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Mission accomplished [April 22, 2009]


So, Charles van Renesse of city marketing agency Amsterdam Partners estimates the rather pathetic 'row' about the somewhat tacky advertising campaign for Queen's Day has generated four million euros worth of free publicity. Fantastic work guys.

But at the same time, he now admits that a poster featuring Vladimir Putin in a t shirt which says 'Kiss me, I'm drunk' is a bit off for someone who is a staunch teetotaller.

So the Obama Putin poster has to go. As do the 50,000 free postcards which have been distributed to bars and cafes all over the city. 'That will take two days. If you are quick, you'll have a collector's item,' Van Renesse tells the Parool.

The French are very cross about their poster - featuring Sarkosy and Berlusconi. But there is no move to have that taken off the billboards. Nor has anyone said much about the somewhat buxom Hillary Clinton in an orange afro wig.

Bizarre thing about the entire campaign is that the aim - so says Van Renesse - is to attract foreign visitors to Queen's Day. Quite how they will achieve that when the posters are only going up in Amsterdam itself remains to be seen. Unless Amsterdam Partner was hoping for a bigger row than it actually got.

Perhaps someone out there should be asking exactly what Amsterdam Partners is promoting. Do we really need any more people flocking here on Queen's Day anyway?

Perhaps the powers that be in city hall could better spend their money on trying to find out why yet another Amsterdam museum will not be completed on schedule. Now it transpires the maritime museum will miss its 2010 deadline and will open in the summer of 2011 - at least that is what they say now.

The Rijksmuseum, of course, closed in 2003 and was supposed to reopen in 2006. It is now scheduled to welcome visitors again in 2012 or 2013. If that!

The Stedelijk, closed in January 2004 will open at least six months later than scheduled - possibly in April 2010 and queenie's palace on the Dam, shut to visitors in September 2005, will open this June, a year behind schedule.

Perhaps the fact that so many of the city's main attractions are closed might explain the lack of tourists, Mr van Renesse?

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