Suffolk: Curiouser and curiouser – the row rumbles on!

A WEEK after the EADT highlighted concerns about Suffolk’s new tourist slogan “The Curious County,” there is no sign of the row dying down.

Panned by MPs as “idiotic, meaningless,” and even “dangerous” officials at Visit East Anglia are delighted at the response their new campaign has had.

Amanda Bond, marketing manager for Suffolk, said: “It is great that the campaign has generated so much interest and controversy and spread the word about what the county has to offer. It has exceeded all our expectations in terms of effectiveness.”

The hashtag #proudtobecurious has gone viral on the social networking site Twitter, spreading the message about Suffolk across the world.

She said: “It has been talked about across the county, but it has also spread much further afield on national websites like the Guardian and Telegraph making more people aware of what Suffolk has to offer – and showing off aspects of the county they may not have known about.”

However while tourist bosses and marketing professionals are delighted about the controversy sparked by the slogan and its accompanying logo, those who have lived and worked in the county for many years remain unconvinced.

Former Suffolk County Council chief executive Clifford Smith said he preferred a slogan he came across on the other side of the Atlantic.

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He said: “About 20 years ago I was part of a delegation that went from here to Suffolk in Virginia and they were running a campaign ‘Surprising Suffolk.’

“That seems far better and clearer to people than this ‘Curious County’ which can be seen rather negatively.”

Four MPs from the county attacked the campaign – David Ruffley described it as: “Idiotic, meaningless and potentially dangerous for tourism in Suffolk.”

Mr Ruffley said yesterday: “It is all very well praising the campaign around this slogan. Their logic seems to be that there is not such thing as bad publicity.

“I take a different view which is if they persist in branding Suffolk as the Curious County it will not encourage visitors, but it could put them off – damaging the tourist industry.”

He is due to meet Visit East Anglia chief executive Keith Brown in his office in Westminster on Thursday for a discussion about the campaign.

Ms Bond said officials were looking forward to travelling to London to explain the campaign to MPs.

Your views on the Curious County debate – see our letters special in today’s EADT.

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