London city council flip-flops over World Figure Skating marketing funding
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 12:38PM EST
First it was no, then it was yes.
After the marketing campaign was defeated because of its logo and price tag, proponents promised last-minute changes which swung enough votes to give it the green light.
City staff recommended a community marketing campaign called "Canada's London" for the World Figure Skating Championships.
“We have come up with the Canada's London logo. We believe strongly in the strong maple leaf image,” says Elaine Gamble, director of corporate communications for the City of London.
But many councillors had strong opinions of their own, calling the missing "o" in London a mistake and questioning why the current corporate logo isn't good enough.
"Should we have two logos, corporate, London, event logo? It’s going to be confusing,” says Councillor Bill Armstrong.
“Is this a marketing plan for this event? If it is I actually think the money is going to be wasted,” quipped Councillor Nancy Branscombe.
Most on council were concerned about the last minute request for $100,000 for the campaign.
Councillor Denise Brown asked “We've already spent $4 million on this event, that was a lot of money, and now we are being asked to spend even more?”
But Mayor Joe Fontana lobbied hard for the marketing campaign’s survival, saying “Why we can't celebrate what is going to happen to this city!”
The motion was initially defeated 8-7, but some political maneuvering took place and councillors who originally balked at the design but not the funding were offered a compromise.
A reconsideration motion would have required 12 votes, except for a ruling by the mayor, stated one wasn't necessary.
The "Canada's London" campaign was brought forward and passed by an 11-4 decision; despite accusations council rules were circumvented.
City staff will now work to make some changes to the logo.
Any changes won’t likely come to council again for approval because the event is scheduled to begin in less than two months time.
Mayor Joe Fontana speaks at a committee meeting in London, Ont. on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013.
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