Florida's new attempt to attract businesses is being called sexist by some of the state's businesswomen.
Florida's new business logo features the word "Florida" in which the letter "i" is substituted with a necktie, above the slogan "The Perfect Climate For Business."
The logo, which was revealed Thursday by Republican Gov. Rick Scott
and Enterprise Florida, the state's chief economic development agency, has already triggered negative responses from some women in the local business community.
"Perhaps they should add a tag line: 'Florida is the perfect climate for business if you're a man,'" Beth Leytham, a Tampa-based public relations executive, wrote in an email to the Tampa Tribune
The sentiment was echoed by Colleen Chappell of the Tampa advertising agency ChappellRoberts, which had tried unsuccessfully to land the branding contract for a new business logo.
"Speaking as a female business owner, I am so disappointed the only visual associated with our business climate is a man's necktie," Chappell told The Tribune.
Katherine Yanes, a lawyer and president of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, agreed with Chappell.
"I don't think a man's necktie represents all that Florida's business community has to offer," she quipped.
The logo and slogan were designed by the Jacksonville branding firm, On Ideas, while the research accompanying the launch of the new brand was conducted by the Tennessee-based branding firm North Star Destination Strategies, according to Enterprise Florida spokesman Sean Helton.
Responding to the criticisms from some in regards to the use of a necktie in the logo, Helton said, "We felt it was a universal symbol of business."
Helton acknowledged that Enterprise Florida had considered whether the use of a necktie in the logo would send a male-oriented message, but decided to go forward with it after sharing the design with both men and women on its board.
Where or when the logo will be used has yet to be determined by Enterprise Florida, though it could likely be featured in both print ads and televised messages reports The Tribune.
According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, Florida
is the fifth most tax-friendly states for business.
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