Calls for return to 'Wow Philippines' after new tourism campaign dropped

MANILA – The Philippine Department of Tourism (DoT) has withdrawn its current 'Pilipinas kay Ganda' advertising campaign following public outcry, allegations of plagiarism and links to a pornographic website.

The Pilipinas kay Ganda logo has been compared to that of the Poland National Tourist  Office
The Pilipinas kay Ganda logo has been compared to that of the Poland National Tourist Office

Press, bloggers and senior officials have criticized the campaign logo for its striking similarity to that of Poland’s National Tourist Office.

Campaigns and Grey, the agency behind the new campaign, were contacted for comment, but had not responded at press time.

Many have called for the return to ‘Wow Philippines’ tagline of eight years, created by BBDO Guerrero.

Other complaints have arisen that the use of local language for the tagline makes little sense internationally – when trying to attract overseas travelers to the Philippines’ shores.

And last week saw the DoT’s new website www.beautifulpilipinas.com withdrawn, officially to correct grammatical and typographical errors, but also due to the URL’s similarity to that of a pornographic website.

Agencies in the Philippines were reluctant to comment on the controversy currently surrounding the new campaign.

One agency head said (the industry was) surprised the account was awarded without any sort of pitch. But another said they were not surprised that Campaigns & Grey had picked up the business without pitch as they are well connected within the government.

The worth of the business is still unclear, “as things can change dramatically between administrations,” said another source. “This government says it is making tourism a major priority, but there is often a wide gap between what is said and what actually happens.”

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