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updated: 3/9/2014 9:39 AM

Indiana defends new tourism slogan as good branding

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Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana officials are defending the state's new tourism slogan from critics who say it's too folksy and could hurt efforts to market Indianapolis as a vibrant destination.

The Indiana Office of Tourism Development unveiled the slogan "Honest to Goodness Indiana" in February.

Executive Director Mark Newman tells the Indianapolis Business Journal that the slogan won because the other two finalists "felt more like campaigns than sustainable brands."

But critics contend the slogan doesn't have anything to do with travel or tourism and reinforces stereotypes of Indiana residents as unsophisticated bumpkins.

Newman says the "Honest to Goodness" platform is an attempt to "represent all areas of the state."

The campaign rolls out this month and will ramp up from May to September.

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