New Las Vegas Ad Met With Mixed Response in Wake of Shooting

After the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more, the city has seen a re-branding in the message it's portraying to potential visitors.

Instead of the infamous slogan, "What happens here, stays here," the city has embraced the hashtag #VegasStrong, using it everywhere from billboards to commercials.

In a campaign narrated by Andre Agassi, the tennis star says, "What is strength? Strength is valet parkers who become medics, mothers who become emergency responders."

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According to the Associated Press, the spot features social media messages from users sharing that the shooting won't stop them from visiting the city.

"NO ONE and NOTHING will stop me from going to Las Vegas," the first message read.

"Will be there in five days," added another.

Paul A. Argenti, a professor at Dartmouth College, said he was taken aback by the content of the ad, which tried to push tourism just two weeks after the domestic terrorist attack.

"It's a little too tacky to continue to promote tourism," he said. "It's really something for three months down the line."

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Officials with R&R Partners and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority were surprised the ad saw negative reactions, with Rossi Ralenkotter, the authority's president and CEO, explaining that they chose messages from fans who were, 'speaking out with their hearts.'


"If you look at the social posts out there, there are a lot people saying things just like that," said Arnie DiGeorge, executive creative director for R&R Partners. "That's a pretty universal statement."

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