Yesterday on a friend’s Facebook status, I saw that a local music and arts festival, called The Whaling City Festival of New Bedford, was partnering with a local radio station, WHJY, to hold a contest called “Show Us Your Whale Tale” (Whale Tale Contest).
A “whale tale,” for those of you who did not know (like me!), is when a woman’s thong rides up her low riders so you can see it. The contest page provides a link to examples of “whale tales.” (This was the least offensive one I could find).
The mission of The Whaling City Festival is, “To host the biggest and best family oriented event in the Whaling City. With 44 years experience and a new President we have fresh, innovative ideas to help grow and improve with each year.” I guess the new President’s “fresh, innovative ideas” involve some family-oriented butt cracks.
The Director of Tourism, from the Town of Fairhaven, was called a “Puritan” for complaining about the contest. All the comments on the WCF’s page link, above, are incredibly negative.
The WCF posted this on their FB page, 8 hours ago, in response to the negative criticism.
“In light of recent development, we have reconsidered our sponsorship of the Whale’s Tail contest with 94 HJY.
Ultimately, the Whaling City Festival cares more about the family oriented activities, and brand than a marketing campaign. We also do not want to alienate anyone. We apologize to those we offended, as it was not our intention to do so. It was a bad mistake and we take full responsibility for it.
This decision was made in the past hour, and 94 HJY’s offices couldn’t be reached, so there may be a delay in the mention of WCF as a sponsor. Rest assured, it will cease.
In the future, we will maintain congruency with our advertising and marketing. We will make sure the promotions reflect our core values and something families can be proud of.
As always, we genuinely consider all feedback, criticism, and comments. We hope you will continue to provide these, so that we may continually improve.
What is most appalling about this entire tale, is that 1) the organizers of the WCF thought this was a good idea to market their event; and 2) that the WCF has a board of directors or staff that include very few women, as they most likely would have said “hey, that’s not such a good idea” (WCF Contacts) and 3) that this type of contest is even considered acceptable marketing for any organization, including a rock n roll radio station.
One of the best things about Facebook is how quickly word can spread on any issue. But even while the WCF has decided to discontinue the sponsorship with WHJY, the radio station has not yet taken down the link connecting the contest to the WCF. The delay alone is another 8 hours or more of bad press. And this supposedly 42 year old festival must be struggling anyway, as their entertainment schedule includes a blank calendar, less than a month before the festival is to open. What’s that about?
While the WCF has taken down their sponsorship, even though it still lingers on the WHJY page, feel free to drop the President a line asking how decisions like this even get made.