The dangers of mixing British tongue-in-cheek humour, politics and a tourist board website have been highlighted after Gosh PR lost its contract to promote the US state of Kentucky.
The firm had its $179,900 contract torn up this week following a row over the site that, among other things, promoted the idea of visitors playing “roadkill bingo”.
The site also drew attention to the attractiveness of some of the southern state’s residents and even urged visitors to visit the fictional Hazzard County, home of eighties TV series the Dukes of Hazzard.
The roadkill article suggested a points scoring system for the different types of animal visitors are likely to see dead on Kentuck’y roads.
“OK, it seems a bit sick, spotting dead animals, but you will never see so much roadkill in your life, and so varied,” it said
Although the site has been live since December it was only this week that its supposedly unacceptable content became an issue after Kentucky Tourism Commissioner Mike Cooper was forced to resign amid reports that he accepted $735 of hospitality from Gosh PR while in the UK.
Gosh PR managing director Drusilla Bryan has apologised saying she appreciated how the article on the site might have caused offence but that the company had been focused on promoting Kentucky to a UK audience.
Reports claimed that prior to this week the Kentucky authorities had been pleased with the “edginess” of the site. Clearly not something the state’s Republican leaders appreciated once his attention was latterly drawn to it.
One UK travel insider said he felt sympathy for Gosh PR because the site and its content had been signed off by Kentucky tourism officials before it went live.
Gosh PR was said to have been paid £700,000 by Kentucky over the last four years.