Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks Regarding "Don’t Mess with Texas"

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006  •  Speech

Thank you. It is a true honor to welcome back to the Capitol a friend and former governor, Mark White. We are joined today by Transportation Commissioner Hope Andrade, and the “M” in the in the name of the advertising company GSD&M, Tim McClure. 20 years ago Tim came up with an advertising slogan so good that it resonates today with millions of Texans, as well as millions more who have the unfortunate privilege of living outside our borders. The slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas” has endured because it is more than a catchy phrase- it has worked. It has helped clean up our highways and made the once-common act of littering more than a violation of the law, but truly an attack on the sacred land we call Texas. Like all good slogans, it not only communicates an important message, but it does so with words fitting the voice of a people who have more pride in their state than the other 49 combined. I have heard of many a visitor who, upon first seeing this slogan on the side of the road, had no idea it was about littering. They figured it was just Texans warning outsiders to behave and be friendly. But since it is so bold, it was only a matter of time before the meaning of the message caught up with the force of the words. We not only want the “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign to be the most successful anti-litter effort in history, we want it to receive its due recognition as the best advertising slogan of all time.

Don’t Mess with Texas is matched up against 24 other memorable slogans in the 2006 Advertising Week Walk of Fame competition. I have to say it is an underdog, but so were the Horns in the last Rose Bowl. Texans can take this underdog to victory by voting their hearts at www dot vote d-m-w-t dot com (http://www.votedmwt.com). It deserves Texans’ support not only because it evokes Texas pride, but it conveys a good message. I’m not sure some slogans can claim the same, such as “what happens here stays here.” We especially encourage children and teachers to get involved. A whole generation of Texas schoolchildren has grown up understanding it’s not OK to litter. We have the chance to tell the world that TRUE Texans don’t trash their state, and other states ought to follow our lead.

To share his thoughts on this campaign is the governor who was office when Stevie Ray Vaughn kicked off this campaign in the Cotton Bowl 20 years ago- the 44th governor of Texas, Mark White.

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