An ad telling people to visit the 'G-spot of Europe' sparked controversy. Now it's actually boosting tourism.

No reward comes without risk - or in the case of Vilnius - risqué. The capitol city of Lithuania has a population of 570,000 and regularly makes lists as an underrated and inexpensive European destination. Lonely Planet called it a "hidden gem" of Europe. In 2016, it was rated the third cheapest destination for a bachelor party in Europe by FairFX. And you've probably never heard of it. In August of 2018, the city started running racy ads to increase tourism, calling it the "G-spot of Europe." The ad features a woman grabbing a map of Europe, clutching the spot where Vilnius is located. "Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it's amazing," reads the caption.

VILNIUS - THE G-SPOT OF EUROPE youtu.be


The sexy ads were conceived by students. "As for the insight, we realized that it's true from our experiences abroad when we kept getting blank looks after telling people we're from Vilnius," Jurgis Ramanauskas, who worked on the idea, told The Drum. "Also, we've noticed that foreigners who came to our city or even decided to stay here were very satisfied with their experience. And of course, the seed for all of it was laid out in the brief."

VILNIUS - THE G-SPOT OF EUROPE (3) youtu.be

The ads were published on International Orgasm Day, coincidentally a month before the Pope was scheduled to visit the predominantly Catholic country. Lithuanian priests were offended over the ad, and the bishop of Vilnius said the ads present the city as a "sex tourism city." The Prime Minister of Lithuania had no problems with the racy ad itself, but wanted the city to wait until after the Pope's visit to launch their campaign. It did not.

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After the ads went up, the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority only received one complaint. It rejected the complaint, saying the ad was not "exploitative or degrading" and "unlikely to cause serious or widespread offense." John Oliver even praised the idea on "Last Week Tonight," saying, "If other destinations are smart they will follow Lithuania's lead, and come up with their own adults-only tourism slogans."

John Oliver talks About Vilnius G-Spot campaign youtu.be

Despite the controversy, the image of a woman in ecstasy made people come – to Vilnius. The ad reached an audience of 600 million people, appearing in over 1,000 media publications. 100,000 people visited the campaign's equally cheeky website, vilniusgspot.com. Google searches for the city tripled as people attempted to find Europe's G-spot.

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Tourism for Vilnius also increased. In the year since the ads have been out, tourism has been up by 12.5%. Visitors from Germany and the U.K., the primary markets for the campaign, saw a spike, with an increase of travelers up by 37.8% and 20.5% respectively.

The ads also won best destination campaign for a city at the International Travel and Tourism Awards, beating out Dallas/Ft. Worth. As they say, sex sells, and apparently it wins awards, too.

You gotta love a city (and an ad campaign) that doesn't take itself too seriously. Who's up for a trip to Vilnius?

The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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