IT WAS supposed to be a poster enticing travellers to Southampton.

Problem was the picture used to illustrate the city was of a tourist attraction twenty miles away.

A PR gaffe has managed to mix up Southampton and Portsmouth by having a poster with the headline “Southampton” but with a picture of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower.

The publicity poster was spotted by an eagle-eyed Daily EchoDaily Echo reader who saw it at Lyon-Saint- Exupéry Airport.

Leader of Southampton City Council Simon Letts said: “We are obviously happy to accept our position as the capital of the south and all the cultural attractions around here add to that.”

When pressed on what he thought of the poster, he added: “I think it is a bit of a mistake.”

However, Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith MP was more critical of the mix-up calling it “a schoolboy error”.

He said: “It is inexplicable isn’t it, you would think they would have a bronze statue of me instead of the Spinnaker Tower because that’s more relevant!.”

“They might have done it because Southampton Airport is a regional airport and you can go somewhere else nearby, but Southampton has plenty on offer to have a picture of Southampton in its own right.

“They could have put a picture of The Bargate or Tudor House or a nice picture of people outside The Wool House. I just think they should and could have done a picture of Southampton.”

Mr Smith called for the poster to be changed and added: “They should change it, they should not do the image of somewhere that does not have an airport. It is a bit of a schoolboy error isn’t it?”

A statement by Flybe, whose flights are featured on the poster, say that it was not produced by them but by Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport.

A spokeswoman said: “Flybe can confirm that the poster was independently produced by Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport.

"We are currently in contact with the airport to correct the error and we thank the reader for bringing it to our attention.”

A spokeswoman for Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport Airport told the Daily Echo that the mistake happened because they were supplied by a communications firm, with a picture which they believed was of Southampton.

They said they wanted the poster to “highlight” the region and the days out around the area, and said they will be changing the poster in a matter of weeks.