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Employee Quits Over "So Gay" Ad: Perfect Pitch or Sold Out?

Employee Quits Over "So Gay" Ad: Perfect Pitch or Sold Out?

The South Carolina state employee who approved a controversial ad campaign aimed at gay tourists has resigned, according to the director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

The "South Carolina is So Gay" posters appeared in the London Underground and were aimed at gay travelers — the campaign is sponsored by Amro Worldwide and other cities like Boston, Las Vegas, and New Orleans have used the slogan to proclaim their inclusiveness.

But the frank-talkin' slogan is not what the Palmetto state director had in mind, "Our tourism marketing funds are for the purpose of bringing visitors to South Carolina, not for getting involved in various social agendas," adding that the South Carolina target audience is families.

The poster's mastermind says that the "So Gay" campaign is supposed to reverse the negative impact of the phrase and make it a tourist magnet. Does it work?


Join The Conversation
AndrewRoberts AndrewRoberts 9 years
Andrew Roberts, chief executive of Amro Worldwide here. I appreciate you covering this story. Amro Worldwide thinks it is long past time when "so gay" should be considered acceptable as an insult, so we decided to reclaim it as meaning "so good." We are a small boutique gay-owned business based just north of London. If any of your readers have travel plans, from hotels, tours and cruises or flights out of the United Kingdom right up to complicated worldwide travel itineraries -- we'd love to help. You can browser ideas and buy online in USD, GBP or Euros at and pay using your local credit card. Alternatively, contact us directly via the link in the top right hand corner of our web pages. Thanks very much for your support and we look forward to sending you off on your travels. Andrew Roberts CEO, Amro Worldwide
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I wonder what made the person who did this think no one would be bothered.
Michaelrcks Michaelrcks 9 years
jessie jessie 9 years
and they think that will draw more tourism? :shrug:
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Thanks for the geography lesson. My bad.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
The smokey mountains are in NC (and TN), but I'm sure there are plenty of rednecks in the state to object to the campaign.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I would think the red-necks in the SC smokey mountains may take some exceptions to this campaign.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
LOL! Well "That's so Gay" is a popular catch phrase that the Gay community can relate to. Very campi and in my opinion focusing on a stereo type but never the less we get it.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I love the term Fanilow. It makes me smile!
em1282 em1282 9 years
OK, maybe I'm being dense, but I don't get it. Simply saying a place is "so gay" is supposed to make gay people want to go there? So, since I'm straight and and like Barry Manilow, a sign that says "South Carolina is SO for hetero Fanilows" is supposed to make me want to go there? (I'm not really a Fanilow. I just wanted to rhyme. Nothing against the guy who wrote the songs that make the whole world sing, but I guess I'm more of an Engelbert Humperdinck fan).
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
"Our tourism marketing funds are for the purpose of bringing visitors to South Carolina, not for getting involved in various social agendas," adding that the South Carolina target audience is families." Sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. If they do not want to get involved in social agenda's why are they targeting families? As for the slogan yeah it works in the Gay world but you're representing a state with more than just Gay's here. IMO the slogan was inappropriate for South Carolina and a more appropriate slogan or more discrete marketing should have been employed. My conclusion: NO CLEAN HANDS HERE.
Bksuga Bksuga 9 years could have been worded a bit differently , a but much though.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I love how the director almost implies that gay people do not qualify as families.
lovelie lovelie 9 years
So much for subtlety...
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
That is probably most likely Steph! Which I would think then would make SC not very gay friendly!
stephley stephley 9 years
How did the ad campaign get from approval to the London subway before the state director noticed? I think he probably thought it was a good idea until the complaints started.
syako syako 9 years
I've lived here my whole life and I concur.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
It's funny, but I don't know how effective it would be.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
with obvious exceptions!! Although I don't really consider new orleans the south. I lived there for 3 years & it has some southern influences, but it's just so different from everywhere else in the south.
syako syako 9 years
like the rest of the south, it is not gay friendly hellooooo, New Orleans. :oy:
javsmav javsmav 9 years
well, if it's anything like the rest of the south, it is not gay friendly. This sounds like false advertising.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Sexuality shouldn't matter, but it does because like everything else - sex, age, income level - its a demographic characteristic. So sell to it! I've only been to SC once, but I dunno how gay it is...
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I'll bet South Carolina is so flush with cash, turning away 10% of tourism revenue is like throwing away loose change to them.
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