Louisiana Tourism Wants Political Group to Stop Hijacking its Catchphrase

Mar 09, 2014 7:00 am

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Hijacking state tourism knows no political boundaries. Just ask Pure Michigan.

— Jason Clampet

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Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne wants a pro-Medicaid expansion group to stop using the state’s tourism marketing slogan in its billboard campaign.

Dardenne said a cease-and-desist notice has been issued to those behind the MoveOn group’s billboard, which plays on the state’s “Pick Your Passion” tourism message.

http://bit.ly/NZhzOE”>The Advocate reports the new billboard funded by MoveOn members is on Interstate 10, outside of Baton Rouge.

The billboard states: “Louisiana! Pick your passion! But hope you don’t love your health. Gov. Jindal is denying Medicaid to 242,000 people.”

Dardenne said the slogan is registered as a trade service for Louisiana’s tourism campaign and cannot be used. He said its use by MoveOn creates confusion and detracts from state marketing efforts.

MoveOn Communications Director Nick Berning said the billboard is protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.

“MoveOn will not back down in the face of baseless legal threats. If Republican officials don’t want to be criticized for keeping hundreds of thousands of Louisianians from accessing Medicaid, there’s a simple solution — they should stop preventing Louisianans from accessing Medicaid,” Berning said.

“Neither Gov. Jindal nor Lt. Gov. Dardenne will silence MoveOn members,” Berning said.

Dardenne said Thursday he has not heard from MoveOn. He said legal options would be discussed once the response from MoveOn lawyers is received.

“They are free to put anything they want to say as long as they are not using a registered service mark,” said Dardenne.

Information from: The Advocate

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