McCann Worldgroup Philippines, the agency that worked with the Department of Tourism to produce the controversial “Experience the Philippines” commercial, said on Tuesday that they had no intention to copy others and that the advertisement was based on the experience of a real retiree.
“Our latest film, ‘Sights,’ was particularly inspired by the story of a visually-impaired foreigner who has made the Philippines his home and who has come to experience the Philippines in different ways,” the company said in a statement.
“We acknowledge the feedback that the way this story was told may have similarities with the South African tourism campaign,” McCann said. “It is unfortunate that the DOT has been called out and accused of plagiarism, for work we have done to highlight the testimonial of a real retiree.”
Netizens have criticized the new ad for supposedly being a copycat of a South African tourism video that also features a blind man.
McCann said they were inspired by many stories of why foreigners choose to visit and live in the Philippines.
“Our research has also shown that, of the millions of visitors who visit the Philippines, thousands of foreigners from over 100 countries have chosen to live and retire here,” the company said.
McCann said it was taking “full responsibility as ALL ideas and storyboards presented were conceptualized by McCann Worldgroup Philippines.”
“However, we underscore that there has never been any intention to copy others’ creative work,” McCann said. “McCann Worldgroup Philippines has always strived to adhere to our guiding principle, ‘Truth Well Told,’ in everything we do. We stand by the integrity with which this campaign was developed.” CBB