October 18, 2017

Tunisia defends controversial tourist adverts

A naked lady getting a massage is edgy stuff for a conservative muslim country.

Tunisia has defended a controversial advertising campaign designed to attract tourists back to the North African country following its January revolution.

Billboards have appeared in London of a woman getting a massage, next to the words: “They say that in Tunisia some people receive heavy-handed treatment.”

Another advertisement shows ancient Roman ruins next to the words, “They say Tunisia is nothing but ruins.”

Syrine Cherif, whose advertising agency Memac Ogilvy came up with the campaign for the Tunisian Tourism Board, said it was intended to create a “buzz” among potential tourists in the UK and other countries.

“The idea was to be provocative to address possible fears around the issue of the Arab spring,” she said.

At least 200 people were killed during the Tunisian uprising which began in December and lead to the downfall of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali’s regime.

Syrine Cherif denies the campaign showed insensitivity towards Tunisians who had been jailed, tortured or killed during Mr Ben Ali’s rule of 23 years.

“This unfair treatment was done by people who were in the dictatorship and now the dictatorship has gone. It’s over. Today it’s a new Tunisia,” she said.

“The campaign is for foreigners, not targeting Tunisian people.”

Rip into it Tunisia. As long as it doesn’t cause another revolution back home then it might do the trick to lure tourists back again. At least you have not got Lara Bingle fronting it.