Lithuania tourism advert used fake photos

Tourism chief forced to resign after ad campaign

Lithuania tourism advert used fake photos

Vilnius, Lithuania

Lithuania's tourism chief has been forced to resign after a recent ad campaign to promote the Baltic state used photos of other countries.

The images ran as part of a Facebook campaign and were posted under the slogan "Real is Beautiful".

The campaign page on Facebook reportedly used stock photos from Shutterstock and photo hosting site Flickr.

After Lithuanian's noticed the misuse of the photos, the Department of Tourism there admitted that some of the pictures shared on social media were of Finland and Slovakia.

Responding to the gaffe, the department and local media agencies insisted the foreign pictures were used merely to "communicate emotion" - an argument mocked by internet users and other government officials.

"I have decided to step down as the head of the state tourism department," Jurgita Kazlauskiene told Lithuanian journalists.

 

Local Facebook and Twitter users have seen the funny side - with many posting shots of international landmarks, such as the Parthenon in Athens, captioned as Lithuanian sights alongside the hashtag #realisbeautiful.

The country's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis even joined in the joke, sharing a picture on social media of the EU Commission's Berlaymont building in Brussels and saying: "From tomorrow, we start working in the new government building in Karoliniskes."

Karoliniskes is a suburb in Lithuania's capital, Vilnius.

In a second more serious Facebook post, he said he was waiting for answers on "why it happened and who is responsible", and promised an investigation into the "fraudulent" episode.