September 14, 2018 12:12 am
Updated: September 14, 2018 12:13 am

City of Victoria’s rejected new $150K slogan is basically an old beer ad

The organization responsible for luring tourists to Greater Victoria has been forced to reject its new slogan and go back to the drawing board. Kylie Stanton reports on how an old beer commercial has come back to haunt them.


Just one week after it unveiled its new catchphrase, Victoria’s tourism marketing authority has been forced to ditch it and start all over again.

That’s because the slogan – “Oceans apart from ordinary” – is almost exactly the same as the ad copy used by Heineken beer during a print ad campaign in the 1970s. Heineken’s catchphrase back then was: “Oceans apart from the ordinary.”

Story continues below

READ MORE: No logo: City of Vancouver pulls the plug on rebrand after dumping controversial logo

Destination Greater Victoria spent six months on a rebranding exercise that cost about $150,000, which produced the new tag line. The advertising agency tasked with developing the next catchphrase will not charge any more fees for the additional work.

Even though the image of Victoria is firmly rooted in things like gardens, horse-drawn carriages and double-decker buses, the tourism group’s CEO said a rebrand of sorts was sorely need.

“It was dated,” said Paul Nursey. “It was time for a brand refresh, so we did a public tender and chose a world-leading agency to help us do a very robust brand strategy.”

READ MORE: City of Vancouver decides to scrap new logo and start over

The similarity to Heineken’s campaign was missed because it wasn’t registered as a trademark tag line, and so was missed when a trademark search was performed.

This isn’t the first time similar tag lines have been used by different jurisdictions. For example, Victoria’s former tag line – “full of life” – is now being used by Croatia.

The new tag line for Victoria should be decided in several weeks.​

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.