• The ad campaign. (Twitter)Source: Twitter
A new tourism campaign targeting the gay community has raised eyebrows in London.
Sarah Norton

27 Apr 2016 - 3:02 PM  UPDATED 27 Apr 2016 - 2:56 PM

An advertising campaign from the Israel Tourism Ministry that asked people to imagine what London would be like "without gays", has caused confusion in the UK after a giant billboard featuring the message was erected in Waterloo earlier this month.

The text, which appeared in front of a bland and deserted-looking London cityscape, is actually an attempt to advertise Tel Aviv Pride, but social media users appeared perplexed by the lack of information accompanying the billboard.


Its creators argue the campaign is actually highlighting that if all the LGBTQI community visited Tel Aviv Pride, London would be devoid of its colourful vibrancy. 

A spokesperson for the Israel Tourist Board spoke to OutOfOffice.com about the controversial image:

“Initially, social media was buzzing with disgust and bafflement at the teaser billboards plastered across London,” the director of the UK and Ireland branch of the Israel Government Tourist Office, Naama Oryan-Kaplan, said.

“The reaction to our campaign has been priceless and something that we had hoped for. The community brings fun, colour and a certain vibrancy that really makes a city come to life."

The billboards were also shown in other cities, promoting the festival across Europe. Tel Aviv Pride commences June 3 this year.