According to Brian Rudman in the Herald ATEED has been working on a new brand for the last two years.
Over the past two years, Auckland Council's marketing and promotion arm, Ateed, has spent $527,000 (that's as of June 31, 2016) on Global Auckland, a major rebranding project.
All the usual suspects have been involved, such as advertising agency Colenso and brand gurus, DNA, plus a Noah's Ark of advisors including Ngarimu Blair from Ngati Whatua; Heather Shotter, Committee for Auckland; Dr Sudhvir Singh, Generation Zero; Michael Barnett, Chamber of Commerce; Viv Beck, Heart of the City and Jane Hastings, former CEO of Herald owner, NZME.
Ateed's statement of intent claims that "every great city has a great global brand and positioning".
Re-branding is nothing but very expensive vanity. It is usually a failure, as noted further into Rudman’s column. The one exception being ‘City of Sails’. I saw a question in a recent international quiz ‘What city is known as the City of Sails?’ Answer: Auckland, despite the brand not being officially in use for over a decade.
Here is the perfect opportunity for Goff to show his bureaucrats he’s in charge and that he will show ratepayers that he can act in a fiscally responsible manner. He should tell ATEED to stop wasting ratepayers’ money in a meaningless exercise that has already cost too much and, if implemented, would cost millions more.
If he doesn’t, he will signal to his Council that they do not matter, that it is the bureaucrats who are still in charge and ratepayers’ can stop expecting any sort of fiscal prudence under this mayoralty.
I confess I'm with John Banks on this one. The idea that a perfect brand, will magically make citizens feel great, and suck tourists and businessmen down to this remote corner of the world, to shower us with their hard earned dollars, seems rather silly.