In the wake of Tuesday’s deadly bombing that killed at least 34 people, Brussels officials may regret an advertisement two months ago ridiculing the idea the city was a center of Islamic radicalism.
VisitBrussels, the city’s tourism department, crafted the #CallBrussels campaign in an effort to disassociate the city with Islamic terror after residents were linked to the November, 2015, Paris attacks and other extremist plots.
As part of the campaign, VisitBrussels set up telephones across the city and invited people to call them in order to speak with Brussels passersby. It then used these calls to create a video touting Brussels as a peaceful, welcoming city.
“After Brussels was linked to terror plots, the international media portrayed the city as a warzone,” the ad said. “We wanted to change this perception with an honest answer.”
The ad then shows interactions with (supposedly) random Belgians, who assure callers the city is completely safe.
After Tuesday’s bombings killed several dozen Brusseleirs, some people on Twitter quickly brought up the ad for ridicule.
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