Visitors’ guide photograph raises eyebrows

Doug Gallant
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This is rthe cover of the 2015 P.E.I tourism guide that is causing all the stir.

Some see more in the photograph than was intended

The Department of Tourism and Culture’s official visitor’s guide for 2015 is prompting some people to do a double take.

The reason for that double take is the photograph on the cover, which depicts a young couple relaxing on the beach beneath a clear blue sky. At first glance it looks like a typical Island beach scene, the kind that inspires countless visitors to include P.E.I. in their summer vacation plans.

She’s reading a book, he’s simply basking in the sun, completely relaxed, arms folded behind his head. But upon closer inspection of the photograph it appears the gentleman in the photograph isn’t completely relaxed.

A number of people who’ve seen the photo have suggested he appears to be sexually aroused, an observation some people have posted on Facebook.

Several people who were shown the cover of the visitors guide by The Guardian didn’t immediately notice anything unusual about the photograph. But within a minute almost everyone saw the point of contention.

“Oh my God,” one woman remarked as she brought her hands up to her face. “Is that what I think it is?”

She then burst into laughter and called a male friend over to look at the image.

“He looks really happy to be here,” her friend remarked. “The province must be looking for younger visitors.’’

Andrew Morrison of Halifax looked at the cover, smirked, and said that’s not what brought him to P.E.I.

No one at Tourism and Culture would comment on the image, which appearson the cover of over 150,000 English travel guides and just over 34,000 French language travel guides.

Organizations: Department of Tourism and Culture

Geographic location: P.E.I., Iceland

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Recent comments

  • Beverley
    May 14, 2015 - 01:28

    I think there are a lot of people who need to get a life & their minds out of the gutter. What I see is simply what you can see everyday, the "stiffness" of the "zipper"can cause the zipper area to crease up and the twisted minded people see this to look like a man is aroused, but does mean that it is. I am a woman & have had pants do the same thing. I certainly do not have a bulge. Seriously, get a life people! So you all need to go to Prince Edward Island, sit in the sun & see if this happens to you! Most people would not have noticed without this being "pointed" out to them.

    May 13, 2015 - 12:07

    Hey Lovie, I thought this might give you a chuckle! Great for business!

  • CA
    May 13, 2015 - 09:34

    Really! Blame the photographer they should have seen this lol come on guys it's only the zipper that is knew and it does that with new shorts, had a pair like that lol please stop your perverted minds people PEI is a great place to visit, they should have seen that lol

  • shawn
    May 12, 2015 - 11:14

    I want to go to PEI :)

  • Island Boy
    Island Boy
    May 12, 2015 - 09:25

    SUPERCOOL ad for PEI ...!

  • April S
    May 11, 2015 - 15:52

    This is great. ..maybe even deliberate because the advertisement is getting a lot of attention which is exactly what its supposed to do. Kudos to whoever is responsible for the ad.Very clever.

  • Smiley
    May 11, 2015 - 12:56

    C'mon it's a great photo. It's just marketed in the wrong area. Should read: Need Derections? Ask an Islander.

  • AHHHHH!!
    May 11, 2015 - 12:02

    They are just relaxing & waiting to "explore "the next thing that comes up!!!

  • therod
    May 11, 2015 - 08:54

    As someone who has worked on a lot of large print marketing campaigns It is amazing that this made it past creative and into print. It is absolutely innocent and just a freak chance of shadow and fold in his shorts. It should have been picked up though.

    • Chris
      May 29, 2015 - 23:43

      I can almost guarantee you these guys didn't have a creative dept.. This brochure was put together by people who didn't want to pay for photos.. They contacted me about using one of mine.. Stating I'd get "credit".. Well last I checked, I can't go to a restaurant and tell them I'll give them credit for their food.. I still have to pay. Ultimately this very easily comes down to "you get what you (don't) pay for"

  • Long time gone
    May 11, 2015 - 08:19

    This is exactly why I am so glad I left PEI many years ago. Sorry fellow Islanders but you have small pathetic minds and that is why PEI will always be a joke. Every time I get home to visit I am reassured that my decision to leave and have a real life was correct. When this is what you call a news item and the fact that tiny immature minds are even making this an issue just once again shows how pathetic life on PEI is. So glad I do not live there any more.

