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Ad campaign for RP knowledge workers set

By Abigail L. Ho
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:45:00 07/27/2009
MANILA, Philippines - An international advertising campaign to “sell” Filipino knowledge workers overseas will soon hit the airwaves.

Gillian Joyce Virata, director for information and research of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, said the campaign was in the preproduction stage, and set to go into production shortly.

BPAP and the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc. teamed up to roll out the international ad campaign aimed at introducing Filipino knowledge workers to the rest of the world.

The P160-million campaign had advertising giant Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Philippines at the creative helm.

Virata said BPAP and Seipi were seeking funds from the government through the Export Development Council’s P1-billion export support fund, the first P200-million tranche of which had already been released to the Department of Trade and Industry for allocation.

“President Arroyo has endorsed us to the EDC for the ESF. For the 20-percent counterpart funding from the private sector, Seipi and BPAP will tie this in with their budgets for international missions. Ace Saatchi’s usual fee, on the other hand, is its contribution to the counterpart funding,” Virata said in an interview last Friday.

The bulk of the P160-million fund, she said, would go toward buying airtime at international news channels such as CNN and other popular cable channels, as well as ad placements in publications such as Time and Newsweek.

The ads would come out right before and after BPAP and Seipi’s missions abroad, she said.

She explained that this campaign, unlike the ones executed by the Department of Tourism, would focus on the skills of the Filipinos and not on tourist destinations.

The campaign also aimed to change the perception that Filipinos were good for blue-collar jobs alone, she added.

“It can be said that the Philippines is one of the world’s best kept secrets. Companies who have been here for some time and have been working with Filipinos know how good the Filipino knowledge workers are. But they keep this a secret so they won’t lose their competitive edge,” she said. “We want this secret to come out through this campaign.”

She said the P160-million investment in this campaign would be well worth every centavo, as for every P1-million investment in the electronics sector, one direct job and seven indirect jobs are created.

In the business process outsourcing sector, each direct job spawns 1.5 indirect jobs.

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