Criticism for Skegness advert

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A PROVOCATIVE advertising campaign launched by East Lindsey District Council to promote Skegness has come under repeat fire from town councillors and members of the public.

The adverts, which showed unsightly images of Blackpool and Brighton with the strapline ‘for sights you want to remember, visit Skegness’, were heavily criticised during last Wednesday’s Skegness Town Council meeting.

One resident, speaking in the public session, felt it was ‘appalling’ and asked whether the town council had been consulted over the campaign. They said: “People in glass houses should not throw stones - not far from here there’s an area that looks like a bomb site.”

The Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Anderson explained no consultation had occurred and empathised with the resident’s concerns.

Later in the meeting, Coun Gary Ellis raised a motion requesting ELDC to consult fully with the town council before embarking on any such campaign in the future.

Coun Ellis said he would rather focus on Skegness’s positive attributes rather than ‘throwing stones’ at other resorts as it may lead to reprisal attacks.

Seconding the motion, Coun Phil Kemp said he believed it was the ‘height of arrogance’ that ELDC had launched the campaign without consultation.

Coun Anderson went on to remind councillors of the ‘uproar’ that followed an edition of the magazine Viz, which featured The Jolly Fisherman in a negative light. He said: “I’m totally ashamed and embarrassed; the communications team at ELDC are out of control.”

Communications team leader at ELDC James Gilbert, said: “Although this type of campaign wasn’t something we’d done before, it reached 23 million people with balanced or positive media coverage worth around £330,000. The campaign has also resulted in us securing festival content from Brighton for future years. We will, of course, discuss the issues raised by Skegness Town Council and look at how we can better work together on PR and marketing in the future.”