Deputy council leader Steve Cardownie is thought to have led protests over the catchphrases – including “Incredinburgh” “Welfedinburgh” and “Painthetownedinburgh” – dreamt up by an advertising agency called in to mastermind the £300,000 campaign.
A rethink of the drive, the first to be spearheaded by new council-funded company Marketing Edinburgh since its inception last year, was ordered on the back of the criticism.
But the firm, currently funded to the tune of £1.2 million by the taxpayer, has insisted its planned campaign launch will go ahead at the end of the month. Although Marketing Edinburgh has denied it is planning to “rebrand” Edinburgh, chief executive Lucy Bird admitted a “brave new look that’s modern, magical and celebrates everything that’s extraordinary about the city” is planned.
It is not known how much the Leith Agency, which was brought in to come up with the main creative content for the campaign, was paid.
The council’s intervention has called into question the independence of the company, which has had a troubled tenure since the appointment of Ms Bird last summer.
Former council leader Jenny Dawe said: “I think these ideas are absolutely appalling. You don’t need silly slogans to market Edinburgh. They don’t sound worth using at all and they make me shudder.”
Cllr Cardownie was unavailable to comment.