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Suffolk: “Curious county” campaign gets backing as row becomes viral

PUBLISHED: 13:36 15 October 2012

The Curious County logo

The Curious County logo

Archant

THE company behind Visit Suffolk’s proposed new “Curious County” tourism campaign has defended the slogan.

The campaign, devised by Ipswich-based agency Condiment, was unveiled by Visit Suffolk brand manager Amanda Bond during a conference for tourist industry professionals at the end of last month.

It is due to be the centrepiece of a campaign in 2013 - but it has already been criticised by four of the county’s MPs.

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley branded it as “idiotic and meaningless”, adding: “There is great tourism potential in Suffolk. There is nothing curious about what we have to offer.”

However, Chris Waters, one of two partners heading up Condiment, said the campaign was aimed at showing there was more to the county than its traditional attractions.

He said: “There is still the fish and chips at Aldeburgh, the wonderful setting of Southwold and all the superb countryside.

“But we wanted to show there is much more to Suffolk – like the arts and cultural festivals that are growing and becoming more important every year.

“We’ve got the Spill festival coming to Ipswich – it’s the first time that has been out of London.”

Mr Waters said the curious county slogan also referred to Suffolk’s position at the forefront of industry and technology.

“When you look at places like Felixstowe and Adastral Park the technology is well to the fore – it’s the curiosity of people at Adastral which means it has more patents per square metre than anywhere else.”

Mr Waters said only part of the campaign was revealed at last month’s Visit Suffolk conference at the Ipswich Waterfront.

It has also emerged that some of the county’s best-known hotels and tourist attractions were represented on the committee that picked the campaign.

Mr Waters said there was a stir when the slogan and logo was unveiled: “But people there understood what we are trying to do, and we are still working on the full campaign.”

Users of Twitter launched a campaign over the weekend using the hashtag #proudtobecurious to show their support for the campaign.

Although one tourist boss said the campaign went down “like a lead balloon” when it was unveiled at the conference.

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