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SOURCE Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau
British Readers Assured London Bridge is Definitely Not Falling Down
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz., July 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hollywood celebrities aren't the only ones who have a problem with British tabloid media. After the U.K.'s The Sun ran a false June 16 story claiming the city's iconic London Bridge could be "bulldozed" to make room for drug tourism, the Convention & Visitors Bureau sprang into action. As a result, the newspaper ran a page two correction on July 21. It reads:
"In an article 'London Bridge IS Falling Down' (16 June) we stated that the iconic bridge, now a tourist attraction in Arizona, was falling into disrepair and could soon be bulldozed. We also stated that there were plans to turn the area into a centre for drug tourism. We have been assured by Lake Havasu City that there are no plans to knock down the bridge or to build a centre for drug tourism. We regret any misunderstanding and are happy to set the record straight.
"A Lake Havasu spokesman also assures us there are plans to revitalise the English Village on the east side of the bridge and that they are committed to looking after the monument."
The CVB lodged a formal complaint with the newspaper's ombudsman, and launched a counter offensive: a worldwide publicity blitz that generated 649 print and online news stories and included a three-minute CNN appearance on July 6 by Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen. According to Doug Traub, president/CEO of the CVB, the combined free exposure, if purchased as advertising, has an equivalent value of $809,069, according to BurrellesLuce, an independent media measurement service.
"Had The Sun claimed the bridge housed aliens from another planet, we would not have been as aggressive in seeking a retraction. But their 'bulldoze' story was feasible enough for readers to actually believe it could be true," Traub said.
"It was a claim we knew could not remain unchallenged."
Traub reports there were 14 major factual allegations in the original story, but the CVB decided to focus on the two most damaging claims regarding the condition of the bridge and the opening of a marijuana retail store.
"We thank The Sun for being responsive to the potentially devastating impact this story could have on attracting European tourists here in the future. We successfully had the story removed from the online version, and while the original story appeared on page 26, the CVB secured a retraction that appeared on page two," Traub said.
The Sun has agreed to send a reporter back to the city in the near future to report on the revitalization of the English Village. The CVB will be monitoring it closely to ensure the story is factually accurate.
Read The Sun's original story here: http://www.golakehavasu.com/vp/6769.aspx?url=/media-room/london-bridge-falling-down-the-sun.aspx
View Mayor Nexsen defending Lake Havasu City on CNN here: https://www.facebook.com/lakehavasucityarizona (scroll to July 16 posting)
Learn more about the history of the bridge here: http://www.golakehavasu.com/about-us/london_bridge1.aspx
The Lake Havasu City logo is a service mark of Lake Havasu Tourism Bureau Inc. dba Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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