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This super raunchy ad to promote a city was just named best in the world

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The raunchy ad promoting the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius as a tourism destination appears to have done the trick.Source:Supplied

An international advertising campaign that branded Lithuania’s capital the “G-spot of Europe” has been named the world’s best campaign to promote a city, a year after it sparked widespread outrage with its X-rated theme.

The provocative ad for Vilnius, the little-visited capital of the Baltic country, featured a young woman lying on bed sheets printed with a map of Europe and clutching a handful of cloth where Vilnius is located.

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“Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it, it’s amazing. Vilnius, the G-spot of Europe,” read the advertisement, which launched in August 2018 and aimed to portray the city as the continent’s undiscovered treasure.

The raunchy ad appears to have done the trick.

The raunchy ad appears to have done the trick.Source:Supplied

The reference to the elusive erogenous zone outraged many in the devoutly Catholic country of 2.9 million people.

But it managed to impress judges at this week’s International Travel and Tourism Awards in London, where it was named the best destination campaign for a city.

Even more importantly, its creators said it was behind a tourism boom to Vilnius, which as seen a 12.5 per cent increase in overall visitor numbers, CNN reported.

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Visitors from the two primary markets for the campaign, Germany and the UK, have increased by 37.8 per cent and 20.5 per cent respectively.

Vilnius is the capital of the Baltic European country of Lithuania.

Vilnius is the capital of the Baltic European country of Lithuania.Source:Supplied

Inga Romanovskienè, the director of the city’s tourism board, Go Vilnius, told CNN “while Vilnius isn’t a well known city, once visitors discover it they enjoy their experience”.

“It was specifically directed at a millennial audience, and while the language is suggestive, it was important for us to ensure the imagery used is not explicit,” she said.

“The messaging was not aimed to be taken directly.”

The campaign’s website carries the poster’s raunchy theme, enticing visitors to “get down to business” and build their “personal pleasure map” or “skip the foreplay”.

Suggested activities in Vilnius are presented in a Tinder-style arrangement with steamy category names such as “do it in the dark” for night-life, and “use your tongue” for places to eat.

Lithuania’s central government and Catholic Church weren’t impressed with the provocative campaign.

Lithuania’s central government and Catholic Church weren’t impressed with the provocative campaign.Source:Supplied

The Lithuanian government had asked Vilnius to postpone its August 2018 launch of the campaign until after a scheduled visit from Pope Francis in September.

But the city refused, saying the campaign was due to end before the pontiff’s visit and was in no way associated with him.

Vilnius Archbishop Gintaras Grusas, one of the campaign’s outspoken critics, said it “potentially strengthens the image of Vilnius as a sex tourism city and exploits the sexuality of women”.

The UK Advertising Standards Board, which received a single complaint about the campaign, rejected it on the grounds that while “some might find the ad distasteful … (it) did not objectify the female character” and was not “exploitative or degrading”, CNN reported.

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