Dispeling myths about Arkansas

(September 19, 2003) — (Hot Springs-AP) -- Arkansas tourism officials want to dispel myths that may keep some young people away from the state. One advertisement reviewed by the state Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission includes the slogan: "Think Arkansas is nothing but mosquitoes and hillbillies? Think again." The campaign was outlined for the commission yesterday by representatives of the Little Rock advertising firm Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, which has the commission's tourism-promotion contract. The myth-debunking focus of the campaign resulted from market research by Alan Newman Research of Richmond, Virginia. Dan Hough, president of that company, says research with focus groups in Dallas and St. Louis shows that people who have NOT visited Arkansas often had only a hazy idea about the state. Hough says the research also turned up some negative stereotypes about Arkansas, so the ad campaign will use subtle humor to dispel the myths.