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Love the Philippines? Tourist video errs with footage from overseas

The "Love the Philippines" campaign used footage from a long way from the Asian nation.

The "Love the Philippines" campaign used footage from a long way from the Asian nation. Photo: Facebook

A red-faced Philippines advertising agency has apologised after using stock footage from other countries to promote tourism in the Asian nation.

DDB Philippines has admitted using images of rice terraces in Indonesia, sand dunes in the United Arab Emirates and a plane landing in Switzerland in a campaign designed to lure visitors to the country.

The $US900,000 ($1.35 million) campaign was launched last week.

The embarrassing blunder was identified within days, first spotted by popular Filipino blogger Sass Rogando Sasot. French news agency AFP followed up with some fact-checking and identified tourist locations in Indonesia, Switzerland, the UAE and Brazil.

It includes rice terraces in Ubud, sand dunes in the UAE (featuring a buggy driver in traditional Arabic dress), more sand dunes (this time from Brazil), and a fisherman casting a line while wearing a hat not usually seen in the Philippines.

DDB Philippines said using stock footage was common in the advertising industry – even as it apologised for the “unfortunate oversight”.

“Proper screening and approval processes should have been strictly followed,” it said.

“The use of foreign stock footage in a campaign promoting the Philippines in highly inappropriate, and contradictory to the [Department of Tourism’s] objectives.”

Unfortunately for DBB, and for the Philippines’ burgeoning tourism industry, the country’s plentiful natural attributes are now being lampooned online. Tongue-in-cheek posts attributing many of the world’s most famous attractions are being shared widely with the phrase “love the Philippines”.

Philippine tourism secretary Christina Garcia Frasco is unamused. She said Department of Tourism officials had repeatedly sought confirmation from the ad agency that the footage in their video was original.

“[On] all these occasions, DDB repeatedly assured the DOT that the originality and ownership of all materials are in order,” she said.

The video has been removed and the advertising agency has promised to help the tourism department with its investigation.

No public money was used to make the video, Ms Frasco said.

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