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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Row over second-hand city slogan
Victoria Quarter, Leeds
Leeds wants to project a vibrant image in the campaign
A new slogan aimed at boosting the global image of Leeds is the same as one used in a two-year-old campaign in Hong Kong, it has been revealed.

The 'Live it Love it' slogan was unveiled at an event on 26 September.

The agency which devised it said it did so independently and only later realised it had already been used.

Opposition Labour councillors are demanding an explanation and asking whether the city has got value for 150,000 research and launch costs.

Glitzy launch

Councillors raised their concerns after learning that the city of Hong Kong tourist chiefs used an identical slogan in 2003.

Councillor Keith Wakefield said: "I fully support the campaign to market Leeds nationally and internationally.

"But given all the money that we have spent on consultants to come up with the slogan and the glitzy launch, I would have thought that the Liberals and Tories running the council could have thought of an original idea rather than one that is two years old.

"It just looks like we have copied Hong Kong rather than coming up with a unique brand of our own.

"I think we need an explanation as to how this has happened and whether the people of Leeds have got value for money."

View of Hong Kong
Hong Kong tourist officials first used the slogan in 2003

Councillor Stuart Bruce, the Labour member for Middleton, said on his weblog: "This is more than just sad. Some of us really do live in and love Leeds and just wish people who are being paid respectable fees and salaries to do a job would do it a bit better."

But Kevin Johnson, the chief executive of Marketing Leeds defended the campaign and the 'Live it love it' slogan which was produced by the firm An Agency Called England, an advertising, design and public relations company.

He said the cost of developing the Live it Love it brand was zero, but the research, printing and launch show had so far cost 150,000.

He said the organisation's total budget, including salaries was 850,000 with most of the money coming from local businesses plus some from the city council and the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.

North America

Tony Stanton, the chief executive of An Agency Called England said he had come up with the 'Live it Love it' idea completely independently and only in the process of due diligence did he find it had been used elsewhere.

"The Hong Kong campaign targeted North American tourists on city breaks.

"We took the view we could use it as a brand as opposed to an ad campaign.

"We're big enough to know we wouldn't fool anybody, it's not conflicting or an issue for us."

No-one was available for comment from the London office of the Hong Kong Tourist Board .




SEE ALSO:
City pushing for fresh investors
25 Sep 05 |  West Yorkshire


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