Creative plagiarism
() - November 23, 2010 - 12:00am

A number of former ad executives and creative directors were shocked, more like aghast, at how a major tourism advertising campaign using plagiarized logos and unimaginative slogans was about to be launched internationally by the Department of Tourism. Luckily, Internet bloggers caught on immediately and PNoy quickly scrapped the whole idea. Had it gone through, the former ad executives pointed out, the Philippines could have been the laughing stock of the world. Worse, they said, the Department of Tourism could have faced a lawsuit from the Polish ad agency that created the “Polska” logo.

The former ad execs decried the attempt as blatant, shameful and careless – something which bloggers agree with, pointing out the numerous wrong information and the grammatically-challenged articles in the DOT website that was also lambasted for being very similar to that of a porn site featuring Filipina women.

Advertising people know the word “creative” connotes not only imaginative and artistic output but originality as well – and the now dead proposed Tourism branding had none of the above. In plain language, it was nothing but a copycat – which would have been totally embarrassing for the country.

P200-million fiasco

Former Tourism Secretary and Senator Dick Gordon joined the chorus calling for the Senate to investigate the P200 million budget allotted for the new tourism campaign without the benefit of any bidding. According to Dick, when he launched the catchy “Wow Philippines” tourism campaign during his stint as Tourism Secretary, he only had a budget of $600,000. According to several travel agencies at that time, it turned out to be very effective. Critics pointed out the DOT should have invited more creative people to participate in the new tourism campaign saying we certainly have a lot more Filipino creative talent around ready to give a helping hand to the country. The Senate committee on tourism is scheduled to investigate the failed Tourism campaign fiasco soon.

Doc’s advice to Pacman

A leading kidney specialist who watched the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito is advising Pacman to go for further tests to make sure the Filipino boxing icon’s kidneys had not been damaged by several illegal blows he received from the Mexican boxer. Unless Mayweather accepts the challenge, many people who truly care for the Filipino champ are suggesting he retire while he’s on top. Still others are suggesting he now concentrate on his new career as a congressman. The best suggestion however is for him to be the Tourism talent in promoting the country. As correctly pointed out by The Philippine STAR columnist Billy Esposo, it’s the best simple creative idea yet. What could be more compelling than having the most admired and most famous Filipino in recent history promoting Philippine tourism?

Top diplomatic post – changing of the guard

One of the longest-serving DFA secretaries next only to his uncle, Gen. Carlos P. Romulo who served for 16 years during the Marcos years, Secretary Alberto “Bert” Romulo is set to retire at the end of this year. There is no doubt Bert Romulo did an excellent job as our top diplomat especially during the many challenging years in the past.

Two leading nominees are being considered by PNoy. Insurance businessman and former Ambassador to the United States Albert del Rosario and current DFA Undersecretary for Special Concerns Jose “Chito” Brillantes, a career executive who has shown exemplary performance in various positions in government, the last one being ambassador to Ottawa, Canada.

Many may not be familiar with Brillantes but he is a well-respected figure among OFWs having served as a Labor Secretary during the time of FVR, and has actively lobbied for the right of OFWs through his work with the UN’s Committee on the protection of migrant workers and their families. Brillantes, who was one of the topnotchers during the 1960 bar exams, obtained his law degree from Ateneo where he served as student council president and editor of the Ateneo Law Journal.

On the other hand, Ambassador Albert del Rosario, a close adviser of the President, has been credited as one of the most professional ambassadors who served in Washington before he was abruptly recalled and replaced by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was also well liked by insiders in the US State Department and in Washington circles. Albert is married to an American. With two excellent diplomats to choose from, it will be a tough choice for the President to make.

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