End of empty Algarve beach posters

A marketing campaign for a northern Portuguese city’s bid to become European Capital of Culture 2012 has stopped using billboards of an empty Algarve beach.

The advertisements promoting Guimarães attracted much criticism from Algarve tourism chiefs, including AHETA president Elidérico Viegas (see Algarve Resident September 3 edition).

Now, according to Cristina Azevedo from the Cidade de Guimarães Foundation, the posters which caused such a storm will not be used anymore: “In the coming days, more variations of this campaign will be shown with other types of situations, distinct from the images that were published before.”

She said that in a previous promotional phase, pictures of an empty football stadium, an empty beach in the Algarve and an airport flight information board with all the destinations booked to Guimarães were all used.

AHETA’s president demanded “the immediate suspension of the campaign because the inclusion of an image of an empty beach in the Algarve “was defamatory to the region”.

Cristina Azevedo said: “It was never our intention to belittle the Algarve. We only resorted to irony that is usual in publicity campaigns. The billboards were only removed because this first phase of the campaign ended on August 31.”