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Skegness tourism campaign launches broadside against Brighton
The British seaside should be a place where arguments are set aside as people get away from it all.
But instead, officials trying to promote Skegness have turned on their rivals to try to get attention – portraying Brighton and Hove as ugly and riddled with graffiti.
The adverts are an effort to improve the image of the Lincolnshire resort by East Lindsey District Council (ELDC). The campaign says: “For sights you’ll want to remember visit Skegness.”
The resort, which is known to visitors as “Skeggy” or “Costa del Skeg”, also claims to be “England’s cultural coast”.
Skegness once relied on The Jolly Fisherman with the slogan “So bracing” to promote the town. This was a reference to the chilly prevailing north-easterly winds that hit the beach from the North Sea.
“Those people that visit Skegness maybe would not want to go again whereas we get lots of repeat customers in Brighton and Hove.”Former council leader Mary Mears
The new campaign is to promote the town’s So Festival. A similar advert has been created with images of graffiti in Blackpool.
Last night The Argus took the decision not to carry the advert.
James Gilbert, ELDC’s communications team leader, who commissioned the idea, said: “We want to challenge people’s perceptions and showcase the amazing art, culture, dance, theatre and music that is staged in the town.
“These adverts give a different view of Brighton and by highlighting these alternative views we hope to entice people into having a look at what Skegness has to offer.
“Obviously, Brighton and Blackpool attract more visitors than Skegness and we are not seeking to insult anyone who lives there or visits there.”
In response, a spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “Good luck to them. It’s slightly hard to tell what they’re getting at, however.
“As Brighton is widely known as a successful, buzzing, cultural place, with England’s biggest arts festival, claiming to be dissimilar is a strange strategy.
“But if Skegness wants to remind thousands of people that Brighton is here, that’s fine.”
Former city council leader Mary Mears said: “There’s a big difference between the two.
“Those people that visit Skegness maybe would not want to go again whereas we get lots of repeat customers in Brighton and Hove.”
Robin Morley, of Brighton-based Magnetic Events, is directing So Festival later this month.
He said: “I do have cross loyalties as Brighton is my home but have worked with East Lindsey council for three years.
“I think the advert shows Brighton and Hove has two sides to it, like any town or city.”