An international advertising campaign designating the "G-Spot of Europe" in the Lithuanian capital has been named the world's best campaign for the promotion of a city, a year after it sparked a public outcry with its X-rated theme.
The provocative advertising of Vilnius, the little-visited capital of the Baltic country, showed a young woman lying on sheets printed with a map of Europe and holding a handful of cloth where Vilnius is.
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"Nobody knows where he is, but when you find him, it's amazing. Vilnius, the G-spot of Europe, "read the advertisement published in August 2018 that aimed to portray the city as an undiscovered treasure of the continent.
The reference to the elusive erogenous zone has outraged many people in the deeply Catholic country of 2.9 million inhabitants.
But he managed to impress the judges at the International Travel and Tourism Awards in London, where he was named the best destination campaign for a city.
More importantly, its creators claimed to be behind a tourism boom in Vilnius, which recorded a 12.5% increase in the total number of visitors, reported CNN.
Visitors to the two main markets of the campaign, Germany and the United Kingdom, grew by 37.8% and 20.5% respectively.
Inga Romanovskienè, director of the city's tourism office, Go Vilnius, told CNN: "Although Vilnius is not a well-known city, once visitors discover it, they appreciate their experience."
"This was specifically aimed at a millennial audience and, although the language used is suggestive, it was important for us to ensure that the images used were not explicit," she said.
"The message was not meant to be taken directly."
The campaign's website presents the theme of the poster, inspiring visitors to "get to work" and create their "personal pleasure card" or "skip the preliminaries".
The suggested activities in Vilnius are presented in a Tinder style arrangement with hot category names such as "do it in the dark" for nightlife and "use your tongue" for places to eat.
The Lithuanian government had asked Vilnius to postpone the launch of the campaign in August 2018 after Pope Francis' planned visit in September.
But the city refused, saying the campaign was to end before the pontiff's visit and was not associated with him at all.
The archbishop of Vilnius, Gintaras Grusas, one of the virulent critics of the campaign, said that it "potentially strengthens the image of Vilnius as a city of sex tourism and exploits sexuality." women".
The UK Advertising Standards Board, which received only one complaint about the campaign, rejected it on the grounds that "some might find it unpleasant … (this) would not object to the female character" and was not "operator or degrading", CNN reported.
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