North Dakota Baffled by Outcry Over Tourism Ad

'Arrive a guest. Leave a legend' execution is pulled

North Dakota. What happens there, stays there … for a few days. Then it gets bounced from the state's Facebook page and expunged from the tourism division's online catalog. Such was the fate of this ad (full image after the jump), which was posted to Boing Boing (their take: the ad is "offensively sleazy and desperately uncool") and bounced around the Internet from there. Folks complained that the photo of young guys and gals making eye contact through the window of a Fargo bar, with the copy "Arrive a guest. Leave a legend," was too racy. Pat Finken, president of the Odney agency, which created the ad, described it as "a little flirty, a little fun." Sara Otte Coleman, the state's tourism director, said, "It wasn't my favorite ad. I thought, 'Oh, this is a little cheesy.' I certainly didn't think it was over the line, or seductive, or in any way in poor taste. It really just takes one or two [negative comments], and then people jump on the bandwagon." Why all the fuss? I blame the weather. With recent temperatures falling to 20 below in some spots, North Dakotans probably forgot how to tell when something's hot, and it's unfair to expect their reactions to be well thawed out. Ha ha! All kidding aside, there's no excuse for some of the insults aimed at the models in the ad. In Facebook comments, the women were described as "overweight" and "ugly," and aspersions were cast on the men's masculinity. C'mon, North Dakota—that's just cold.

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