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The Stupidest Column You Will Ever Read

Robert Trigaux on Florida's change in tourism slogans:

Florida's governor was in full cheerleader mode this week at the state's annual tourism conference.

And why not? Despite hurricanes galore, tourism in Florida was up 7 percent last year in visitors, and up even more in taxable sales at hotels and restaurants. This year's looking even better.

But all the high-fives did not stop Visit Florida, the state agency that promotes tourism, from indicating it may be time to retire its tourism brand - FLA USA - and replace it with the less confusing if uninspiring slogan: Visit Florida.

I mean, what is a FLA USA, anyway? At first glance, it kind of fits in a dictionary somewhere between Flaubert (Gustave, French novelist) and flauta (a stuffed corn tortilla). Even the governor, as his remark at the top of this column indicates, acknowledges that the 8-year-old FLA USA may lack universal appeal or adequate comprehension.

FLA USA, of course, stands for Florida, USA. And therein lies a potential international marketing problem.

Unpopular or unpatriotic as this notion may be, a brand name that hypes USA probably is not the smartest way these days to lure foreign tourists to the Sunshine State. "Florida" probably still has plenty of overseas sun-'n'-fun allure, but USA conjures up some pretty negative opinions in more than a few countries.

Many folks who travel overseas often, communicate regularly with citizens of other countries or at least talk to frequent travelers hear the stories. There is a lot of resentment in many parts of the world against the United States and its recent actions, especially in the Middle East.

Read the whole dumb thing.

I'm not going to argue with Trigaux's point about America being unpopular internationally right now. We are a bit unpopular right now (sometimes being right makes you unpopular) but I think he's overstating it a bit. After all, how many international tourists are really passing up on visiting the U.S. because they don't like our foreign policies? I'd still like to visit Paris even though France is run by a bunch of namby-pamby Marxists. But whatever. That's beside the point.

My problem is Trigaux's assumption that Florida's association with the United States in its advertising will negatively impact that state's tourism. Does he really think that people from abroad are so stupid as to not realize that Florida is in the United States? That by removing reference to the U.S. from Florida's advertising foreigners will be tricked into visiting America when they otherwise would not?

Not to mention that he completely ignores his own stated facts in this column. Florida's tourism is up 7% from last year even while using the offending "FLA USA" slogan.

It seems like some of these liberals are really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days when it comes to Bush bashing.

By Rob Port of Say Anything.


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Comments (17)

Yeah, that is amazingly dum... (Below threshold)

Yeah, that is amazingly dumb.

The US is always unpopular.... (Below threshold)

The US is always unpopular. The MSM just clued everyone in during the '04 election but implied it was entirely the fault of the Iraq war to help score some points against Bush.

A while back, I was sitting... (Below threshold)

A while back, I was sitting at a table of people who were from all over the world. A South African white, a Palestinian, a German, a Scot, and a guy from China. They all emphasized how much people around the world thought to US was a "cowboy nation" that ran around screwing things up, and that we needed to rein in our unpopular-to-the-world maverick President...

...Jimmy Carter.

Good God...As if t... (Below threshold)

Good God...

As if the slogan is the make-or-break for people visiting Florida.

Wanna see Mickey? Wanna go be a beautiful person on South Beach?

You're going to Florida, then, even if the damn slogan is "FLA USA, BEACUSE FRANCE SUCKS!"

You are reading too much in... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

You are reading too much into the change. Any good marketing organization needs something refreshing every several years. Our license plates changed slightly two years ago, again for cosmetic reasons.

Florida is a major destination and will continue to be so. It is the fantastic year round weather and the major tourist attractions that sustain our tourist industry. Here on the southern gulf coast, we have non-stop service from Germany (to Fort Myers). Orlando is a tourisr mecca, especially for kids and the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area has always been a great draw for US east coasters and Latin Americans.

Four hurricanes couldn't stop our growth. And nothing is stoppong people moving here. We will pass New York state in seven years to become the third most populous state and our taxes are very reasonable. It doesn't hurt to have a Republican governor who is the President's brother.

I do volunteer work at our local Chamber of Commerce and I can tell you there is a massive influx of tourists from Germany, the UK and even from France, especially during the August holiday season.

There is no subliminal message in the new Florida slogan. We don't have time to fool around with trivialities.

Corky Boyd
Sanibel FL

Does he really think th... (Below threshold)

Does he really think that people from abroad are so stupid as to not realize that Florida is in the United States?

My thought, precisely. Of course, the flip side is that those who are fooled that easily might be better targets for tourist traps... but there could be other side effects as well associated with that much cluelessness, so it'd probably be a net loss.

It seems like some of these liberals are really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days when it comes to Bush bashing.

George or Jeb?

I think just about anything... (Below threshold)

I think just about anything Maureen Dowd has ever written could give him a run for his money as far as stupid goes.

Given the election in 2000,... (Below threshold)

Given the election in 2000, Elian Gonzales, Janet Reno, another attempt in 2004 and a myriad of other reasons I'm thinking it's about time the rest of the US secedes from Florida...

Remember, kiddys, FL... (Below threshold)

Remember, kiddys, FLAUSA your TEESA.

It's not that it's in the U... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

It's not that it's in the USA, it's that it's a Red State smack dab in Jesusland. Where your in constant danger of being grabbed by a group of radical Southern Baptists, baptized against your will, and prevented from dancing or drinking. The USA thing was a clever ploy to confuse tourists into believing it's just like Massachuettes where you have the right to get drunk and drown people if you feel like it.

Haven't yet read the commen... (Below threshold)

Haven't yet read the comments here so no faulting if this point has already been made, but the point of the "FLA USA" slogan always appeared to my view as outright pandering to the rest of the Americas, predominantly, and not for surprising reasons as we could see then (when the slogan appeared) and see now, with the disillusionment setting in (or, perhaps more likely, sinking in to the Governor).

Note the spike in illegal aliens in the U.S. since President Bush became President, as same with Jeb Bush as Governor of FL dealing with similar spiking.

At least the document mill(s) have been nabbed in Miami, the product of Mexican crime gang/gangers, but it's only a start.

It's sorta like hanging a g... (Below threshold)

It's sorta like hanging a giant sign on a diner in the middle of nowhere that reads, "EAT".

And, over the horizon comes a very, very large thing, focused with it's intense single eye on the sign.

Two guys -- very, very tiny by comparison -- can be seen in silhouette inside the tiny diner, and one is saying to the other one, "do you suppose it can read?"

I'm glad we're unpopular wi... (Below threshold)

I'm glad we're unpopular with international socialists and terror symps.

You're wrong, but self-corr... (Below threshold)

You're wrong, but self-correcting.

The stupidest story you'll ever read is immediately below and is titled: "UN pays for Palestinian propaganda."

Given the election in 20... (Below threshold)

Given the election in 2000, Elian Gonzales, Janet Reno, another attempt in 2004 and a myriad of other reasons I'm thinking it's about time the rest of the US secedes from Florida...

Please do.

This guy is a columnist for... (Below threshold)

This guy is a columnist for the St. Pete Times and in that context he's right in line with the whole editorial staff. It's really just NYT junior. The Sports section is really great though.

Trigaux is an idiot, and li... (Below threshold)

Trigaux is an idiot, and like most St. Pete Times 'journalists,' has a skewed sense of reality due to living in Flor-i-'duh'! (even worse is that skank Blumner)






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