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Tourism Ministry Takes Down Controversial Greece-Promotion Flash Mob Video

The video “Greece Welcomes You” to promote Greece became the target of sharp criticism from the very first moment it was uploaded on YouTube. The 4-minute long footage was showing a flash mob happening dancing a bit of syrtaki and a lot of breakdance.

Among the audience, the passersby so to speak, who were watching the spectacle was also Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni.

But that was not the problem that drew the sharp critisicm by hundreds of Greek internet users.

The problem was that the flash mob action was taking place in the capital of Great Britain with the impressive London Bridge on the background!

“Excellent video! Now I want really to visit London,” a Greek blogger ironically commented.

“Nice promotion for multi-cultural London” commented another. Then the dancers were members of a Dancing school in London.

According to official documents posted in Diavgeia.gr (Transparency), the video production cost was 59.520 euro (incl. V.A.T.)  plus 15.500 euro spent for a cocktail party at OXO Tower restaurant hosting 200 people (flashmob dancers and other guests of EOT, the Greek National Tourism Organization). A total of 75,020 euro.

Officially the video was free of copy rights and should be uploaded on internet, in social media and youtube, but also being shown on international tourism fairs and airlines TV screens for one year.

However, the video was taken down from YouTube. Reason: “unknown”.

Nevertheless, you can watch the Greece promoting video  here  and here and tell me if you see any Greece somewhere around…

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13 comments

  1. A flash mob (or flashmob) is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression. Flash mobs are organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.

    And let me hasten to ad that they do not cost a cent. But not in Greece. No, as soon as the state sees something nice it takes over and it suddenly costs 75.000 euro. It’s like with all private initiatives in Greece: when the state gets it’s filthy hands on it it will suddenly have cost spiralling out of control.
    And to be complete:

    The term, coined in 2003, is generally NOT applied to events and performances organized for the purposes of politics (such as protests), commercial advertisement, publicity stunts that involve public relation firms, or paid professionals. In these cases of a planned purpose for the social activity in question, the term smart mobs is often applied instead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob

  2. We’d had a post on our Grecophiles’ Forum that it was happening so I was looking forward to the video. I must admit I was disappointed when a member tracked it down to see hardly any Greek dancing. Can’t believe the costs involved!

  3. A disgraceful waste of Greek taxpayers’ money.

    If it has any impact on tourism to Greece I would expect it to be negative.

  4. I guess they were performing a dance routine previously well known to the dance students – they simply added a little Greek dancing at the beginning and the t-shirts at the end. Those t-shirts! How would this ever encourage people to visit Greece?

    One pedantic correction – that is not London bridge in the background. It is Blackfriars bridge.

  5. it would encourage some people visit London though 🙂
    thanks

  6. Isn’t that the bridge where ‘Gods Banker’, Calvi, was found hanging around? And that’s in a 75.000 euro Greek tourism ad that is being pulled after just a couple of days… Tssssk, there wouldn’t be a connection, wouldn’t there? 😯

  7. Before I watched the video I wondered what all the negative fuss was about and now I’ve seen it —– how disappointing. If you want to watch a better Flash Mob Syrtaki look up Flash Mob Birmingham 2012 on You tube. In my opinion this promotes Greece, is great and lots of our friends love it too.

  8. Yes it is the brige where calvi was found.

  9. Ah, that opens all kinds off possibilities and conspiracies. 😆

  10. Somebody help me here, please.

    In one of your photos above, do my old tired eyes see between the white “Made in China” (*) iPhone and the Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni … the one and only Greek business woman Gianna Angelopoulos-Partheni-Daskalaki, the president of the bidding and organizing committee for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens (Greece), who was named “one of the 50 most powerful women” by Forbes magazine???

    If true … what a high-class audience on a kitsch whatchamacallit flash-mob!!!

    (*) in the spirit of the so-called GAM (i.e. “Greek Austerity Measures”, as GAP … is something different, if you know what I mean)

  11. your old eyes are indeed tired. she is not who you think she is.

  12. You are right; the lady in the photo looks much younger and her face is botox-free. Though, I am grateful for your comment above, as I need here and now to go and see my EOPPY eye doctor, in – say – two (2) months from tomorrow, if I’m lucky! I can’t wait…

  13. 2 months from tomorrow? indeed very lucky!