South Carolina’s top tourism agency has canceled an overseas advertising campaign targeting gay tourists.
The campaign, tied to gay pride week celebrations in London, included ads that proclaimed “South Carolina is so gay.” A handful of other U.S. destinations joined the campaign, including Atlanta, Boston and New Orleans.
After learning last week the state had agreed to spend tax money on the campaign — and spurred by a post on The Palmetto Scoop blog — the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism said Thursday it would not pay the tour operator.
Parks, Recreation and Tourism director Chad Prosser said an agency advertising manager signed off on the contract, proposed by the agency’s London advertising contractor.
The agency will not pay the roughly $4,942 fee to take part in the campaign.
Employees “exercised extremely poor judgment in approving participation in the program,” Prosser said. PRT, he said, will require more review of future overseas advertising, as it does with domestic advertising.
Bartow says that this will alienate gay tourists and high-tech investors alike. I’m not so optimistic.
I agree that bigotry isn’t good business, and as someone who supports equal rights, I won’t be taking any trips to South Carolina — but I wasn’t going there anyhow. I would imagine that the bozos who got all upset that some gay European golfers might come to Myrtle Beach would rather starve to death than become a gay tourist destination.
South Carolina should be ashamed of itself. However, I would imagine that any citizens who could bear the shame of being represented by Strom Thurmond and the mere presence of Bob Jones University won’t exactly get their mullets in tangles worrying about being perceived as homophobic.