A tourism campaign for the Canadian city of Regina has certainly gotten the world talking – just not for the right reasons.

The controversial approach to promoting the area has outraged its locals, who condemned the marketing as not only “misogynistic” and also “pathetic and disgusting”.

The tourism agency behind the campaign – Experience Regina – believed that “Show us your Regina” would be of benefit to the city, particularly as Regina rhymes with vagina.

“The city that rhymes with fun” is another slogan they slipped into their controversial campaign, and was featured on a line of merchandise made in collaboration with 22Fresh. All posts featuring the clothing campaign have since been removed.

Outrage came fast and furious, and the organisation was forced to acknowledge their mistake, taking to Twitter to share their thanks for everyone “holding them accountable”.

“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,” said Experience Regina’s Tim Reid in a statement to Twitter.

He went on to note that they’d had positive feedback, but that it was “clear we fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some of the slogans we used.”

People were not thrilled with the apology, believing that it was up to the company to do more to right their wrongs, and to actually acknowledge where they had veered off course in their decision making process.

“Do better. This is pathetic and disgusting,” wrote one unhappy Twitter user.

“There needs to be significant changes and very public acknowledgement of the mistakes made,” said another, before allowing that “this is a start.”

“Did you ask literally anyone if it was a good idea?” one asked.

Someone else opted to outline exactly what the majority were trying to tell them, stating that “this is a failure of epic proportions. You not only showed complete disrespect for women in our community but also a complete disregard for the comfort and safety of women in this community. We are owed the full story about how this came to be.”

The uproar was so loud that Regina City Councillor Cheryl Stadnichuk issued a statement to Facebook, declaring that she too was “incredibly disappointed and appalled … with the sexist messaging of the new Experience Regina.”

She went on to explain that she hadn’t been given any advance notice regarding the campaign’s slogan, and her thoughts on them.

“The slogans associated with the campaign … are misogynist and objectify women’s bodies. As one woman pointed out on social media, would we engage school children with this messaging? I also ask, do we want men harassing women in bars chanting ‘show us your Regina?’,” she wrote.

“There are so many serious ramifications of these slogans. We have extremely high rates of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in our city.

“As a society, we have a responsibility to teach boys and men about consent. These slogans do the opposite.”

Response to her post was mostly positive – people were glad to see someone in power speaking out with them – but there were those that still wanted to hear more from the company itself. One day later, they did.

Tim Reid once again took to Twitter to share what steps Experience Regina would be taking moving forward.

To begin, they were removing “all content that is offensive or inappropriate”, something that many had been calling for from the beginning.

They noted that they would also be “more stringent in evaluating all aspects of our brand” and that they were “committed to involving more diverse stakeholder groups in our decision making process”.

That they hadn’t already in 2023 was a sore point for some, while others opted just to be glad they claimed to be “committed to making it right.”

Images: 22Fresh / Instagram

This article first appeared on Over60.