The support for the sexualised tourism marketing follows calls to postpone it until after a visit by the Pope.
The city of Vilnius has given its blessing to a controversial new ad campaign that promotes the Lithuanian capital as the ‘G-Spot of Europe’.
Povilas Poderskis, administrative director at Vilnius municipality, says that the planned marketing will go ahead in countries like the UK and Germany, adding that it is the best bet for the international market.
This is in response to a request by the Lithuanian government to postpone the launch until after a visit by Pope Francis to this Catholic country in September.
“We are definitely not going to postpone this campaign which, I believe, is the best advertisement of Vilnius for the international market and exceeds all other products produced by agencies,” Poderskis told journalists, as reported by the local news website Delfi.
Beginning in London and Berlin this week, the online marketing is aiming at raising the profile of Vilnius as an undiscovered treasure in Europe that is exciting to explore.
The text in the ad, which features a young couple, reads, “Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it’s amazing.”
Hits the spot
According to the tourism promotion body Go Vilnius, the ad is aimed at people aged 18-35.
“The campaign’s main idea is that few people know where Vilnius really is, but when they come here everyone is very satisfied and fall in love with Vilnius,” Jurgis Ramanauskas, one of the people behind the idea, explained.
“The idea was born out of conversations with foreigners. When you formulate an idea that there is a place nobody knows but when they find it everyone is ecstatic, the G-spot naturally pops up.”
The campaign follows in the wake of a lot of positive media coverage about Vilnius as a travel destination this year, with the New York Times, The Guardian, Lonely Planet and French, German and Finnish media all recommending the city as a hidden gem.