It’s not every day you see a tourism campaign that completely bombs out, resulting in the resignation of the head of the state Tourism Department.
But that’s exactly what happened in the latest campaign for Lithuania.
Called ‘Real is Beautiful’, the campaign was intended to showcase the stunning scenery and culture of Lithuania, but it had one little problem.
They used images from other countries.
Per the Associated Press, Head of the State Tourism Department, Jurgita Kazlauskiene, ended up resigning on Friday, after local media lambasted the agency for the dodgy work, which actually just used stock images from Norway, Finland and Slovakia.
Kazlauskiene took the fall for the stuff up, saying she’d step down so “people who work here don’t become objects of ongoing attacks,” AP reported.
The campaign cost $193,000, leaving us to wonder what they actually spent the money on (or how much an iStock account costs in Lithuania!), and launched in October.
One picture in the campaign, for example, was supposedly portraying a frozen lake in Lithuania. Turns out the shot was actually taken in Oslo. A photo from Finland is promoting husky sledding.
Reports claim that while two ad agencies won the bid to create the campaign, it was their competitor agency that noticed the flaws. They found that the photos were actually bought from Shutterstock and other rather inexpensive sources.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, however, made it clear what he thought of the mess, posting to Facebook on Thursday a photo of the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels with the caption: “We are moving government to this building tomorrow. Real is beautiful.”
In a second more serious post, the prime minister promised an investigation into the “fraudulent” episode.
Local Facebook users have seen the funny side, with many posting shots of international landmarks, captioned as Lithuanian, with the hashtag #realisbeautiful.
— Corriere della Sera (@Corriere) February 11, 2017
— Ieva Ragaišytė (@RagaisyteIeva) February 11, 2017
— Johan O (@esbjott) February 10, 2017