MANILA—Damn those pornographers. They muck up everything, get into everything, and cause problems for everyone. Worst of all, you can’t avoid them no matter how hard you try. Just ask the Philippines.
The country is trying to improve its image as a safe vacation spot following “a botched police rescue of foreign tourists seized in a bus by a dismissed policeman in August that left eight Hong Kong residents dead,” reported mysinchew.com.
Toward that end, an online tourism campaign was put together that included a website with the name, BeautifulPilipinas.com. It launched yesterday, but don’t try to find it: It’s gone already, yet another victim of the ubiquitous pornographers.
It turns out that there exists another website that is decidedly NSFW with the possibly confusing name BeautifulFilipinas.com. You may click on it. If you do, you will see that it forwards to another NSFW website, FantasyLatina.com, which happens to be owned by—drum roll—TopBucks!
Savvy critics of the tourism campaign pounced. Why had the government used the local spelling of the country’s name? What was wrong with the old “Wow Philippines” slogan? People will wind up at the porn site instead of the actual site! Whose idea was this, anyway?
In the end it was all too much. The website was taken down after only one day online. The tourism campaign people are back to the drawing board. Evelyn Macayayong, interim head of the ministry's tourist information office, said she did not know when a new site would be back up.
Not everyone is upset with the outcome of the aborted campaign. TopBuck’s Q Boyer expressed the company’s disavowal of any responsibility for the failed tourism campaign while also expressing its gratitude to the Philippines for its more successful voyeurism campaign.
"We own thousands of domain names, many of which we ‘point’ at paysites from our portfolio that are close matches to keywords contained in those domain names,” he told AVN. “It’s not as though we sit around waiting for foreign governments to establish tourism campaigns on domains with similar names to ones that we own—but we appreciate the Filipino tourism ministry’s unconscious effort to drive traffic to our product, nonetheless."
Again, that’s BeautifulFilipinas.com. It’s definitely worth a tour.