Friday, 6 February 2009

Live the Lie

"Not that it's crowded. Go to St Ouen and you'll have the huge beach all to yourself."

One of the latest brochures from Jersey Tourism has an article which features a picture taken from St Ouen's Bay. It shows an outside fire for a BBQ, around which are sitting a number of visitors, and today would, unless permission had been sought and give, call down the heavy hand of the law. Beside this is a small open stall selling beach stuff and surfing equipment. This is the little stall which I recall was just to the side of El Tico, and has been demolished and closed now for around two years. Visitors might find it hard to find such a location, and wonder just where this idyllic venue was - and yet it is a large picture, and sets the tone for the article. But it has now been gone for two years! Expect the next brochure to show Queen's valley with Bergerac's House, and a suitable caption about "leafy unspoilt valleys". Why not? That's the level of accuracy we are getting here.

St Ouen's beach is fairly uncrowded, but "all to yourself" is a typical piece of marketing hyperbole. What is less accurate is another piece which suggests you can have "cream tea in a chateau". Gorey castle? Elizabeth castle? There aren't that many buildings which fit the bill. Only it isn't, of course, it is "Chateau La Chaire", which - despite its name - is in fact a hotel, and not a chateau. "Cream tea in a chateau?" would be a better title. It's a good job Caesar's Palace is no longer around, or they'd have had fun with that one!

Lastly, have you spotted the seals. Seals - plural, and from the blurb, romping along in the waves merrily. Yes, if you go to the North coast of the Island, "you'll have seabirds and seals for company". I think the Societe Jersiaise would be interested. Their reports on seals note "There is one known Jersey record of a white-coated (natal coated) seal pup - Pyman (1998). On 6th November 1997 such a pup was observed near Rozel on the north coast of Jersey."

The slogan is "Live the Life". Perhaps Live the Lie would be more accurate? Surely there is enough over here that is genuinely interesting without manufacturing a fake?

Links on Seals in the Channel Islands:

1 comment:

Captain Fantastic said...

It's okay their maps match their PR, in other words not even primary school standard. It would be funny if we were not paying millions to support this industry.
I suppose seal hunting will be the new niche market, as the happy band of eco tourists have battered the mere puffin to near extinction locally with their cliff top assaults ~ "Puffin Watches" and Kayak tours getting to places that were the last sanctuaries for the birds and other wildlife.