Monday, 8 January 2018

"Principality" marketing effort causes internal spat

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the new Tourism and Culture Minister in the Welsh Government, has caused a bit of a stir by deciding to promote Wales as a "principality"  -- apparently with the approval of Prince Charles.  This has not gone down well either with the opposition parties or with his own Government colleagues, who have complained this this will simply continue the portrayal of Wales as a "vassal state" and as a place subservient to England.  I have to say that I agree -- and indeed, most of the Visit Wales marketing stresses a unique and forward-looking Wales with its own language, identity and aspirations.  Even if the marketing strategy is rather too full of cliches, the intentions are right;  Wales will only attract more visitors if it shows itself to be proud, modern, ambitious and "independent" in thought and culture even if not politically.  To promote the "principality" idea seems to me to be a classic piece of negative marketing -- the sort of thing that all of the marketing textbooks tell you to avoid at all costs.

It will be interesting to see where this leads -- will Lord Dafydd keep his job?  He seems to have been slapped down by Government spokesmen already, who claim that he was speaking in a personal capacity and was not representing a shift in government policy when he brought up this "principality" idea.  Watch this space.........

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