Home Travel City Pulls New Tourism Campaign For Being Too Sexualized

City Pulls New Tourism Campaign For Being Too Sexualized

by SharonKurheg

A while back we wrote about two Australian tourism ad campaigns; one for the country’s Northern Territory and one for South Australia. Both were decidedly adult, more than a little NSFW, and obviously written as satire.

Apparently, a Canadian city decided to go down the same path. Except their ad campaign WASN’T satire. And in their attempts at humor by sexualizing the city’s name, they managed to get a bunch of people angry.

Y’see, the city is Regina, which is the capital city of Saskatchewan. Many people who have that name pronounce it Reh-JEE-nah or Ree-JEE-nah. But the city of Regina pronounces it a different way.

Which is all well and good. I mean, they can pronounce “Regina” however they want; it’s their city.

Of course, people have been making jokes about their pronunciation of Regina, and what it rhymes with, for years. Unfortunately, the city recently decided to own the joke.

Regina had recently decided to rebrand its tourism agency. Which, again, isn’t a bad thing. Except, in keeping with the joke, they went from Tourism Regina to, you guessed it, Experience Regina. So yes, they took that rhyme and ran with it.

The city’s slogans for the new campaign included the likes of “Show us your Regina” and “The city that rhymes with fun.” There was already even, coincidentally, an Experience Regina music video that had been made as a novelty song, years ago.

Anyway, so the new campaign started. Not surprisingly, the push back was swift and broad, with people calling the new slogans “juvenile,” “misogynistic,” “crude” and “rapey.” Protesters also gathered inside Regina City Hall, calling for Tourism CEO Tim Reid and the Mayor Sandra Masters to resign.

“Many survivors of sexual assault, including me, have been triggered and re-traumatized by this horrid campaign,” Bernadette Wagner, a spokesperson for the group said.

Kristen McLeod, a former Tourism Regina board member, was also loudly critical of the new campaign.

“As opposed to kind of figuring out something that we can all get behind, all be proud of, that you know your seven-year-old can say,” McLeod said, pointing to the slogan “the city that rhymes with fun.”

“When your seven-year-old can’t — shouldn’t, probably — explain the slogan of your city then that’s a problem, don’t you think?,” she continued.

Within days, the agency apologized and announced they were scrapping the new brand. They were going back to Tourism Regina.

In a social media post, Reid apologized that the campaign “fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some of the slogans that are used.”

“The city didn’t appreciate it and our community didn’t appreciate it and we just were wrong,” Reid said in an interview with the CBC.

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