DAILY NEWS Jun 11, 2013 9:44 AM - 1 comment

Radio Canada Plans to Merge Old Name and New Name

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The French-language CBC is adjusting its rebranding efforts in the face of a backlash.    Radio-Canada had planned to make its traditional name disappear from the airwaves and replace it with the word ''Ici,'' French for ''Here.''

The idea triggered complaints from one of its employees' unions, and condemnation from its political bosses in the federal cabinet.   It also earned widespread scorn and ridicule in social media. 

Now the 76-year-old organization promises a compromise solution:  It will use both names in its branding.   It has announced that ''Ici'' and ''Radio-Canada'' will appear next to each other on various platforms.  For instance its website, currently radio-canada.ca, was supposed to become ici.ca, but will instead turn into Iciradio-canada.ca. The TV network will become ''Ici Radio-Canada Tele.''

It's unclear how much the marketing effort will ultimately cost.  The Crown corporation has said it paid $400,000 in consultants' fees, but that 95 per cent of the cost came from existing promotional budgets.

Much of the criticism of the move centred on the notion that the word "Canada" was being obscured. However, many of the critics were simply upset that a historic institution would discard its name as part of a marketing campaign.

Heritage Minister James Moore had warned that taxpayers would only accept paying for a broadcaster if it was Canadian, in content and in name.

Meanwhile, a Radio-Canada employees' union issued a statement last week saying it was "firmly" opposed to the new moniker. The union called it unwelcome and inappropriate to have spent more than $400,000 on a marketing campaign at a time of budget cuts.

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