A branding idea that went South


(Dave Paul speaks to council in this file photo.)


I suppose I should feel vindicated, but at this point... why even bother?

Well, maybe just to acknowledge that people – in fact entire city halls – do learn from their mistakes.

Councillor Jeff Earle's plan to tweak Brockville's branding to reflect its historic role as “Birthplace of the Canadian flag” is a laudable idea, whether one does it right away or, as the veteran councillor (and candidate) puts it, after seven subcommittees have gone through it.

There's little to dislike about the idea if you are a Brockville booster, because it is yet another way for our team to lay claim to a title that is contested by at least one other city a little west of us.

Let this motion run its course, then.

For the moment, I only wish to acknowledge economic development director Dave Paul's confession Tuesday night that an earlier branding exercise was a fail.

While praising Earle's branding idea, Paul laughingly admitted the whole “South End of Silicon Valley North” thing was, well, south of the good idea mark.

Thank goodness it only lasted two years,” joked Paul, adding the bursting of the tech bubble proved a merciful death to this slogan.

One can argue about Paul's “two years” claim, as I seem to recall the South End motto lasting from the beginning of the last decade into its middle.

However, it is pointless to quibble. The nugget I am reaching for here is the vindication part.

In at least one city column at the time, I questioned the idea of us calling ourselves the south end of anything, only to be gently rebuked by some.

A decade is as good a stretch of any for people to come around.

Onward, then... let's head north of this economy!