Government

Fort Lauderdale Welcomes "Thrill-Seekers" in Steamy Instagram Ad

A screenshot of an apparent ménage à trois posted on the @VisitLauderdale Instagram account.
A screenshot of an apparent ménage à trois posted on the @VisitLauderdale Instagram account. Photo courtesy of Chaz Stevens via Twitter
If Virginia is for lovers, then Fort Lauderdale must be for swingers — at least according to a recent story posted on the verified Instagram account of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The 14-second video — which was posted on Sunday night and then promptly taken down — captures an apparent ménage à trois between a sultry brunette and two hunks at a rooftop pool ostensibly somewhere in Fort Lauderdale. The woman gazes into the eyes of the man to her left, passionately caresses the face of the man on her right, and gazes toward the camera as text appears on the screen: "WELCOME THRILL-SEEKERS. VISIT LAUDERDALE."

The video is curiously captioned, "If you like the beach as much as you like nightlife, then get ready for the time of your life."

It might seem as if the clip was commissioned by a designer perfume company or a polyamorous dating service — not the marketing and tourism arm of Broward County. The page usually posts postcard-perfect shots from around the Greater Fort Lauderdale area to entice its nearly 54,000 followers to visit.

Fortunately, before the clip vanished into the internet's virtual ether, Broward gadfly and serial jokester Chaz Stevens screen-recorded it and shared it on Twitter on Sunday evening. 
Zachary Durand, a spokesperson for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, tells New Times via email that the ad was commissioned by the county, not the city: "This ad was approved by the team of Visit Lauderdale. The mayor does not participate in Visit Lauderdale’s marketing discussions or decisions."

Representatives for Visit Lauderdale did not respond to New Times' request for comment via email and phone on Monday.

The abortive ad appeared less than three months after the Broward County Government Facebook page posted an ethnically insensitive dancing-taco GIF to commemorate the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

That might explain why they featured fewer tacos and more sausages this time around.
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Joshua Ceballos is staff writer for Miami New Times. He is a Florida International University alum and a born-and-bred Miami boy.
Contact: Joshua Ceballos