Friday morning media reports suggested that the proposed slogan to market South Africa as a tourism and investment destination lacked originality, and that the task of coming up with the slogan was part of a R140-million tender put out by Brand South Africa.
According to the reports, the slogan was already being used by the US state of Maryland, a Scottish county, and a US advertising agency campaign.
Newly appointed government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Friday that the integrity of South Africa’s marketing campaign remained of the utmost importance.
“Government is aware there has been limited use of the ‘More than you imagine’ slogan in some promotions and presentations, but to date no country or nation has used or registered this as a global country brand positioning line in a global campaign,” the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said in a statement on Friday.
The GCIS added that the cost of developing the slogan had been been R470 000, not R140-million as implied in the media.
“The R140-million refers to the entire brand programmes, both domestic and international, of Brand South Africa over a two-year period 2011/2012,” the GCIS said. “None of this R140-million has been used for the development of the country position statement.”
Towards the end of 2010, Brand South Africa presented the Cabinet with a campaign slogan – “More than you imagine” – following a rigorous consultation and research process.
The government said Brand South Africa was already in the process of assessing the impact of the use of the slogan by other parties, and would be reporting on this in due course.
A decision had already been taken to hold off any use of the slogan until the matter had been resolved.