the new tourism campaign had already been “beaten and battered in the real world.”

“The DOT’s enhanced campaign has lost the persuasion game. We all can sense the discombobulating algorithms which carry promotion-limiting consequences. The campaign has lost its redeeming value and has become unsalvageable. I hope the DOT is level-headed enough to accept this,” she said.

Binay then renewed the push to instead revert to “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” which she described as the “tried-and-tested campaign.”


“We don’t want the slogan to become a national embarrassment and look like losers…Again, let’s not force it. It’s not wrong to make mistakes. But LOVE was not meant to be. Let us all move on and just bring back the FUN to the Philippines,” she pressed.

The DOT, however, seems to be sticking with the “Love the Philippines” campaign, as implied by Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco during a forum in Pasay City on Wednesday.

Asked if the department is keeping the contentious slogan, Frasco briefly said, “I think that is evident.”

READ: Frasco says DOT will retain ‘Love the Philippines’ slogan

Unite, move forward

In a message to reporters, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva was likewise saddened by the wide-scale backlash the “Love the Philippines” has been getting due to the footage fiasco.

But, he said, “We need to move forward from this unfortunate incident and focus our efforts to restore traveler confidence and increase our domestic and foreign visitors.”

Villanueva again called for a “whole-of-government approach” in promoting the Philippines’ tourism industry which, he said, covers the reduction of travel costs through upgrading transport services, upskilling workers in the tourism industry, and assisting micro, small, and medium enterprises to boost the production of local goods and products.

Senator Francis Tolentino, meanwhile, called for the public to unite in helping boost the tourism sector instead of allowing the flop to cause divisions.

He urged them to allow the DOT’s investigation on the controversy to take flight.

“And let’s help each other. Let’s help the DOT, right? Instead of criticizing them…but they should be more careful. But I still vouch for the integrity of Secretary Frasco,” Tolentino said in a media interview.

Frasco after the fiasco

In separate statements, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Sonny Angara also stood behind Frasco amid the massive DOT fiasco.

They both lauded the DOT chief for her swiftness in addressing the issue.

Angara said the controversy “should not diminish” Frasco’s feats in promoting the Philippines to the world.

“Clearly, there were issues with what was presented by the advertising agency but what is important is that Secretary Frasco acted immediately to address the issue and ensured that no public funds were wasted for this purpose,” he said.

Angara then expressed trust that “Philippine tourism will reach new heights, and the world will see the many reasons to Love the Philippines” with Frasco at the helm of DOT.

Estrada took note of DOT’s “accountability and commitment to learning from this incident.”

“Understandably, any campaign of this magnitude may face criticisms and differing opinions. Yet…Secretary Frasco’s handling of the issues confronting the DOT is both admirable and necessary,” he said.

Following this campaign mess, he said, “We should all learn from this experience by strengthening our marketing efforts to prevent similar cases from arising in the future.”

DOT has since ended its contract with DDB Philippines after the advertising agency apologized for the fiasco.

The department also assured the public that it had not yet made any prior payments to DBB Philippines before terminating their agreement.


DOT ends deal with ad firm over promo fiasco

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Senators disappointed over ‘Love the Philippines’ foreign stock video fiasco

TAGS: DoT, Love the Philippines, Nancy Binay, Tourism

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.