What happens in Vegas Stays in Mexico?
January 21, 2008 9:19 AM   Subscribe

What happens in Vegas, Stays In Mexico??

Does anyone else remember the "What happens in *, stays in *" being used by Mexico (or some city therein) way before Las Vegas started advertising "What happens in (Las) Vegas, Stays in (Las) Vegas"?

I distinctly remember a Mexican town or Mexico itself advertising this very slogan years before the stupid Las Vegas ones. It's funny how quickly a slogan can be erased from the collective memory and reapplied to another thing. I suppose lots of money and advertising does that.

But am I remembering this wrong?
posted by MrTangent to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (11 answers total)
Best answer: Seems unlikely. This Google answer implies that the advertising firm that owns the slogan is pretty forward about policing its mark. If something similar had been used by an American agency to advertise a Mexican resort (or whatever), that agency would probably have asserted its trademark before the Vegas firm did; even if they hadn't, the defending infringer would probably have unearthed it to use in her defense.

(On MTV's wretchedly wonderful Laguna Beach, the 'cast' was always saying "What happens in Cabo, stays in Cabo!"--is it possible that watching that show melted some part of your brain and you're confusing which came first? I know it, like, totally damaged parts of mine.)
posted by bcwinters at 9:47 AM on January 21, 2008

I do remember the phrase being used in reference to Mexico well before it was co-opted by Las Vegas. But, in my experience it was always used informally by friends and acquaintances, not as part of an advertising campaign.
posted by oddman at 9:56 AM on January 21, 2008

Perhaps this 2004 Toby Keith Song (lyrics) has implanted itself in your memory?
posted by Partial Law at 9:57 AM on January 21, 2008

I remember it being used a lot in reference to Jamaica, as well as many other scenarios (with bikers, for example: "What happens on the road, stays on the road"). It has been around a couple of decades, if not longer.
posted by TedW at 10:19 AM on January 21, 2008

I remember hearing "What happens in Tijuana stays in Tijuana" on an episode of the O.C. before I ever heard the Las Vegas thing, but I may just have been exposed late to the Las Vegas thing.
posted by Jeanne at 10:39 AM on January 21, 2008

It was a coming saying while in the military - What happens on TDY stays on TDY. And that was years before the vegas thing.
posted by bigmusic at 10:44 AM on January 21, 2008

Echoing that "What happens in X, stays in X" has been in use for years and years, even if colloquially and informally. I made a t-shirt for some friends in 1999 (after a long border trip filled with much partying and silliness) to remind them of our vow after the weekend, that "What happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico." I also thought at the time that we were nicking the phrase from a defunct 80's Mexico tourism campaign.

I can see why the flap came up in Vegas and was declared actionable (it would clearly be confusing to the marketplace, which is one of the arbiters of infringement), but I don't believe that anyone using the "What happens in X, stays in X" format in a location that wasn't Vegas would be necessarily in trouble in the way that bcwinters stated.
posted by pineapple at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2008

high school, early 80's. theme for a school europe trip was "what happens in europe stays in europe."

been around forever and someone co-opted it, kind of like fugly.
posted by domino at 11:00 AM on January 21, 2008

That line has been used a lot. Check this out for other examples. Mexico is near the top of the list.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:00 PM on January 21, 2008

In the 90's we used it for Newport, RI .
posted by beccaj at 12:08 PM on January 21, 2008

I think I first heard it as whit NAVY sit NAVY. Probably in the 1960s
posted by hexatron at 4:36 PM on January 21, 2008

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