What started out as an attempt for a rebrand in Regina has backfired, with some people calling out Experience Regina’s slogans as misogynistic.
Experience Regina, the newly rebranded Tourism Regina, launched its rebrand on Friday with slogans like “Let’s make Regina sexy,” and “Show us your Regina.”
While some people found the new approach humorous, many people took to Twitter to call the rebranding sexist and misogynistic, and calling for an end to the rebrand.
“We need to know where and when you got positive feedback for this rebranding? How does any tourism authority in this day and age commodify genitalia and no one within the whole process say maybe this isn’t a good idea?” read one comment.
“Do better. This is pathetic and disgusting,” read another comment.
Tim Reid, CEO of Experience Regina, issued an apology and thanked people for holding the organization accountable.
“I want to start off by apologizing, on behalf of myself and our team, for the negative impact we created with elements of our recent brand launch,” Reid said in a statement.
“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 apologize. Thank you for using your voice, thank you for holding us accountable, and thank you for allowing us to be better.”
The slogans have since been removed from the Experience Regina website.
Before the backlash and apology, Global News spoke with Reid about the rollout of the rebrand, with him noting they had been working on the project for several months.
“We spent the last six months trying to understand the role of tourism, working with our stakeholders, trying to understand how they wanted things positioned as a community, trying to understand what was done in the past,” Reid said on Saturday.
He said the tourism sector is more competitive than ever, noting every city in Canada is trying to fill their restaurants, hotels and venues right now.
Reid had summarized the launch of the Experience Regina brand as a good conversation starter.
In the initial response to the sexual innuendos that Experience Regina was using as its slogans, Reid had said that conversation has been going on around Regina for decades.
“Let’s be unapologetically Regina.”
“Let’s embrace the fact that our city is called Regina,” Reid added.
He said they were leaning into it.
“The Prairies are way sexier than most people make them believe, and we’ve seen that, and we just have to tell the story. The Prairies look pretty darn sexy when you see it filmed in Hollywood.”
He said Regina is a great city and a phenomenal place to visit.
Exact numbers weren’t given, but Reid had said the rebranding cost was in the range of $30,000, adding Experience Regina had worked with a local communications firm.
He had said city administration and staff got to see the brand before it rolled out and said they had done about two and a half months of stakeholder engagement.
Global News has reached out to the city of Regina for a response.