DOT advertising agent on a rampage!

In yet another display of failure of the Philippines’ so-called thinking elite, Harvard graduate and chairperson of the infamous advertising agency, Campaigns & Grey, Yoly Villanueva-Ong, recently wrote a scathing attack on those who criticized the Department of Tourism logo and slogan, “Pilipinas, Kay Ganda!.” She described the critics as “net-dicts who fancy themselves divas of righteousness.” Whoa! But I haven’t even put my two cents in on the tourism slogan yet; which means I am not even one of those critics she is describing. Dang!

Why, oh why did I not bother to write about this much hated and talked about slogan?!? The answer is quite simple: because I already saw enough public outrage expressed about it. I am not one to kick a horse when it is already down. But I do fancy myself as someone who is fond of telling people to get off their high horse. And this Ms Villanueva-Ong, is so high up her fancy white horse that she can’t even hear the people who are talking below her very clearly.

Ms. Chairperson Ong can’t even accept the fact that her company came up with a dud of a campaign slogan. I’m pretty sure that when she and her staff were still in the drawing board, they probably thought that their idea was going to be a massive hit. Which is what usually happens when you drink too much Kool-Aid with your buddies. Unfortunately, the public has spoken and they have rejected the entire campaign ad right down to the dot. Even her idol President, Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) likewise echoed the sentiments of the public. But then in her article, Ms Ong contradicts herself. To quote:

In the advertising business, rejection is par for the course. Recommendations get turned down everyday. It’s a client’s prerogative to follow the execution he deems best suited for a product that he knows best. It’s also a cutthroat industry. A thick hide and Pacman resilience are necessary survival tools.

If she is really so used to getting turned down everyday, then what is so different about the rejection she got from members of the public, whose taxes were used to pay her company? Obviously, Ms Fuming-Mad Ong has taken this very, very personally and even used her connection with the media to publish an article in her own defense.

She even predicted the reaction to her own article when she said that, “…whatever I say may be considered defensive or worse, prolong and intensify the attacks. True that, Ms. Ong. You are definitely defensive and you just prolonged the attacks. Now you even have my two-cents in. You should have listened to your “protective family and friends” advise “to steer clear of the contentious subject at least until the furor blows over.

Sadly, there was nothing in her article that would clear any of the issues that were brought up in the past few weeks after the so-called “preview” of the slogans were launched. The matter of whether or not the logo was plagiarized wasn’t even directly answered. The only thing she had to say about it was:

One accused us of being irresponsible for allowing the client to make us party to supposed plagiarism. That could have passed as a high-minded comment if his own brother wasn’t sued by a leading ad agency and ordered by the Adboard to cease and desist from airing a TV ad that was judged copied from Coke!

Then there was a former Creative Director for an airline account who mocked my Harvard degree as ironic under the circumstances. How quickly he forgot that he was fired by his Agency for allegedly receiving kickbacks from production suppliers!

Did she or did she not confirm that they committed plagiarism? It seems to me that she also showed an ability to deflect the blame to other people. Even the former administration was not off the hook with her when she mentioned the ZTE-NBN scandal. It’s like she was on a rampage and told herself, “If I’m going down, I’m taking everyone with me!” Everyone, it seems, including the public who should instead be lauded for voicing their opinion before the slogan hit foreign shores.

She can even pass as a gossip columnist for her use of blind-item descriptions. We, and the people on the streets don’t even know who that “one” is she was talking about, so why was there a need for her to mention that the brother of this “one” was sued by a leading ad agency?!? And I don’t really see the need to take a jab at someone who mocked her Harvard degree. Did she just want to mention that she has a Harvard degree just in case people missed it?

I’ve seen this kind of behavior before. Some members of the Philippines’ so-called elite always get too sensitive when they perceive a mocking of their fancy education. To be fair, in a country obsessed with credentials, flashing diplomas is de rigueur. It’s basically just a manifestation of that “I am better than you” typical mentality. Unfortunately, because they keep harping about their credentials, people expect more from them but when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan, the practice tends to work against them.

