REGINA — The rebranding of the tourism agency of Saskatchewan's capital city is being walked back as an independent review is set to examine what happened before the campaign rollout drew intense criticism.
Experience Regina was launched last month with the agency posting phrases on social media that seemed to make light of the Saskatchewan capital's name rhyming with female anatomy.
The rebrand faced significant backlash with many saying it took the city backward in advancing women's rights.
Experience Regina reverted to Tourism Regina on Thursday, with all websites and social channels going back to the agency's original name.
"Over the past few weeks, we have been working with Tourism Regina, city council and external stakeholders to determine the best path forward for our tourism agency,” said Wayne Morsky, the chair of the Regina Exhibition Association Limited board of directors, which oversees the agency.
The board of directors said in a news release it will undertake an independent review, led by a third-party consultant, to examine all aspects of the development of the Experience Regina brand and launch.
Any further action will come after the review is complete, but the board said it will ensure the future of tourism in Regina aligns with the values of the community.
Experience Regina launched the rebrand in March by posting an array of slogans on its social media accounts, including "We are the city that rhymes with fun.'' Its website also had "show us your Regina" written above a block of Instagram posts.
The branding faced criticism with Opposition NDP Status of Women critic Jennifer Bowes. She wrote on Twitter that the tag lines were misogynistic. Regina Mayor Sandra Masters called the slogans "regrettable." Others called the slogans lewd, lazy and sexist.
Tim Reid, the agency's CEO, later apologized and said in a statement posted on social media that the campaign "fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some of the slogans that we used.'' Some people called for Reid's resignation over the debacle.
Tourism Regina posted on social media that the agency is committed to consulting with a diverse group of stakeholders throughout the process of choosing a new name.
"While we determine what the future of Tourism Regina looks like, we look forward to getting back to work to support the local tourism economy essential to the city during the busy spring and summer seasons," the statement said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2023.
— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Saskatoon
The Canadian Press