Tourism Ministry ad showing African tusker earns Ramesh's ire

The full-page advertisement appeared in major dailies today on the occasion of World Tourism Day with "Tourism and Biodiversity" as the theme for this year.

Ramesh shot off a letter to Tourism Minister Kumari Selja to register his protest against the "bloomer" in the advertisement released by Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), sources said.

Ramesh in the letter said that a number of elephant experts had told him that the advertisement has an image of an African elephant on a stamp to be released today by the Tourism Ministry.

"I am sure that you will agree with me that such a bloomer could have been avoided," he added.

As part of the Tourism Ministry's Incredible India! campaign, the advertisement has shown a string of stamps on endangered wildlife species such as peacock, rhino and tiger and tourist hotspots in the country with slogan "Biodiversity: our Greatest Treasure."

It is the image of the African elephant on the stamp that has annoyed the Environment Ministry but the Tourism Ministry blamed the ad agency for the "lapse".
"One of the advertisements released by the Tourism Ministry on the occasion of World Tourism Day 2010 has inadvertently carried a photograph of an African elephant. The ad agency as per tender was to use images from the pool of the photographs of the ministry.

"Since the ad agency has used the photograph outside the pool, a show-cause notice has been served on the ad agency for the lapse," sources in the Tourism Ministry said.
Such goof-ups on the part of the government departments is not new. In early March, Indian Railways had to face embarrassment when its advertisement in almost all the leading newspapers on the day of inauguration of Maharajas' Express from Kolkata to Nalanda showed Delhi in Pakistan.

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