Most ironic of all, Ong revealed the real reason why she was compelled to write her feelings at the end of her tirade. She insinuated that she was moved by the resignation of Undersecretary Vicente “Enteng” Romano, “When Undersecretary Vicente “Enteng” Romano exited with grace, he demonstrated a miracle of public office never witnessed in this country: a government official taking full ownership of a tempest-in-a-teacup-blown-up-into-a-Category-5-hurricane.

How noble of her to admit that Enteng did the right thing, something that not many of the new administration’s staff would have done. But then she did not take the cue to do the right thing by admitting her company’s own hand in the fiasco.

Ms Ong, when you said “tearing down is more fun than building up,” I’m sure you were talking about how much fun you had tearing down other people. Otherwise, you would’ve stuck to the topic of the ill-fated tourism campaign slogan you helped develop.

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55 Responses to DOT advertising agent on a rampage!

  1. Odin0 says:

    First Comment? Woo hoo!

    I cringed on the Philstar article. Too full of shit! And looking at the majority of the comments below, the holes to her whining attack is very visible to the people. Unless they bullshit themselves and wave it off as an Anti Pinoy Campaign, I doubt she has the confidence of the handful of thinking Filipinos.


    • Odin0 says:

      Oh wait, I just read the OTHER pages of the comments section. Turns out, there’s still a lot of people drinking yellow kool-aid, unable to see the ad hominem.

      Question for Ms. Ong: If we “divas of righteousness” were silent liked you’d hope to, and you’re… as you say it, “little launch” pushed through, and that’s the only time you saw the FLAWS we… in your words, want to tear down, wouldn’t we be in deeper shit?

    • ilda says:

      Clever video you created there Odino. I guess that really summarises how you felt about the slogan.

      I’m sure she was disappointed that P-Noy did not support the ad. She just had to be careful not to burn bridges.

    • Hyden Toro says:

      The Parody of Noynoy Aquino, being Hitler of Germany is really superb. I think the creator of the You Tube mimicry would had done a better job than that advertising agency, headed by that Harvard Graduate. Ms. Ong, does not have any talent; except to plagiarize…Good work…I recommend everybody to view the You Tube mimicry…it will give you a hearty laugh…Yellow Hordes- don’t be offended and take it seriously…it is just a Joke! Hey Ricky Carandang…can you match this You Tube Parody? Filipinos got Talent, really!!!

  2. kickapoo says:

    DOT was billed more than 900,000 pesos for “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” 3D animation..Where the heck is the 3D animation??? during the slogan launch? I dont see any…all i saw was a lame FLASH ANIMATION…..we paid NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS for a lame flash animation??????

  3. Hyden Toro says:

    When your customers (Filipino people) are outraged at your service. You should not justify, your lousy plagiarized work in advertising. The Filipino people have the right to complain, and reject your work. They are paying you with their hard earned OFW slave money…If you wave infront of their noses; your fancy credentials like: Harvard graduate, Ivy League university graduate, PhD, MBA, etc…it does not help…it does not guarantee that you will not sell us a lousy product. You may cut corners in your work. Grab our money, and run…at your pleasure and for your good business profit…

  4. ChinoF says:

    Ong even turned a blind eye to the lutong makaw involving Romano’s daughter. 
    Defending mediocrity like this is a sad example of the deterioration of our more “educated” people. 

  5. bokyo says:

    Why did they focus more on the launching rather than the whole program of the tourism itself? if she is raging on the criticism of what she called a “test” logo, then why didn’t the “test” logo go to quality control? In I.T. terms, that logo already reached the deployment staged when it’s not being tested properly, and the client is paying bigtime because the project is already botched up in the planning stage.

    And btw, if she’s a ‘Harvard’ graduate, she should have heard the term “constructive criticism”.

    • ilda says:

      The rejection should have served as a humbling experience for her but she was still too full of herself hence, she felt the need to write an article defending herself.

      They were simply too overconfident. 

  6. Jack says:

    The days of big corporation and firm promoting brands are over…Now, is the age of social networking, youtube and making things up from the ground…DOT could have invited participants from around the world to design PH tourism logo and given 900 thousand pesos to the winner or even half of it would have worked….

    It would have assured publicity and would get very little criticism when the online users would itself select the best logo. Google4Doodle from Google was very successful around the world and they got free publicity from press.

    When users from PH could find talents like Charice online and make her a global celebrity, it wouldn’t be so difficult for them to select a campaign for PH tourism.

