Was North Dakota's Axed Tourism Ad Really Racy?
An advertisement created by the North Dakota State Department of Tourism has been pulled from their Facebook page, due to complaints that it was seen as a bit racy.
The ad features two guys in a bar enjoying some suds while staring through the glass window at three women with friendly smiles. The wording associated with the ad?
“Drinks, dinner, decisions. Arrive a guest. Leave a legend.”
The Department of Tourism placed this with nine other potential ads on their Facebook site, asking visitors to vote on their favorite, as part of an ongoing campaign to heighten awareness of their great state.
The offending ad has since been removed from social networking sites, as well as from their digital tourism guide, after dozens of complaints, including one I found on Facebook stating the ad “implied promiscuity...get drunk, and sleep with enough guys that you become a legend...” So I guess the issue here is what, exactly, does one do in order to attain legendary status in North Dakota’s drinking establishments?
Interestingly, the ad doesn’t state who are the tourists, and who are the vacationers, so I’m not quite sure how the Facebook commenter knew it was the women on the sidewalk who were just stopping through on their way to attain legendary status, and not the men in the bar. The state calls itself “Legendary”, and the campaign was simply running with the word in a variety of situations - not stating just how you got there yourself.
According to Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman, Department members stated that they had not seen the supposed tawdry connotations implied in their ad. “I certainly didn't think it was over the line, or seductive, or in any way in poor taste,” said Coleman. The Department of Tourism blog stated the ad was meant to “highlight nightlife, youthfulness, and a girls-night-out in one of our city’s downtown”.
Honestly, no explanation is needed. Let’s face it. People (of both sexes, mind you) visit interesting cities to see interesting buildings, eat expensive meals, and watch incredible shows. For many of these travelers, if an opportunity presents itself to meet an attractive North Dakotan and cozy up with them for the night, so be it. What, are they supposed to head to Winnipeg to spend their lusty loot?Continued on the next page