UPDATED: Anger as ‘Viagra Hotel’ opens in resort

The Viagra Hotel, Dickson Road, Blackpool

The Viagra Hotel, Dickson Road, Blackpool

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A Blackpool guesthouse has been renamed The Viagra Hotel prompting an angry reaction.

Enforcement action could now be taken, Blackpool Council has warned.

Neil Marshall’s decision to rechristen the former Vidella Hotel on Dickson Road has angered councillors who branded the move “inappropriate” for a family resort.

Coun Ivan Taylor, whose Claremont ward includes Dickson Road, said: “I think it is inappropriate and in bad taste.

“Blackpool offers a good and serious hotel product to the millions of people who visit here and we don’t want that degraded in any way.

“So I’m not happy to see this when other hoteliers are trying to get good and respectable people to visit here.

“We are a family resort and this leaves a bad impression.

“Blackpool does appeal to all sorts of people but there are levels we should not fall below.”

Fellow Claremont councillor Lynn Williams also called for the signs to be removed.

She said: “This is just not acceptable or the kind of image we want to portray of hotels in a family resort.

“Children travelling along Dickson Road with their families are likely to ask what it means.

“I have asked that the council looks into taking action on this.”

Town hall officers said the council was considering what enforcement action it could take to get the signs removed.

Alan Cavill, Director of Place at Blackpool Council, said: “We are considering whether this is an issue for enforcement.

“Our trading standards team is also looking into it because it is also a brand name which is being used.”

The hotel’s landlord Neil Marshall said the new name reflected the fact the guesthouse is a budget hotel.

He told reporters: “You have got to stand out in a town full of hotels and guesthouses.

“The Vidella had a bad name so we changed the name. People know we are a fun place. We are a budget hotel and if they don’t like what we are they can go elsewhere.”

But a spokesman for pharmaceutical company Pfizer said: “Pfizer does not support nor condone the use of the Viagra trademark in this manner and will be taking appropriate action.

“Viagra is a prescription-only medicine which must be prescribed by a doctor and supplied through registered pharmacies. It is not licensed for sale to the general public without a prescription.

“In the UK advertising of prescription-only medicines to the public is strictly prohibited.”

In 2014 the previous owners of the Hotel Vidella John Downer and Neil Williams featured on the Channel Five series The Hotel Inspector when the show’s host Alex Polizzi, herself a former hotelier, spent five weeks filming there.