Regina, capital of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, knows all about the jokes on how the pronunciation of the city's name rhymes with "vagina." The Washington Post reports that a recent effort by a tourism organization to embrace the gag went awry, leading to accusations the campaign was immature and insensitive. In a Thursday Facebook post replete with phrases like "Show us your Regina" and "The city that rhymes with fun," Experience Regina said the city "has been living this brand for a while now, and we thought it was time to own it."
The Regina Leader-Post reports that RaiseHER—which describes itself as an organization seeking to recognize challenges facing women in professional life in "all industries"—challenged the campaign. RaiseHER noted that "Saskatchewan has the highest rate of intimate partner violence in the country," and an effort to joke about that was "not OK." A survey by Statistics Canada confirms RaiseHER's claim, as the province has a rate of 724 incidents of violence between intimate partners per every 100,000 people.
As the Leader-Post notes, Experience Regina deleted the jokes from its Facebook post and apologized, with organization CEO Tim Reid stating in part that "it was clear that we fell short of what is expected from our amazing community with some of the slogans that we used.” According to the CBC, the fallout also affected clothing company 22Fresh, which originally worked with Experience Regina, advertising hoodies on Instagram bearing the "city that rhymes with fun" joke on the shoulder. 22Fresh deleted its ad and said in a later post that the clothing would not be reissued and was no longer available to buy. (Read more Canada stories.)