    • Jon
      May 11, 2015 - 09:52

      Yet you still have time to check out the news from here and comment from afar. If you're going to leave, go and take your condescending attitude and comments too!

    • Where are you going to move now?
      May 11, 2015 - 10:59

      It also made the National Post. Where are you going to move now? In all seriousness, you make a blanket statement about all Islanders based on the reaction of some to this story. Maybe it is a good thing you're gone.

    • Linda Shaw
      May 11, 2015 - 19:20

      I agree with every word "long time gone" and is another reason that I'm also leaving the island behind me. Been here 30 years too long.

    • Please don't come back
      May 12, 2015 - 08:35

      @ Long Time Gone. Please don't come back. You've demonstrated a complete lack in sense of humor. Meanwhile we can laugh at ourselves, while enjoying our ridiculously low cost of living, our phenomenal beaches we have (all no more than 20 minutes away), our low crime rate, our rich cuisine and our friendly neighbors. If you do come back, please take Linda Shaw with you.

    • Take off eh
      May 12, 2015 - 14:07

      @ Long time Gone...I agree with Jon..

    • Stan Hope
      May 13, 2015 - 10:15

      Enjoy life in Toronto I mean Brampton.

    • Gerard
      May 13, 2015 - 10:20

      So tell me "long time gone", exactly why did you leave PEI many years ago? Because you' might get an erection if you lay on the beach?

  • Dave Merchant
    May 11, 2015 - 08:15

    Come you Islanders, stand up! This is could be the big one....the biggest tourism coup, since you enlist our beloved and begotten friend "Stomping Tom" Conners to sing your famous Islander anthem "...For information on vacation call the land of fun, call 800-565-7421..." Grab this opportunity and be famous once again like you were back when!

  • Dave Blaxland
    May 11, 2015 - 07:37

    Making a mountain out of a mole hill are we?

  • J
    May 11, 2015 - 06:07

    Get over it folks, if this is in fact what people think it is, then maybe that indicates a new direction for PEI tourism since nothing else seems to work. By the way, you'd since many Islanders including government tourism officials travel around the world, they would take notice of what these places do for tourism and try to do some of the same here. We do very little but still want tourist dollars. I can go nearly anyplace in the world cheaper and get more for my money including consistent good weather.

  • Dr.
    May 10, 2015 - 21:16

    I'm a doctor and that is not caused by a fold in cloth or velcro. It is what is speculated. It's a real shame that someone from Tourism isn't acknowledging the mistake so at least it won't happen again.

    • guy
      May 11, 2015 - 08:43

      You always lead by saying your a doctor when commenting on clothing? Good thing you're here or we'd all just be walking around bumping into walls.

    • Dr. Pants
      May 12, 2015 - 08:42

      I know that not all Dr's can graduate at the top of the class, but I shudder to think of the service your patients must be getting.. It's a fold in his shorts.

  • agreebob
    May 10, 2015 - 21:15

    I have to agree with Bob.Government should be available for comment just like anyone else would be.

  • awesome
    May 10, 2015 - 20:40

    PEI-Better than Viagra! (if you're sitting on a beach with a hot chick reading you fifty shades)

  • Big by
    May 10, 2015 - 20:12


  • From Away
    May 10, 2015 - 20:03

    I think he has a Bar Clam in his pocket.

  • Penelope
    May 10, 2015 - 17:07

    It's just a fold in his shorts! Lighten up people!

    • Ziggy
      May 13, 2015 - 11:54

      Seam style pockets have a tendency (depending on the fabric )to bunch up across the pocket line when sitting . It is as other's stated "A fold in the shorts "

  • Guspacho
    May 10, 2015 - 15:21

    Anybody who owns a pair of men's swim shorts knows that there is a velcro strip on the crotch and it bulges up like this when sitting.

