Monday, February 25, 2008

Marketing Madness

Mon Dieu! Whatever next? Now we have Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism promoting Canterbury as "the new Europe!" It's bad enough that Akaroa flaunts itself so brazenly (and misguidedly in my opinion) as being French. Okay, so the French discovered it before Captain Cook but they missed out on claiming it as legitimate French territory so why why why, over 150 years later, does CCT keep making exaggerated claims that it is a French village. As the ever-witty Joe Bennett quips in today's Sunday Star Times: "Le Mini Golf is about as far as it could fire a scatter gun around Akaroa for four days and not find anyone whose French vocabulary was in double figures." I agree wholeheartedly - a French restaurant, a few cafes and a few French street names does not a French village make. And now this latest embarassing claim that Canterbury is "a little slice of Europe." CCT chief executive, Christine Prince may be right in saying that "you have to find ways to cut through and engage people and get them thinking about things differently," but let's keep it in perspective - let's keep it 'in New Zealand' in fact and let's stop making wildly fantastic claims that leave most of us cringing in embarassment.

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