Montana tourism campaign wins over Chicago columnist

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By Vince Devlin – Missoulian

Western Montana Real Estate

It took three years and a million-dollar ad campaign, but we won.

Barbara Brotman has conceded.

Brotman, a Chicago Tribune outdoors columnist, in 2010 took playful umbrage at a Montana Office of Tourism ad campaign in her city that had plastered some of the public transportation she takes with grand images of Big Sky Country.

It wasn’t fair, she wrote, to torment Chicago flat-landers with such scenic splendor while they were trapped riding the Red Line.

Even worse, she said, Montana had co-opted Chicago’s most famous street’s nickname for its ad campaign.

Actually, she said we stole “the Magnificent Mile.” There it was, she reported, on one of the images on the elevated train she took to and from work, under a photograph of a red rock bluff:

“Miles Magnificent,” it read, seemingly implying that if Chicago had one mile it was proud of, Montanans had thousands of them.

“They are trash-talking us, Chicago!” she howled as best one can with tongue planted firmly in-cheek. “Montana is thrusting its mountainous finger right in our Midwest faces, taunting us with its magnificent scenery and world-class outdoor recreation.”

Spoiling for a fight, she challenged her readers to step up with their own photographs documenting Chicago’s natural beauty.

Brotman called it a “civic campaign” she named “Take That, Montana!”

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