A controversial Northern Territory tourism campaign by an independent tourism company made headlines around the country when it was released in 2017, with many Aussies split on whether the slogan “CU in the NT” was offensive.
The campaign came complete with a range of merchandise including t-shirts, hats, thongs and even stubby holders emblazoned with the bold slogan.
The slogan was particularly contentious among Northern Territory politicians and on Tuesday Darwin council officially voted it as an offensive slogan and banned merchandise showing the line “CU in the NT” will now be banned from being sold at of the city’s popular local markets, reports NT News.
Much like the release of Australia’s 2006 “where the bloody hell are you?” ad, the underground tourism company, NT Unofficial, saw mixed reviews from the public after the release of the controversial campaign in 2017. While some said the line was just good old Australian humour, others deemed the slogan as inappropriate and offensive.
According to NT News, the majority of the council were against the campaign including alderman Robin Knox who says the slur in the slogan is used negatively against woman and can also be confusing for children who don’t know what it means.
“The complaints are about this merchandise that have been on display near the playgrounds,” she said. “Children are saying ‘what does this mean’ and it’s not something parents want to have to explain.”
However, Darwin’s Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis disagreed with banning the merchandise from local markets and said he believes the council doesn’t have the right to become the “moral police”.
“Is someone going to ban today’s edition of the NT News because it is offensive?” he asked in relation to a photo of a man’s nude behind on the front page of the newspaper that morning. “Where do we stop?”
Many commenters on NT Unofficial’s social media are in full support of the slogan with one commenter praising the entire campaign by saying: “By far, one of the best tourism campaigns I have ever witnessed! Absolutely brilliant!”
However, it also touched a nerve with many other commenters with one Facebook user asking: “Do you need to stoop this low to advertise your Territory!”
The tourism company and clothing brand, NT Unofficial, says on their website they aim to showcase a true representation of Northern Territory adding: “We want people to recognise that if they want to go to the NT they shouldn’t hesitate. They should just go and tell their friends to ‘CU in the NT!'”