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Vote Now: Don’t Mess with Texas Celebrity Face-Off Down to Eight

January 27, 2011

(AUSTIN, Texas)—A tournament-style bracket at is now open to voters in a Celebrity Face-Off that will decide the favorite Don’t Mess with Texas TV ad of the past 25 years.

The Face-Off celebrates a quarter-century of Don’t Mess with Texas, the litter prevention campaign by the Texas Department of Transportation to hold down rising litter pickup costs.

The Face-Off started with 38 commercials, and voters now have narrowed the pool of ads to eight. Prior to the quarterfinals, ads featuring Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker were on the fence. Front-runners were Johnny Dee & the Rocket 88’s, George Strait, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. With the top eight favorites now advancing to a bracket format, voting is reset and all ads start equal.

Anyone can watch the commercials and then vote an unlimited number of times. Quarterfinal voting continues through January 31, at 9 a.m. Final Four voting then begins and runs through February 7, at 9 a.m. Finals’ (top two) voting will run through February 21, at 9 a.m.

Voters’ favorite ad will air on TV all year.

“Some of the best-known Texans have appeared in Don’t Mess with Texas ads encouraging people not to litter,” said TxDOT Travel Information Division Director Doris Howdeshell. “Based on voting so far, it appears that the Celebrity Face-Off could go down to the wire.”

The late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan appeared in the first Don’t Mess with Texas ad in 1986. That year, TxDOT spent $2.33 per person for litter pickup, and the agency now spends $1.90 each year per person. Don’t Mess with Texas has become a part of pop culture. In 2006, voters named it “America’s Favorite Slogan,” beating out Just Do It, Got Milk?, and Have It Your Way.

TxDOT’s research shows roadway litter in Texas is down 11 percent since 2001 despite Texas’ population and road growth.

About Don’t Mess with Texas

Don’t Mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. TxDOT’s litter prevention program includes Adopt-a-Highway and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Don’t Mess with Texas activities also include a spring “Trash-Off”, community outreach, a scholarship, a corporate partner program, and a photo album where Texans can share their iconic Texas images. For more information, visit Don’t Mess with Texas is a registered trademark of the Texas Department of Transportation. TxDOT’s goals are to prepare for the future, enhance safety, maintain the transportation system, relieve congestion, enhance connectivity, and work with partners to identify funding strategies. For more information, visit Fan us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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