Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2014

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Vegas tourism report: Prince Harry was PR boon

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Markus Schreiber / AP

The naked picture scandal that haunted Prince Harry, shown here attending the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, was a $23 million public relations boon for Las Vegas, says a new report.

Analysts say the same naked picture scandal that haunted Prince Harry was a public relations boon for Las Vegas.

A report commissioned by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says news coverage of an online campaign and a large ad in USA Today reached an estimated 154 million people. The report presented Tuesday values that publicity at $23 million.

The campaign came a few days after cell phone pictures published on gossip site TMZ showed the naked prince cozy with an unidentified woman during a game of strip billiards in Las Vegas.

The tongue-in-cheek campaign condemned the leak, urging visitors to keep hush-hush about wild Sin City weekends.

Earlier in the summer, the LVCVA launched a campaign to “know the code” and warned visitors about violating the city’s “What happens here, stays here” mantra. Weeks later, the prince visited – but his suite guests violated the code.

The incident turned out to be a public relations bonanza for the city.

At Tuesday’s meeting, LVCVA Board Chairman Tom Collins said, “God bless Prince Harry. He made us a bunch of money.”

Tourism authority spokeswoman Courtney Fitzgerald says the agency can't track how much of the attention translated into actual Las Vegas visits.