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Published January 13, 2012, 10:57 PM

North Dakota tourism ad receives negative reaction

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One ad in the newly released North Dakota tourism campaign is causing a lot of controversy. This one showcasing nightlife in downtown Fargo has caused some people to think the picture and slogan words are sending the wrong message.

One ad in the newly released North Dakota tourism campaign is causing a lot of controversy. This one showcasing nightlife in downtown Fargo has caused some people to think the picture and slogan words are sending the wrong message.

This ad picture features two guys smiling looking and three girls smiling back at them outside the window from the Hodo. To some the picture isn't what's causing the uproar of negative feedback...but the words that go along with the photo.

Norman Swanson – Fargo: “The dinner and drinks part, you know that's where they are at here and that would make sense, but the decisions are it's very suggestive.”

Bob Noel – Moorhead: “The picture is suggestive in itself; I believe that the words just kind of hammer home the point.”

Two younger girls say the slogan "Arrive a Guest, Leave a Legend" and the “Drinks, Dinner, Decisions" sends the wrong message of what is really going on downtown when paired with this picture.

Ashley Knudson: “These boys are like picking which girl they feel like they should go home with tonight.”

Although most people we spoke to say they are not happy about the advertisement, one guy we spoke to says it is more funny than anything.

Jeremy: “I don't know, I don't think it is that big of a deal.”

The ad has also received a lot of attention on Facebook, and although most of the comments were negative, there were a few positive comments,

Sara Otte-Coleman – State Tourism Director: “That is why we use social media; you know it's a great conversation avenue to get feedback and to get an impression.”

State Tourism Director Sara Otte-Coleman says no one involved in the production had the slightest notion that this ad would be seen as suggestive, but with all of the negative comments and feedback the department had no other choice but to remove it from the 2012 tourism campaign.

Sara Otte-Coleman: “We are a fun, genuine, legendary destination, and we want to communicate that in a good way, and so we are going to take a look at that and re-tool that one ad and go forward.”

Norma: “I think that is a good decision, I don’t think it puts us in the right light.”

Bob: “That was a good decision on their part to pull it.”

The current ad will be removed completely from the campaign. The ads will be replaced with another feature highlighting nightlife in a more positive light.

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