Tennessee wants to curb drunk-driving rates, which is generally a good thing. But their approach? Let's just say it could use
some a lot of work.
Using coasters to display their DUI warnings, the Governor's Highway Safety Office issued messages like, "Buy a drink for a marginally good-looking girl, only to find out she's chatty, clingy and your boss's daughter." Additionally, there are fliers -- some of which reportedly read, "After a few drinks the girls look hotter and the music sounds better. Just remember: If your judgement is impaired, so is your driving."
The message? Drinking can make you think a "marginally good-looking girl" is hot, when she's actually "chatty," "clingy," and generally unpleasant.
"They were anti-feminist," said waitress and bartender Tiffany Cannon, who works in a restaurant where the coasters and fliers were displayed. "It was ridiculous and rude to both genders."
The campaign is paid for by the state's Governor's Highway Safety Office. In a statement to The Tennessean, the Office said that "It was never [their] intent [...] to offend anyone," and that the "new initiative was designed to reach the young male demographic, who are statistically more likely to drive under the influence."
"I'm all in favor of being snarky in a campaign, but you don't have to be sexist to do that," Laura Creekmore, who works at a a Nashville content strategy consulting company, told The Tennessean. "It is unfortunate for the young men of Tennessee if we think we have to be sexist to get the message across. When people see one of these slogans in a bar, they don't understand the context of the campaign, they just see the message in front of them."
At press time, the campaign's website appears to have been taken down.