A tourist-targeted advertisement announcing that “South Carolina Is So Gay” caused one state employee to lose his job after Gov. Mark Sanford caught wind of the ad, which was featured in London during Gay Pride week. The incident may have something to do with Sanford’s position on Sen. John McCain’s short list of vice presidential candidates.
Q Notes via The Huffington Post:
In the Governor’s office, [spokesman Joel] Sawyer said that the state will not promote itself as a tourist destination through campaigns “aimed at a specific group of people.”
Sawyer said the “so gay” ad should have been “run up the flagpole,” but did not know whether any standard procedures were violated at the time it was approved.
“It defies common sense that someone would sign off on an advertising campaign that controversial,” Sawyer said.
Asked whether South Carolina would, for example, position itself as a tourist destination for African-Americans by utilizing black media and promoting vacation spots of relevant cultural interest, Sawyer said that the state does not “get into targeting a specific group that might have a social or political agenda.”
NAACP, the leading U.S. African-American advocacy organization, is working to boycott South Carolina tourism due to the state’s official display of the Confederate flag.