Alex Beaton, founder of Awesome Mitten, a website launched in June that aims to promote all good things about Michigan, told the Kalamazoo Gazette she was dismayed to see the mitten image on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism website.
Wisconsin Department of Tourism spokeswoman Lisa Marshall said the image of a knit mitten shaped like the state of Wisconsin went into use online Dec. 1. She notes that people in Wisconsin also consider their state to be mitten-shaped.
Marshall said the state’s advertising agency came up with the concept. It follows a similar campaign used in the fall that featured an image of a colorful leaf shaped like the state. She said there is no slogan connected with the art.
“The mitten was used as a single creative element — you guys still own the mitten,” Marshall said. “We’d much rather our travelers consider us the ‘fun’ state.”
Dave Lorenz, manager of public and industry relations for Travel Michigan, said the two state tourism agencies are friendly.
“We understand their mitten envy,” he said with a chuckle. “But there is only one mitten state, only one Great Lakes state.”