A drink-drivign campaign in Tennessee, US, has been pulled after the seemingly well-meaning message turned out to be offensive and sexist.
The campaign – which was part funded by the state – featured drink coasters that read: “Buy a drink for a marginally good-looking girl, only to find out she’s chatty, clingy and your boss’s daughter” and fliers that read: “After a few drinks the girls look hotter and the music sounds better. Just remember: If your judgement is impaired, so is your driving.”
The local Tennessee newspaper The Tennessean quoted marketing strategist Laura Creekmore. “I’m all in favour of being snarky in a campaign, but you don’t have to be sexist to do that,” she said. “It is unfortunate for the young men of Tennessee if we think we have to be sexist to get the message across. When people see one of these slogans in a bar, they don’t understand the context of the campaign, they just see the message in front of them.”
The state’s director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Kendell Poole, issued a statement that read: “For any offence caused by the 100 Days of Summer Heat Booze It and Lose It Campaign. Because one of the goals of many Booze It and Lose It campaigns is to reach our high risk driving population, the marketing is often edgy and designed to grab the attention of the young male demographic.
“It was never the intent of the GHSO to be insensitive or insulting to women.”
The campaign has subsequently been scrapped with local politicians lambasting the waste of taxpayer’s money spent on the campaign in the first place.
“It is not only offensive, but it is also inexcusable and a waste of taxpayer dollars,” John Ray Clemmons – one of the many angry pollies – told the The Tennessean.
“No state dollars are used for the marketing of campaigns such as Booze It and Lose It or Click It or Ticket,” the Governor’s Highway Safety Office said. Nashville Public Radio reported that the campaign was paid for with a federal grant,” he said.