At its own expense, The Cirlot Agency created an advertising campaign entitled "Mississippi, Believe It!"
Rick Looser, the agency's chief operating officer, says many Mississippians have found themselves wincing at regional prejudice.
Looser says the rest of the country thinks that the Mississippi portrayed in movies and TV is reality, and even though the state has changed over the past 50 years, its image hasn't.
The ad campaign consists of numerous posters depicting famous Mississippians and notable state history designed to send a new message about the magnolia state.
One advertisement reads: "Yes we can read. Some of us can even write." Below the words are images of great Mississippi writers including Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and Margaret Walker Alexander.
The state Department of Education agreed to have the posters delivered to every school in the state. Looser says it's important for students to learn about their heritage so that they can grow to be "citizen ambassadors" who have a sense of Mississippi pride.
Looser says he hopes that the campaign will find its way across the country through citizens and businesses that have grown tired of combating a false image.
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