Florida has a new marketing campaign to convince businesses that the state is the place to be. However, the campaign is rubbing some the wrong way. Many female business executives believe the new campaign is going after a certain type of business, the kind owned by a man.
The reason for the uproar is a new logo, designed as part of the campaign, with the slogan, “The Perfect Climate For Business.” Seems innocent enough, but the logo replaced the “i” in “Florida” with an orange necktie, and Florida-based female executives aren’t pleased.
Katherine Yanes is a lawyer, as well as president of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers. She’s one of the women to speak out against the logo, telling the Tampa Tribune, “I don’t think a man’s necktie represents all that Florida’s business community has to offer.”
In an email, public relations executive Beth Leytham also expressed her displeasure with the logo, saying, “Perhaps they should add a tag line: ‘Florida is the perfect climate for business if you’re a man.” That can’t be the reaction Governor Rick Scott was expecting when he unveiled the logo Thursday.
Tom Helton, the spokesman for Enterprise Florida, the economic development agency that commissioned the ad campaign, said the issue was discussed before the logo was approved, but members of the group voted in favor of it. “We felt it was a universal symbol of business,” Helton said.
Not universal enough, it seems. As more female executives come forward to voice their disapproval of the ad, so do business owners upset that the contract for the campaign was awarded to an out of state business. Colleen Chappell, of Florida-based ad agency ChappellRoberts, is both upset with the logo, and the fact that her business was passed over for the campaign contract, which went to a Tennessee-based firm. “Speaking as a female business owner,” Chappell says, “I am so disappointed the only visual associated with our business climate is a man’s necktie.”