Skift Take

The reps’ misinterpretation of the intended meaning of ‘curious’ has turned the tourism campaign into a full-on debate in England today. Check out #proudtobecurious to see residents' surge of support.

The campaign, announced by VisitSuffolk last month, includes a strong social networking element with Twitter users encouraged to use the hashtags #proudtobecurious and #curiouscounty.

However, the idea has met with little support from MPs within the county.

Dr Therese Coffey, the MP for Coastal Suffolk, said: “Curious County does not give a very clear message about Suffolk. It is often used as a euphemism for something that is not quite right.”

The MP for Waveney, Peter Aldous, also expressed reservations, saying, “I don’t really understand the slogan, I’d say it was rather curious in itself,” while David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, was the most openly critical.

“There is nothing curious about what we have to offer,” he said. “This slogan is idiotic and meaningless, if not potentially dangerous for the tourism industry.”

Chris Waters of Condiment, the Ipswich-based communications agency that was behind the idea, defended the initiative, saying it was supposed to show there was more to the county than its traditional attractions.

He told the East Anglia Daily Times: “There is still the fish and chips at Aldeburgh, the wonderful setting of Southwold and all the superb countryside.

“But we wanted to show there is much more to Suffolk – like the arts and cultural festivals that are growing and becoming more important every year.”

It is not the first time tourism campaigns in East Anglia have attracted controversy.

In 2010, an attempt to re-brand the Norfolk Broads as “Britain’s Magical Waterland” was also heavily criticised.


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Tags: slogans, social media, tourism, twitter, uk

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