- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State officials have ended a new anti-DUI campaign following criticism that it had taken a sexist approach to encouraging young men not to drive under the influence.

The Tennessean first reported (https://tnne.ws/1JekJni ) a website connected to the campaign was pulled Monday night. But the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office, which launched the campaign, announced Tuesday that it was canceling it entirely.

Some of the campaign slogans on the site that were criticized included girls looking “hotter” when guys are under the influence, and finding out “a marginally good-looking girl” later is “chatty,” ”clingy” or “your boss’s daughter” as signs that maybe a man has had too much to drink.

Kendell Poole, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, issued a statement apologizing for any offense caused by the campaign. She said table tents, posters and coasters with similar advertising would no longer be distributed and were being removed from bars across the state.

“Because one of the goals … is to reach our high risk driving population, the marketing is often edgy and designed to grab the attention of the young male demographic,” Poole said. “It was never the intent of the GHSO to be insensitive or insulting to women.”

Gov. Bill Haslam spokesman Dave Smith said in an email to the AP that the governor is “pleased that it has been suspended.”

“The governor doesn’t like it,” Smith said.

Businesswoman Laura Creekmore of Creek Content, a Nashville content strategy consulting company, said GHSO could have taken a different approach.

“I’m all in favor of being snarky in a campaign, but you don’t have to be sexist to do that,” said Creekmore, who has been in marketing for 20 years. “When people see one of these slogans in a bar, they don’t understand the context of the campaign, they just see the message in front of them.”


Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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