A NEW marketing campaign to attract middle-class holidaymakers to Weymouth will be unveiled today.
The £100,000 campaign is funded by the Weymouth Business Improvement District (BID) and is a move away from the resort’s traditional bucket and spade image.
The campaign, which will also include a website, is designed to plug the gap left by cuts to tourism funding in the borough, which resulted in the closure of the tourist information centre in Weymouth – replacing it with information points.
However, some residents have hit out at the new advertising, which neglects to mention or picture Portland and is funded by BID levy payers, of which Wey-mouth and Portland Borough Council is a major contributor.
The BID, which was voted in by town centre traders last year, identified promoting Weymouth and tackling seasonality as among its main priorities.
Christchurch marketing company RLA successfully pitched for the campaign.
It will be exhibiting artwork from the campaign in the Mulberry Gallery of Weymouth Library from 2pm to 7pm today.
RLA account director Andy Oram said: “We wanted to find a new brand identity for the town.
“We’re hoping to bring in and target a different audience.
“We recognise that Weymouth has a lot to offer and there are so many different elements to Weymouth and the surrounding areas.”
One area not mentioned is Portland.
Portland historian Stuart Morris said: “If some of this money is coming from the borough council, it’s Weymouth and Portland money and it should offer the whole of Weymouth and Portland.
“Portland needs tourism, it’s such a big part of the area.
“I think there should be an element of Portland in this campaign.
“Portland is complementary to Weymouth in so many ways.”
Borough councillor Margaret Leicester, who represents Portland, said she hopes new visitors who are attracted to Wey-mouth will visit Portland anyway.
“Hopefully, it will benefit Portland too. I think Portland does get a lot of promotion through the things the borough council produces like maps.
“People seem to automatically come to Portland out of curiosity,” she said.
BID chairman Nigel Reed said the campaign doesn’t include Portland because RLA’s ‘remit is to promote Weymouth’.
He added: “We’re aware Port-land is part of the area. I think that visitors to this area are going to go on to Portland anyway.
“The BID has always been about increasing footfall and getting new people to Weymouth.”
Wanted: ‘Empty nesters and busy bees’
GROUPS of people specifically targeted by the campaign are ‘busy bees’ and ‘empty nesters’.
These are described as ‘professional’ families with young children who live in cul-de-sacs and are ‘reasonably well off’, spend their weekends on mini-breaks and have ‘money to spend’.
The other target audience is ‘empty nesters’, couples who are still very active and whose children have left home.
The campaign takes the letters WE from the word Weymouth and, in a series of photos of the resort, including the stone pier, beach, old harbour and nature reserves, tells its target audience WE Play, WE Party and WE Watch.
The brand will also be on view at the Best of Dorset show at Weymouth Pavilion on March 30.