THE Balearic tourism ministry has added its weight to the demands by the Majorcan restaurateurs association, who want a television advertisement by the Spanish Lottery Organisation ONCE withdrawn, because it slates the local cuisine, describing it as “the worst part” of a holiday. Eduardo Gamero, the Director General of Tourism Promotion, has written to Joan Vanrell, the ONCE representative in the Balearics, commenting on the negative impact of the advert in question. The offending advert is part of a promotional campaign for ONCE's special summer draw which will be held on August 15. It shows a group of young people who have holidayed on the island, saying “The worst part was the food, the best was everything else.” In his letter, Gamero said “we would like to believe that the objective of this advert is to relive the Majorcan holidays of a group of students in the past. However, a phrase such as the one mentioned in the spot is inacceptable because of its inaccuracy, as it does not correspond to the truth and is very prejudicial for the image of as important a sector of our tourist trade as restaurants, and it also affects the image of Majorca as a tourist destination.” After underlining the work of the restaurant sector to improve quality in cuisine in Majorca and the Balearics in general, Gamero stresses the Balearic government's support of the local cuisine, through fairs, congresses, presentations and other events. He calls for the immediate withdrawal of the advert because of the damage it is causing, and called on the organisation to be more careful of the contents of its adverts in the future. Maria Antonia Munar, president of the Council of Majorca, also plans to write to ONCE calling for the withdrawal of the spot, or at least removing the offending comment. Miquel Angel Flaquer, head of the Council's finance department, admitted that the complaints of the restaurateurs were logical, given the context of the advert. He pointed out that the Council wants the local cuisine recognised as one of the key elements of tourist promotion, and the spot damages this image. ONCE, an organisation which helps the blind, runs one of the most popular lotteries in the country, the coupons being sold by the blind in kiosks and bars.

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