..If the Philippine capital city of Manila were in a grocery shelf along with 15 other Asian cities, it would be the least likely to make it to the shopping basket.
This was revealed in a recent regional location branding survey released by online journal Public Affairs Asia and public relations firm Ogilvy.
The Philippine capital ranked last among the 16 Asian cities in the report, which assesses attributes mostly related to business and tourism.
These include economic growth, quality of life, security, infrastructure, environment and tourist opportunities, among others.
Manila got an average score of 5.6 out of 10 points, based on a survey of 300 senior communicators.
The city's score compares with that of Jakarta at 5.9 points.
"The reputation of these two South East Asian nations is impeded by poor infrastructure, fears over safety, concern about corruption and regular word of mouth accounts of poor visitor experiences," the report said.
The city-state of Singapore topped the list with 9.7 points, followed by the city-state of Hong Kong and Sydney in Australia both with 9.5 points; Tokyo in Japan, 9.2 points; and Melbourne in Australia, 8.8 points.
Joining Manila in the bottom five are Jakarta in Indonesia with 5.9 points; the Indian cities of Delhi, 6 points, and Mumbai, 6.1 points; as well as Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, 6.6 points.
"Cities were selected primarily on the basis of gross domestic product and include the capital cities of the region’s leading nations," the report said.
This, as it stressed that effective branding of Asian cities and nations will likely be an important factor for future development in the region.
Location branding is considered "very important" for nations by 57 percent of respondents and for cities, by 54 percent of respondents.
The report added that the negative issues impacting a location brand cannot be addressed by government alone.
"[P]ublic, private and third sectors need to engage to tackle the negative effects of rapid urbanisation," the report said.
It noted, however, building a positive brand value involves more than hurdling negative perceptions through campaigns.
"Building an iconic location brand needs a well-honed narrative which marries marketing and messaging with real-life experiences which reflect the brand position," the report said.