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August 10, 2006

Tourism Slogans: What Happens In Vegas Does Not Always Stay In Vegas?

NameLas Vegas has spent $115 million promoting its popular slogan "What happens here, stays here" and, as I wrote in an earlier post, it's even made it into kids movies.

Now, Nevada-based Samaritan Pharmaceuticals - which makes drugs to combat AIDS - has applied to have its slogan "What happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas" trademarked, sparking off a legal battle in the casino capital.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board does not want the famous tagline to be associated with sexual disease, especially because since its 2002 debut it has become one of the most famous tourist slogans of all time, used by Billy Crystal at the Academy Awards (what happens at the Oscars, Stays at the Oscars) and attracted a cool 38.6 million people to the city in 2005.

Yes, it does suggest that you can come to Vegas and break all the rules and some people abuse this, but that doesn't mean you'll get AIDS for bringing your buddies to Caesar's Palace...and creating a slogan by tearing down your top city's brand name is just a bad bet.

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Posted by William Lozito at August 10, 2006 9:35 AM
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1 Comment

Great post William!

This is an interesting topic. I wonder what Samaritan was thinking when they tried to trademark such a closely related tagline. Perhaps they wanted to raise funds with t-shirts? If it was a press-grab it probably would've been better done by just going out there and selling stuff with the slogan on it. Vegas would've shrugged off the PR hit and might've just sent a c-and-d letter. Now the fight is only followed by the lawyers and tagline fanatics...

I also liked your point about choosing a slogan that tears down your city's brand. Not exactly the type of thing that gets you points at the local Chamber.

Keep up the great finds and interesting posts!

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