News Canada

CBC apologizes and ices 'Ici' rebrand idea

By Kris Sims, Atlantic Bureau

What's neither “here” nor “there” and costs almost $500,000?

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp's botched rebranding effort for its French language service.

The CBC will not change the name of Radio Canada to “Ici” -- which translates into "here" in English -- after all, despite spending $400,000 on the notion.

“We apologize for the confusion that was created in people’s minds when we introduced the term ICI as a common denominator for all of our platforms. Our intention was never to distance ourselves from Radio-Canada and everything it represents,” said CBC Radio-Canada president Hubert Lacroix in a statement on CBC's website.

“However, Radio-Canada has heard the message loud and clear that the public has been sending us over the past few days. We recognize people’s powerful connection to everything that Radio-Canada stands for.”

The state broadcaster drew the ire of fans, foes and federal Heritage Minister James Moore by announcing last week that it was replacing the decades-old name of Radio-Canada with the simple French word for “here” -- "ici."

With taxpayers ponying up more than $1 billion a year to fund the corportion, most critics said that the word “Canada” needed to stay in the name.

The CBC is also tangling with a private Montreal TV station over use of the word "ici."

International Channel/Canal Internationale (ICI) already had the name trademarked last year, its broadcasting licence in hand and was set to launch this summer when Radio-Canada threatened the ethnic startup station with legal action.

kris.sims@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @kris_sims

 

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