An Australian tourism campaign image, which features a man’s crotch, to promote the Gold Coast to gay travellers has been yanked.

The image, consisting of a close up of a man’s white swimming costume, was produced for Gold Coast Tourism (GCT) and was included on a website for the campaign. The text on the image reads: “Check out our impressive packages…”

It may have seemed like a different way of enticing gay male travellers to visit Australia’s sixth largest city, which is fast becoming a hotspot for gay tourists. However tourism bosses decided that the image was a little unsavoury after it generated considerable media interest and had it removed from the website.

“That image did not represent the tone and style we were going for in our campaign, which is part of carefully planned niche marketing strategy that has been two years in development,” GCT director of communications and marketing services, Ben Pole, told the Mumbrella website.

“The image was used as a lead image in news stories about our campaign, which we think is an incorrect interpretation of our marketing strategy. We didn’t want that image reducing our marketing strategy to a crotch shot. So we have removed it from our site,” he said.

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