  • al
    May 10, 2015 - 15:08

    she doesn't even know------

  • maria
    May 10, 2015 - 15:06

    looks good, booked FLIGHT down right away-

  • Jimmy Buffet
    May 10, 2015 - 13:42

    Time to dismantle the entire Tourism PEI gravy train . It does not matter what they do it does not bring in the people . Time to let private business start paying these wages and pensions , I know I am tired of seeing my tax dollars feeding it . Save money here Wade , cut ,cut ,cut !

  • John MacDonald
    May 10, 2015 - 10:51

    Every once in a while I forget how much stupidity exists. Reading a few Comments brings me back to reality. The bigger issue is the perception of an erection. His shorts are reasonably crumpled. He's enjoying a beach and likely without any intentions of bothering you. Maybe you need to loosen your moral chastity belt a notch or two. Keep a perspective in this brief life where people more unhappy than you are beheading people perceived as different.

  • Bob
    May 10, 2015 - 09:37

    "No one at Tourism and Culture" would comment??? They HAVE to comment since they work for us! They used our money and this is a joke, a distasteful one at that! Find out who allowed this to happen. They need to find a different job!!

  • Instigator
    May 10, 2015 - 09:31

    Welcome to PEI. It was a brutal winter. It was hard on all of us !!!!!

    • Eugenius Rossiterius
      May 11, 2015 - 00:38

      Hee hee. You said "hard on."

  • John
    May 10, 2015 - 08:34

    Who ever approved this copy should be fired. The Island has spent millions on marketing an image and this sick joke of a photo just undermined the credible work that was done. No excuse, should not have happened, will turn people off. This reporter should find out who is responsible and what action is taken. It's OUR tax dollars that paid for this. almost 200,000 printed covers sending out the wrong message!

    • pff
      May 11, 2015 - 08:45

      Save it for church and gossip time.

  • John MacDonald
    May 10, 2015 - 08:31

    Keep hope alive.

  • Rob Lofstedt
    May 10, 2015 - 07:40

    Viagra we making a mountain out of a mole hill? Also, did you notice that PEI is in Iceland?

  • Jan
    May 09, 2015 - 19:21

    Why in the world would the Guardian lower themselves to even make a story about this photo?! Shameful. Did Mr. Gallant even consider the guy in the photo when writing the story and subjecting him this kind of childish ridicule?

  • woody wood pecker
    May 09, 2015 - 19:15

    Hey woody where's donald duck.

  • Mark
    May 09, 2015 - 18:57

    PEI- The genital island

    • Brian from Stratford
      May 09, 2015 - 22:02

      @ Mark Best comment ever!

    • Garth Staples
      May 10, 2015 - 14:21


  • Garth Staples
    May 09, 2015 - 18:54

    Marketing shouldn't be controversial no matter the subject or image.

  • James
    May 09, 2015 - 16:56

    Seriously, the photo retoucher would have brought it to the attention of the marketing team. There's no way this could be an oversight.

    • John
      May 10, 2015 - 08:37

      I agree. Some one from Tourism needs to step up and explain. If they think this kind of stunt is funny and OK, we are in serious trouble!

  • Subb Liminal
    May 09, 2015 - 16:49

    And that breeze required to blow her towel open like that doesn't seem to be having the same effect on her hair.

  • Jon
    May 09, 2015 - 15:42

    It's his left leg with his shorts bunched up a bit..... Relax people actually zoom in and see God some people are dense

    • Funny
      May 09, 2015 - 18:06

      Zoom all you like !!!!!! what does it have to do with his left leg ha ha ha

  • country boy
    May 09, 2015 - 14:35

    Hey woody....what you dreaming about.

  • Chris
    May 09, 2015 - 13:56

    LOL I think that is perfect marketing!!

  • Joe Doe
    May 09, 2015 - 12:59


    • Dave Merchant
      May 11, 2015 - 08:27

      That's the spirit! It's about advertising, getting yourself noticed. This is a rather accidental but very cute way to become the early leader in the race to attract tourist dollars. No hadn't thought about going to PEI, I normally go to Nova Scotia. Now that PEI has come to mind, I was thinking maybe this year we will try to camp on the Island. Until this morning, the idea never crossed my mind. Isn't it what a great campaign is supposed to do??CEP?

    • AB
      May 11, 2015 - 19:51

      Pitch a tent, so to speak, Dave ?