Philippines Department of Tourism withdraws website due to porn link

MANILA - The Department of Tourism in the Philippines has withdrawn its new website Beautifulpilipinas.com after criticism that the URL was too similar to a well-known pornographic site.

Philippines Department of Tourism withdraws website due to porn link

The website was taken down just one day after launch, confirmed interim head of the ministry's tourist information office Evelyn Macayayong,

Macayayong said the domain name would be changed, but denied the name’s similarity to a porn site was the main reason for its withdrawal. She said website users had complained about other errors, resulting in the current editing of grammatical and typographical errors on the write-ups that had been observed by their readers.

The rebranding itself - which featured a candy-coloured logo including the slogan, a coconut tree, an endangered primate called a tarsier, the sun and waves - also came in for criticism.

Many preferred, and called for the return of, the country’s slogan of eight years ‘Wow Philippines’

The new ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda’ (Philippines What a Beauty) has been criticised as “bland”.

At Monday’s launch of the campaign, Tourism Minister Alberto Lim had described it as “a radical departure from what our neighbours are doing, and to the faint of heart, a bit risky.” Lim said the rebranding was the result of market research conducted by an major advertising firm.

Campaigns and Grey Group have since been linked to the new tourism tagline and campaign, but a spokesperson insists that they are acting only in an advisory capacity, not as the official DOT [Department of Tourism] agency.

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