MBIA criticizes Coast Guard ad campaign

LIVONIA, Mich. – The Michigan Boating Industries Association today expressed concern over a U.S. Coast Guard advertising campaign.

“The MBIA will be quickly contacting members of Congress to share the boating industry’s outrage at the intent of the U.S. Coast Guard to launch a misguided and damaging advertising campaign that implies boating is dangerous when in fact boating has a strong safety record that continues to improve,” the group said in a statement.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association echoed that sentiment.

“In these uncertain economic times it is incomprehensible that the USCG is using taxpayer dollars to push a new ad campaign whose only message is that boating is a dangerous activity,” the NMMA said in a statement about the issue.

MBIA President John Ropp said that as boating participation increases, fatality rates are holding steady across the nation.

“We will tell Congress that they must require the Coast Guard to work with the industry, boaters and a competent advertising agency to design an effective boating safety campaign that highlights the importance of safety and responsible behavior rather than scare boaters away from a safe and treasured recreational activity,” said Ropp. “These are taxpayer dollars at work and more care should be taken on how they are spent. Not only is this campaign misguided, it is also damaging to an important industry and a beloved American pastime.”

The MBIA is a state-wide trade association representing the recreational boating industry in Michigan.

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