THURSDAY 16 AUG 2012 12:24 PM


Dorset county's seaside jewel, Lyme Regis, is currently debating whether or not to rebrand its tourism campaign. For the steep price of £650 the Jurassic Coast town can add a half-naked, comical mermaid depiction to its letterhead and logo.

This has inflamed opinions among town leaders, who have criticised the nudity on display and the cost of the design.

The Lyme Regis Traders' Organisation, perhaps in an attempt to bring the "Pearl of Dorset" tourism campaign into the 21st century, has asked the town council to add an official logo to the slogan. In came Ian Dicks, the local cartoonist who designed a mermaid logo that was unanimously popular with Lyme's traders.

Local cheesemonger Justin Tunstall explained that the logo was versatile in that the mermaid could be decked out for the local beer festival, jazz festival or Lifeboat Week. Imagine what Christmas could look like.

Some councillors, however, do not share the Trade Organisation's enthusiasm and derided Dicks' design. The debate over introducing a scantily-clad half-woman, half-fossil to the town's image raged in a town council meeting.

"We don't need a brand. Lyme Regis is a brand, what's wrong with that?" Councillor Michaela Ellis said. "I'm concerned about the cost of this in the economic climate."

Others support the quirky mermaid and the revenue it could draw in through tourism.

"This is a little bit different and a little bit magical," Rikey Austin said.

Anita Williams added that she would prefer a mermaid showing "a little less flesh."

The town has recently experienced a renaissance along its main street, with new retailers and cafes moving in to the area. The rebranding campaign aligns with Lyme Regis' effort to attract more visitors.

Lyme Regis logo - too much flesh for local councilors