Florida Will Retire Its "Sexist" Business Logo

Tied up.
Tied up.
Courtesy of Enterprise Florida

Enterprise Florida is a public-private partnership meant to attract business to Florida. Think of it this way: If Visit Florida, the state's tourism board, is meant to lure people to Florida for vacation, Enterprise Florida is supposed to lure businesses here to set up shop permanently. Gov. Rick Scott, ever the businessman, has taken a particular interest in the program and has increased funding for the program. 

The result was the 2013 campaign dubbed "The Perfect Climate for Business" that prominently featured the logo above. Of course, it was quickly labeled as sexist, and apparently Enterprise Florida now wants to retire the tie. 

You see, traditionally only men wear neckties, and many felt that the logo was outdated and exclusionary to women.

“This … may seem as ancient to younger women as whalebone corsets,” wrote Tampa Bay Times columnist Sue Carlton at the time. “But to some of us who grew up with tales of important downtown clubs where businessmen dined and women were unwelcome, of big deals cut on golf courses without pesky women in attendance, the message is not so subtle: Businessmen Welcome Here. The rest of you? Eh.”

Meanwhile, comedy blogs couldn't help but poke fun at the image

The tie logo did also seem a bit old hat. After all, Enterprise Florida is tasked with attracting growth industries like tech to the state, and the most prominent American businessman in that field shows up to work dressed like this every day: 

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg
Photo by Brian Solis's Flickr | CC2.0

Besides, the entire campaign gave off a weird vibe of "It's really hot in Florida ... so come wear a suit and tie for eight hours a day here!" 

Now Enterprise Florida is considering hanging up the necktie as they create a new marketing campaign. 

“It was always our intent to go back and update everything,” Melissa Medley, the agencies chief marketing officer, told the Tallahassee Democrat. “No matter how effective a campaign is, every three or four years that target audience becomes numb to it. You have to refresh and improve and do what is necessary to garner attention.”

Medley, however, says that she considered the tie-campaign to be a "hit." 

Meanwhile, Scott's budget proposal only includes $5 million for business marketing this year. The fate of that budget will be determined this month during the legislature's special session. 


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