Generic ad insult gays and Amsterdam fans



Here’s a scary portion of “maybe the good marketers were on vacation” over at the Dutch bureau for tourism.

I bet you couldn’t guess what this advert was for even if you wanted to. It could be whitening toothpaste. Or Prozac. And you’d be dead wrong.

This advert was designed to encourage American gay men (because they keep telling us lesbians have no money) to come to Amsterdam. Since gay also means happy, everybody is laughing, including a dog (!) and an underaged boy (!!). They threw in an Asian and an ‘African-American’ (chances are they aren’t) like they do in the US. None of these people look Dutch, either.

I asked gay Amsterdam resident and Ph.D. in Sociology Laurent Chambon what he thought of this advert.

“This campaign is idiotic for two reasons. First, it seems like they were afraid of the word ‘gay’ and are playing on the word to disguise what they really want to say, which hurts after spending decades trying to come out of the closet! American gays come to the Netherlands to be themselves and for marihuana, sex, culture, architecture, shopping, design, clubs, etc. That is what we should be selling them.

The second is that they are selling Amsterdam as if it they were selling yogurt, insurance or a family vacation. Amsterdam practically sells itself, but here they are using generic headshots from an image databank.”

(Link and image:


  1. Jay Vos says:

    ‘… “maybe the good marketers were on vacation” over at the Dutch bureau for tourism.’ More like, ‘what were they smoking?’ if you asked me. Win some, lose some, but this is kind of insensitive.

  2. Darth Paul says:

    I don’t find it particularly offensive (questionable, yes, where the child is concerned), buut it’s confusing as hell and doesn’t resonate with me on any gay-related level. It’s a little creepy. No one group of people should be that joyous, even in A’dam.

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