MANILA, Philippines - The advertising company behind some of President Aquino's campaign advertisements confirmed on Thursday it had a role in the new "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" tourism brand of the Department of Tourism.
Campaigns and Grey, which handled the branding of President Aquino during the May 2010 presidential campaign, had an advisory role in the "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" campaign.
Responding to text message inquiries of ABS-CBN News, Campaigns and Grey Group Chairperson Yolly Ong said, "We are only in an advisory capacity, not the official DOT [Department of Tourism] agency"
Ong's agency was named by ourawesomeplanet.com as being behind the ad.
When asked if they perceived any conflict of interest or impropriety in their involvement, Ong said, "I promised that I would try to help P-Noy in my capacity as a private citizen. If I am asked for help, I will. We only did the logo and theme line as I had to leave for a business trip. What's the conflict? It's love for our poor country."
Ong dispelled notions that her agency benefited from the campaign. "I don't know if any money has been spent but certainly we haven't received a single centavo."
No campaign yet
Ong insisted that the "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" line is still being tested. "There's no campaign yet, just the preview of a line that will still be tested. Nothing has been done beyond the test logo."
When asked what lessons have they learned from the negative public reaction to the line, Ong said, "it was premature as we tried to warn them. As I told you, the campaign has not even been done yet."
Ong refuted a question if it was behind Aquino's TV commercial during the campaign, which starred celebrities bearing torches endorsing Aquino. She said that commercial was done by Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino.