Gold Coast Tourism: we didn’t want our marketing strategy reduced to a crotch shot, so we deleted the image

Gold Coast Tourism has removed an image from a campaign website targeting the gay community because it didn’t want its marketing strategy “reduced to a crotch shot”.

An image of a man wearing tight beach shorts with the line ‘Check out our impressive packages’ – taken from the website – was used in coverage of the campaign by Mumbrella, Gold Coast Bulletin and discussed on radio station ABC Gold Coast on Friday last week.

Ben Pole, Gold Coast Tourism’s director of communications and marketing services, told Mumbrella:”That image did not represent the tone and style were were going for in our campaign, which is part of carefully planned niche marketing strategy that has been two years in development.”

“The image was used as a lead image in news stories about our campaign, which we think is an incorrect interpretation of our marketing strategy. We didn’t want that image reducing our marketing strategy to a crotch shot. So we have removed it from our site,” he said.

“Media interest is good,” Pole added. “But we didn’t want all our hard work to be sensationalised.”

The campaign, Pole said, pivots around two print adverts, online advertising, radio ads on gay radio station JOY 94.9 gay and lesbian events in Sydney and Melbourne. It is an extension of the ‘Gold Coast, Famous for fun’ campaign.

Comments beneath the story on Mumbrella about the campaign described the image as a “lame visual gag about schlongs” that did the gay community no favours, but also suggested that the image had been used out of context.

The campaign comes at a time of conflict between the gay community and the Sunshine State, which has backed down on laws that would pave the way to marriage equality.


  1. Ben Pole
    10 Jul 12
    8:25 am

  2. Thanks for the follow up story Mumbrella, and well done on finding another opportunity to lead with that shot instead of the actual campaign heros.

    In the interest of accuracy, the GCT G&L strategy has been evolving over the past five years, the community based website has been live for two years, and our new campaign creative was developed over the past couple of months to align G&L imagery and copy with the ‘Gold Coast, Famous for fun’ destination positioning which was originally delivered with Clemenger BBDO Brisbane.

  3. Seahorses
    10 Jul 12
    9:09 am

  4. Brilliant, and your follow-up coverage only contains the crotch shot too.

  5. Bean Pole
    10 Jul 12
    9:23 am

  6. Hi Ben

    Just wondering where on the community site I could find pictures of babes and also some pictures of bikies? I am doing a school project on the deprivation of our society. Adland and the Gold Coast is my main focus, hence my attraction to this story. Any help provided much appreciated.


  7. Haha
    10 Jul 12
    9:50 am

  8. And the marketing guys name is Pole…. how appropriate.

  9. archie
    10 Jul 12
    11:08 am

  10. seems Mr Pole has recoiled after being shafted by his own innuendo

  11. thumbelina
    10 Jul 12
    11:17 am

  12. The use of explorer socks stuffed into underwear should be banned

  13. The Fence
    10 Jul 12
    11:19 am

  14. Every element of a campaign should be able to work on it’s own, Mr Pole. If you didn’t want this shot to represent you, why did you approve it? My guess is you didn’t see it. And now an employee is wearing the consequences of your lack of diligence.

  15. Anonymous
    10 Jul 12
    12:19 pm

  16. Ben T. Pole? Dresses to the right?

  17. Ex agency girl
    10 Jul 12
    2:00 pm

  18. I am born and bred on the Gold Coast and am personally sick of it being represented as a surf, sand and sex destination. If any of you care to delve deeper into the beauty of the GC, you’ll find more substance and spirit in the 40km strip than any other State.
    Plus, depicting the gay community with only having ‘impressive packages’ on their mind is insulting. Scrap the campaign and start again. The GC is a spiritual, peaceful, and calming place.

  19. A
    10 Jul 12
    2:14 pm

  20. So Ben Pole does not want their communication reduced to a crotch shot. Right. What about Mi Fanny?

  21. Mich
    10 Jul 12
    2:30 pm

  22. back foot back foot! Whatever Pole – you stuffed up (the campaign, not the underpants)

  23. Dave the gay art director
    10 Jul 12
    3:59 pm

  24. Nice pic

  25. LisaB
    10 Jul 12
    4:19 pm

  26. Warning – don’t share your work with mumbrella. I feel for Mr Pole and GC Tourism. Trying to target the LGTB market, share it with mumbrella and get personally and professionally crucified!

  27. Poor GC
    13 Jul 12
    2:21 pm

  28. Mr Pole – you say you have spent 5 years on the GCT G&L strategy and the website has been live for 2 years – I would hate to hear how long it would take you to a strategy right.