Canadian city apologises after sexist 'Show Us Your Regina' marketing campaign
A Canadian tourism board has been decried as “tone deaf” for sexualising its city’s name in a new advertisement campaign.
Officials in Regina, Saskatchewan have apologised after unveiling the slogan: “Show us your Regina” to entice tourists to the city. Regina rhymes with vagina, prompting locals to accuse the tourism board of being crude and sexist.
The tourist board was renamed: “Experience Regina” while another slogan posted on social media said: “The city that rhymes with fun.”
Unveiling the campaign, the tourist board said: “Our City has been living this brand for a while now, and we thought it was time to own it.”
The phrase “Experience Regina” creeped into local vernacular following the release of an amateur, unofficial tourism video posted on YouTube in 2008.
Locals were baffled that the phrase has now made its way into official advertisements.
‘Rhymes with fun’
“Show us your Regina. Really. That’s the best we can do, female anatomy humour to promote our city?” said Heather Johnson.
“Just no. Off key, and tone deaf literally and figuratively. Just because Regina has lamely been labelled “rhymes with fun” doesn’t mean we have to embrace that tacky slogan. Juvenile and cringe-level branding,” added Susan Thiele.
Others said it was “sexually degrading”, “misogynistic” and “gross”,
In response, Tim Reid, chief executive of Experience Regina, said in a statement: “I want to start by apologising, on behalf of myself and our team, for the negative impact we created with elements of our recent brand launch.
“There was such positive feedback around Experience Regina; however, it was clear that we fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some of the slogans that we used.
“Regardless of our intent, the impact is valid, and for that, we apologise.”
The Tourist board - formerly known as Tourism Regina could have gone a different route. Regina, named after Queen Victoria, is also known as the Queen City.
“Why couldn't we run with that instead?” asked Michael Medby, a local podcaster.