    • ilda says:

      That would have been a great idea.Jack

      I don’t think Google is the only one who did that. I heard about Queensland, Australia’s similar endeavour. They advertised worldwide for a vacancy for the position of campaign ambassador. The campaign ambassador was paid to write/blog about their experience in Queensland for a year. I heard it attracted huge publicity for Australia.

      Unfortunately, the owner of the ad agency must be averse to social media so this kind of stuff didn’t cross her mind.

      • Jack says:

        Thanks for the reply. I agree…Its old school vs new school of thought…if government’s around the world have young people in their cabinet, new ideas will flourish…yeah…for people still hanging onto old business wouldn’t cross their minds.

    • Jay says:

      As my uncle said, sadly great ideas always have to run through some form of politicking and this issue is certainly no different. He apparently liked it, though my uncle likes many things pro-pinoy as well.

      Your suggestion is a much better idea than taking the taxpayer’s money and gamble it away to government/corporate bigwigs.

    • kusinero says:

      Why is she complaining in the first place? It’s not a personal attack, I don’t think people even cared if the DOT hired somebody to do this kindergarten doodle. The only thing that people cared about is that the whole idea sucked, we spent tax money, and that the DOT secretary should have the balls to own up to the mistake.

      Now she has brought more attention to herself and to her lackluster performance, dragging with her any good name that her company has. Good luck on your next bonus!

  7. Sareet L says:

    Alas, no one bothered to read her this quote:

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” (Abraham Lincoln)

  8. peste says:

    Ohh sheeet! I read a comment in the PhilStar article from californiaflip. He/She claims that Campaigns and Grey is the same firm that put up the shadowy Ako Mismo PR blitz and that they have been dismissed by Manny Pangilinan with the parting words “their campaigns are in the grey.” Anyone could verify the part about MVP, especially the quote?

    I myself did not like that Ako Mismo campaign. I remember it being accused to gather a database of personal information that could be used to analyze potential voters. Oh sheeet!

    • ilda says:

      Not aware of that peste

      Ms Ong did more damage to her reputation by blaming everyone else but herself.

    • peste says:

      By the way, AkoMismo is not the first to come up with the concept. The site is the first one I know that implemented it. In my opinion, One Tama implements it more effectively, as well as not being attention-hungry and shady. Too bad it seems to be dead now.

      • The Lazzo says:

        They held a postcard design contest in conjunction with Visuals with Vision a couple months ago. I remember designing one of the finalist picks.


  9. archie says:

    remind me to put Campaigns & Grey in my “not to trust design agencies”. Ong is sourgraping, the more she comment the more she’s giving bad reputation to the agency. Or maybe Ong couldn’t accept the fact that her office accept forgers for creative artists?

    • ilda says:

      Now we know that archie. Someone should review their previous works. Although without doing research, the slogan “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” is very similar to “Erap para sa mahirap.”  😉

  10. The Lazzo says:

    Unfortunately, because they keep harping about their credentials, people expect more from them but when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan, the practice tends to work against them.

    This then further ingrains the idea into the petty minds of the public that maybe ‘credentials’ are overrated. It’s why they are consistently able to elect movie and sports stars with no political experience, along with politicians that did close to zilch in the legislative arena. All that’s needed is the name as a buzzword. Why not?, they believe, All you need is heart!

    This vicious cycle needs to be broken.

    • ilda says:

      Correct The Lazzo.

      Because these kinds of Filipinos get the most exposure in the media, the masa then put all educated elites in the same mound.

      And that is how the Filipinos become anti-intellectual.

  11. aboy says:

    There are a lot of Ad Agencies in Phil who could have done a better job… Due to palakasan and connection in this administration of “Daang Matuwid”, we end up with a mediocre one… And we can see it from Ms. Ong clearly…. this article from Philstar is gaining popularity but in the opposite way…. Ms. Ong is not just in rampage… she’s Nuts!

  12. kusinero says:

    People who always find the need to “air out” their side even though they’re wrong just shows that they are full of it – air.

    Hay naku, pa harvard harvard pa, sana pinakita na lang sa output niya.

