Firm defends ‘Curious Suffolk’ tourism campaign slogan
THE company behind Suffolk's controversial new 'Curious County' tourism campaign has defended the slogan.
The campaign, devised by Ipswich-based agency Condiment, was unveiled by Visit Suffolk brand manager Amanda Bond during a conference for tourist industry professionals at the end of last month.
It is due to be the centrepiece of a campaign to promote Suffolk in 2013 – but it has already been criticised by four of the county's MPs.
Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley has branded it as 'idiotic and meaningless', adding: 'There is great tourism potential in Suffolk. There is nothing curious about what we have to offer'.
Waveney's Peter Aldous, Suffolk Coastal's Therese Coffey and Central Suffolk's Dan Poulter were also critical of the slogan.
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However, Chris Waters, one of two partners heading up Condiment, said the campaign was aimed at showing there was more to the county than its traditional attractions.
He said: 'There is still the fish and chips at Aldeburgh, the wonderful setting of Southwold and all the superb countryside.
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'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.
'We've got the Spill festival coming to Ipswich – it's the first time that has been out of London.'
Mr Waters said the Curious County slogan also referred to Suffolk's position at the forefront of industry and technology.
'When you look at places like Felixstowe and Adastral Park the technology is well to the fore – it's the curiosity of people at Adastral which means it has more patents per square metre than anywhere else,' he added.
Mr Waters said that only part of the campaign was revealed at last month's Visit Suffolk conference at the Ipswich Waterfront.
It has also emerged that some of the county's best-known hotels and tourist attractions were represented on the committee that selected the campaign.
Mr Waters said there was a stir when the slogan and logo was unveiled, 'but people there understood what we are trying to do, and we are still working on the full campaign.'
People using the social networking site Twitter launched a campaign over the weekend using the hashtag #proudtobecurious to show their support for the campaign.
However, one tourist boss admitted the campaign went down 'like a lead balloon' when it was unveiled at the conference.