Last week, Lithuania has been found using images from other countries to advertise its country’s tourism offer. The fake photos took part in Lithuania’s tourism social media campaign for 2016.
Lithuania’s Department of tourism acknowledged using pictures from Finland, Norway, and Slovakia. This campaign ad run under the slogan of, “Lithuania. Real is beautiful.”
A group of investigative journalists discovered this devious scheme. Resulting in a forced resignation from the head of Lithuania’s Tourist Department, Jurgita Kazlauskiene.
“I have decided to step down as the head of the state tourism department” Kazlauskiene told journalists.
All of the fake posts have now been deleted.
This is not the first time that countries have used fake photographs. Last year, Rhode Island launched a new tourism video, but to the viewers’ surprise, the footage included a scene of a man skateboarding outside Harpa, a building in Reykjavik, Iceland.
After social media’s quick response, The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation later confirmed that an editing company used the wrong footage.
The video was removed and amended without extra cost to the state or corporation.
Also occurring last year, one of Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s TV promotional videos opened with a display of Vancouver, Canada.
A peculiar example occurred in 2014, as Greece’s tourism video promoted one of Australia’s well-known landmarks, the Twelve Apostles.
However, the Greek tourism authorities failed to recognise the mistake and resisted criticism by telling the ABC that they strongly believing that its purpose was legitimate as it showed starts constellations with Greek names.
But why do countries need to market themselves?
From Brazil’s fame for beaches, sun, and soccer, to Italy’s stylish products, branding has become part of a nation’s DNA.
Similarly to business, where brand reputations are gained from consumer’s experience with products; the countries’ perceptions are gained through global news, tourists, investors, and other sources.
However, branding has become more than just to adding to a nation’s prestige. Wharton professor, David Reibstein said at the Wharton Nation Brand Conference of 2016, “There’s an economic reason for it. It takes the demand curves and it shifts it out.”
Nation’s profit from strong branding campaigns, developing its own performance in acquiring better economies.
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