  13. BenK says:

    From now on, if this screeching harpy comes up again in any articles anyone’s thinking of writing (and it would be okay if she doesn’t), I think you should add the phrase, “Ms. Villanueva-Ong, who, like the Unabomber and the lead singer of Weezer, is a proud Harvard graduate….”

    • Hyden Toro says:

      With Mr. Skilling, the notorious accounting book-cooker and documents shreder of Enron Corp., in the slammer. My. Kazynski also, the unabomber. Ms. Ong and Mr. Enrile, are still here…I believe they teach: scamming and political opportunism classes in Harvard University…

  14. Maki_Alam says:

    I’ve always believed education is the key to all our problems. But then I see these so-called educated people like Ong and those in government, and I can’t help but doubt my own belief.

    • ChinoF says:

      Depends on what kind of education maybe. Formal education doesn’t always tell you to put your foot in your mouth when you’re about to spew some crap. Truly “educated” people have better manners. 

    • ilda says:

      It’s the Filipino culture that breeds people like Ms Ong. They put so much value on how people perceive them because of “pakikisama”. Which is why they go berserk when they think that their reputation is being tainted. Harvard had nothing to do with her behavior.

  15. ArticleRequest says:

    From Yoly Villanueva Ong’s piece: “I was needled: Do I still support this “incompetent, weak and indecisive leader”? You mean will I always be on the side of an honest and incorruptible President? Absolutely YES! But my antenna was up. I knew a tidal wave of malevolence was about to hit.”

    *rolls eyes till they bleed X1000*

    Before the campaign Noynoy supporters propped him up as a God given messiah who could clean up this country. Ask for credentials, achievements, and anything relevant about Noynoy’s ability to lead and (since nothing good happened anyway in Noynoy’s disastrous term as a Congressman and Senator for 12 years) they would shower you with stories of Ninoy/Cory and the nebulous “Aquino” Brand. Now that he’s president and it becomes more and more obvious each day that he really is a gaffe ridden dud after all, Noynoy’s supporters are writing themselves into a wall when they hopelessly defend him by saying “I will stand by him because he is the most honest of them all !” Get real Yellows. He and Kris are nothing more than a bunch of slobs from the moon. He’s not the “heroic Ninoy” they keep fooling themselves of (why? just because he’s a diminutive fatter version of Ninoy???! Hello!?)
    Enough with this bullcrap and motherhood statements. He’s being paid with our taxes and we deserve better than these bullcrap excuses from Noynoy’s supporters.

    • ArticleRequest says:

      From Yoly Villanueva Ong’s piece: “I was needled: Do I still support this “incompetent, weak and indecisive leader”? You mean will I always be on the side of an honest and incorruptible President? Absolutely YES! But my antenna was up. I knew a tidal wave of malevolence was about to hit.”

      Yoly, my dog would never steal a dime and he would never lie to me EVER.
      Why don’t you make him sit in the Palace tomorrow? ::):

      • ilda says:

        Did she or did she not confirm that P-Noy is an “incompetent, weak and indecisive leader?” 😉

        But she will still support him. That says a lot about her.

  16. ArticleRequest says:

    “Enteng cut a few corners because he instinctively saw what must be accomplished quickly. Last year, there were 3M+ tourists. Twenty-six percent were North Americans (60 percent of whom are FilAms), followed by the Koreans (20 percent), Chinese (13 percent) and Japanese (9 percent). Forty-two percent don’t speak English and couldn’t care less if the themeline was written in Aramaic.”

    42% don’t speak English…. I bet they speak Pilipino LOL.

  17. ArticleRequest says:

    Pilipinas kay ganda? Ugaling Pilipino kay Pangit.

  18. Sareet L says:

    Everyone seen this yet?

    Ms. Yoly Ong actually has a cameo role here – go to 2:55. It’s freaking hysterical.

  19. Gman says:

    “When Undersecretary Vicente “Enteng” Romano exited with grace, he demonstrated a miracle of public office never witnessed in this country: a government official taking full ownership of a tempest-in-a-teacup-blown-up-into-a-Category-5-hurricane.”

    Could it be that Enteng resigned just to spare himself and his family further media attention when they apparently gained business when the govt. pushed through with the million peso ad campaign?

  20. Pingback: Senate drama sideshow: Yoly Ong and Juan Ponce Enrile's exchange of lawsuits | Get Real Post

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