A US state has distanced itself from an advert on London Underground designed to attract gay tourists.

“South Carolina is so gay,” proclaimed posters in one Tube station.

The campaign was proposed by the state tourism agency’s London advertising contractor.

It promotes tour operation Amro Worldwide. Several US cities took out similar ads to coincide with last weekend’s Pride London celebrations.

Newspaper The State reports that the advertising has stirred controversy back in the state capital Columbia.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism said yesterday that it would not pay for the ads and blamed an “overseas contractor” for approving it.

Parks, Recreation and Tourism director Chad Prosser told The State that employees had “exercised extremely poor judgment.”

Republican state politicians have called for an investigation.

The posters touted South Carolina’s plantations, Civil War history, beaches and golf facilities.

The Tube campaign ends tomorrow.

Mr Prosser has asked that the South Carolina posters be removed, reports The State.