SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana tourism agency has apologized and pulled an advertisement it copied from a tourism ad campaign first used to promote Salt Lake City.
Visit South Bend Mishawaka pulled its $20,000 tourism spot after the similarities were pointed out in a letter from Love Communications. The Utah-based ad agency developed its promotional campaign for the Salt LakeConvention and Visitors Bureau last year.
A video made for that campaign flashes the slogan, "There's Nothing To Do In Salt Lake" across the screen, followed by a montage of tightly edited footage showing groups enjoying the city's nightlife and amenities.
Visit South Bend Mishawaka used the same concept in their video, but altered the slogan to "There's Nothing To Do In South Bend," The South Bend Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1TIb6Ze ).
Love Communications did not threaten legal action. Instead, it wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter praising the South Bend group for its "creativity" before noting that the idea was theirs.
"I won't waste any more of your time telling you how awesome your campaign is, but will instead tell you the real reason I'm writing ... and I hope you're sitting down," Chip Haskell, creative director for Love Communications wrote. "The real reason I'm writing is to tell you that the campaign YOU guys did for South Bend looks exactly like the campaign WE did for Salt Lake!"
Rob DeCleene, the executive director for Visit South Bend Mishawaka, acknowledged Thursday that it had lifted the idea from the Salt Lake City spot, calling it a "brilliant campaign we thought could work here."
He said one of his friends shared the Salt Lake City video to him and its "resonated with us" because South Bend faces similar perception issues.
"It just turned out the end result, unfortunately, did have similar a look and feel to the Salt Lake project," DeCleene told the newspaper.
He said if he could do it over he would have reached out to Love Communications first "and then proceeded with our project with their blessing."
Visit South Bend Mishawaka promotes tourism in the South Bend-Mishawaka area and is funded by hotel-motel tax dollars.