WILDWOOD — A new tourism slogan playing up the word "wild" has met with controversy over the message being sent by the resort town.

"As Wild As You Want To Be" was unveiled by the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority on Wednesday, as their slogan to be featured in TV commercials and billboards promoting the upcoming summer.

The campaign's TV commercial features images of the ocean, roller coasters, the beach and a family in an arcade.

"It's your vacation, so you should decide exactly what to do with it. And trust us, there's a lot you can do with it," a narrator reads.

“Every type of vacation is a different and unique experience in its own way. If you want to 'chill' or 'thrill,' be 'lazy' or 'crazy,' have a ‘mild' or ‘wild' vacation, the Wildwoods have it all. In the Wildwoods, your vacation can be 'As Wild As You Want It To Be’!” Ben Rose, GWTIDA’s Marketing and PR Director said.

John Siciliano, GWTIDA’s executive director/CFO said “the new campaign was born out of the realization that whatever type of vacation a visitor desires, they can have it right here on our five-mile island. The Wildwoods have everything you could ever want in a family vacation. Why vacation anywhere else?”

Not everyone is happy with the ad.

"What are you thinking with that slogan? Encouraging people to go wild? What happened to Wildwood being family friendly? My family will certainly not be vacationing in Wildwood this summer!" Chuck Haley wrote on the Authority's Facebook page.

"Please reconsider and have your marketing campaign come up with something with a little class," Rob Meluson wrote.

The intent of the first campaign since 2014 promoting Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood as a summer destination is to compete with Virginia Beach, Ocean City, Maryland, and other beach spots which have advertised in this market, according to the Press report.

Siciliano told the Press ads will be run on television and radio, along with billboards along the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 287.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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