Tennessee Apologizes for Sexist Anti-DUI Campaign


TIME, Katy Osborn, July 15, 2015 - The state claimed the ad was intended to be "edgy."

The Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office apologized for the “100 Days of Summer Heat Booze It and Lose It Campaign” in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, according to The Tennessean, after the daily newspaper reached out to inquire about the campaign on Monday.“The marketing is often edgy and designed to grab the attention of the young male demographic,” said Director Kendall Poole of the campaign. “It was never the intent of the GHSO to be insensitive or insulting to women.”An ad campaign to discourage Tennessee drivers from drinking and driving that claimed booze makes “the girls look hotter” has been cancelled after many called it sexist.

The campaign, which the GHSO rolled out in Tennessee bars over the weekend, featured over $77,000 worth of coasters, table tents, and posters bearing slogans such as, “After a few drinks the girls look hotter and the music sounds better. Just remember: If your judgement is impaired, so is your driving,” and, “Buy a drink for a marginally good-lucking girl, only to find out she’s chatty, clingy and your boss’s daughter.”

The campaign received quick criticism from state politicians and Tennesseans across Twitter, including that of Democratic State Representative John Ray Clemmons, who said he was “furious” and called the slip-up “inexcusable and a waste of taxpayer dollars.”

The online material was reportedly no longer available as of 9:15 p.m. Monday night; the GHSO confirmed in Tuesday’s statement that all physical materials were being removed from bars and that the campaign had been funded by federal—and not state—dollars.