Last week the Guardian ran an amusing story of photo-fakery by enthusiastic Spanish tourism board employees:
Spain's Costa Brava uses Bahamas photograph in ad campaign
Tourist board denies being deceitful by using picture from tropical islands to advertise beaches in north-eastern Spain
It's only afterwards that things get weird...
Quite predictably, it turns out that sometimes the pictures in holiday adverts aren't actually representational of the destination. Who knew? The photo of an idyllic deserted beach used in a campaign for the Costa Brava was actually taken in the Bahamas. For extra chuckles, the Guardian highlighted the unintentionally ironic slogan used in the campaign: "Where does the Costa Brava start?".
Here's the photo used in the Costa Brava Girona tourism board's campaign, alongside the Guardian's photo of the Costa Brava, as used to illustrate the story on the Guardian website:
There it might have ended, had my eye not fallen on the the 'Corrections and Clarifications' column in today's Guardian. This is my favourite bit of any newspaper, because it offers a tiny window into the busy newsroom, shining light on the untold stories - who didn't check their references, which stories were too good to let the facts get in the way, and so forth. Today's was especially brilliant:
Quote: A photo used to show "the real Costa Brava" was taken in Calella, which is often described as part of the Costa Brava but is in fact on the adjoining Costa Maresme
So does anyone actually have a picture of the Costa Brava? Does it even exist? Perhaps, like the case of Samantha Lazzaris last week, holiday operators simply send customers to anywhere resembling the photo on the brochure, knowing full well that British people won't care where they are so long as there's a ready supply of sun, sea, cheap beer and English newspapers. Given our reputation as a nation of monolinguals, we probably wouldn't even notice.
It's a shame they didn't use a photo of the Costa Brava, it is beautiful there as long as there aren't too many tourists. It's quite ironic though, that the Guardian took used a wrong picture as well.