Offbeat Workplace News
‘Old boys’ club’: Employees question how Regina rebrand was approved
Federal government employees expressed relief that Prairies Economic Development Canada was not involved in a disastrous rebrand that saw Saskatchewan’s capital city criticized for sexualized slogans.
Messages in a group chat obtained under freedom of information laws show federal employees were shocked by Tourism Regina’s campaign. All names of employees have been redacted.
“There were so many people involved in choosing that. How did no one stop it? Oh my,” one person wrote in a message.
Experience Regina was launched in March with the agency posting phrases on social media that seemed to make light of the Saskatchewan capital’s name rhyming with female anatomy.
The tourism agency posted 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 backlash was swift and immediate. It made news around the world.
“You know it is bad when it is in a New York paper and is ahead of anything on Trump,” said one employee with Prairies Economic Development Canada.
The employees at the federal department, which works to diversify the economy in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, shared their relief that Prairies Economic Development Canada had not been involved.
“I am glad we did not fund that rebrand,” one employee posted.
“The emails would have been flying — lots of urgent requests lol,” another responded.
The employees asked how nobody stopped the campaign. They questioned if it was an all-male committee and how the branding could have passed focused groups.
“Old boys’ club,” one person messaged.
The public was also appalled by the rebrand and some said the phrases took the city backward in advancing women’s rights.
After the fallout, Tourism Regina pulled all rebranding from its website and reverted back to its original logos.
An independent review into the failed rebrand was released earlier this month. It found a junior employee approved and published the sexualized slogans online before senior management could vet them.
The review said the Regina Exhibition Association Ltd., which is responsible for Tourism Regina, had been in a state of disorganization, as it was doing the rebrand alongside other high-profile projects.
The association has said there are no plans for a new rebrand until policies are changed. New changes would also require the blessing of the advisory committee.
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