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It seems that South Carolina is not the place for gays to vacation. The state just doesn't want them. A UK poster ad campaign, planned to coincide with London's Gay Pride Week, was pulled once Republican state Sen. David Thomas of Greenville heard about it and called for an audit of the advertising budget overseen by the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Ouch.


According to an article on MSNBC:
Similar ads were posted for Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., none of which reported any negative backlash. But in South Carolina, reaction to the posters – dubbed "the gayest ever mainstream media advertising campaign in London" by Out Now, the Australian advertising firm that designed the promotion – was swift.
Here's the poster art.
Similar ads were posted for Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., none of which reported any negative backlash. But in South Carolina, reaction to the posters – dubbed "the gayest ever mainstream media advertising campaign in London" by Out Now, the Australian advertising firm that designed the promotion – was swift.
The campaign was designed to "send a clear message to everyone who sees this campaign that it is long past time that 'so gay' should be used as a negative phrase of disapproval," said Andrew Roberts, chief executive of Amro Worldwide, the travel agency that commissioned the ads.
"From where we sit, and for all our many customers, being described as 'so gay' is not a negative thing at all. We think it is just great to be so gay," said Roberts, who called the campaign a success, having reached more than 2 million people in London.

The article also claims that:
Gay tourism is a $64.5 billion market in the United States, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association estimates, and more than 75 cities around the world have gay-themed campaigns that create no controversy. But the campaign drew special attention in South Carolina because it emerged only weeks after widespread debate over gay rights in the schools.
The comments submitted at MSNBC are rife with strong emotions and homophobia.
What are your thoughts on this? What does this say about S. Carolina's tourism board?

Continue reading "Gay Tourism Ad Creates Havoc" ... Read the full article

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.

LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel

Twitter: @Elaine_Fogel

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