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LT Gov. Billy Nungesser Blasts New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell - Personal Agenda Over State Tourism

Dec 15, 2020 02:01PM ● By News Desk

BATON ROUGE, La. – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser today said New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s actions against Lauren Daigle cost not just New Orleans the opportunity at invaluable, worldwide promotion at a time when it’s needed most, they also cost every city in Louisiana that had a chance at hosting the event.  

               LT Gov. Billy Nungesser

“When Mayor Cantrell’s personal feelings toward Lauren Daigle being tapped to promote her city came to light, we attempted to move the safe, and socially-distanced, celebration to a location outside of New Orleans and Orleans Parish, even offering to hold the event on a riverboat in Gretna with New Orleans still serving as the backdrop. It was then Mayor Cantrell took the issue to the next level, writing letters and making phone calls to Dick Clark Productions and ABC,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “The result of her actions was a decision by Dick Clark Productions to pull Lauren Daigle from the lineup and any celebration from Louisiana to be broadcast worldwide. In the long run, this action will not only hamper any efforts for New Orleans to recover from the pandemic, but also every city in the state which offered to host the event, and the state as a whole.”

In 2018, the Louisiana Office of Tourism launched our “Louisiana: Feed Your Soul” brand on Mardi Gras day with a highly-successful activation yielding millions of brand impressions and $1.45 million dollars in earned media. The plan included amplifying that brand message through a partnership with two-time Grammy® award-winning singer-songwriter and native of Lafayette, Lauren Daigle. As a brand ambassador, the state followed her upward trajectory and in every interview she spoke of her love for all things Louisiana. Over the last two years, Lauren has made numerous personal appearances promoting Louisiana as a place where you can Feed Your Soul. In addition, she was featured on the cover of Louisiana’s current visitor’s guide, as well as social media posts and takeovers. As part of the recent Sunshine Plan to guide the state through recovery, Lauren recorded a version of “You are My Sunshine,” Louisiana’s state song, featured in an advertising campaign running nationwide and online.

“To have invested so much into the promotion of our great state, along with promotion of the city of New Orleans, and see one of the biggest opportunities squandered over what can only be described as a retaliation is beyond belief,” said Lt. Governor Nungesser. “I assure you, the Louisiana Office of Tourism and my office will never waver in our passion for this state and its cities, nor will we let personal feelings interfere with the promotion of Louisiana. We will work tirelessly to return Louisiana to record-breaking tourism years ahead.”