Northern Ireland

Christmas billboard removed after Derry/Londonderry row

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Media caption'Derry Christmas' poster removed after unionist complaints

A billboard poster marketing Christmas shopping in Londonderry has been removed after unionist politicians complained it was not inclusive.

Derry City and Strabane District Council erected the poster in the city's Waterside with the marketing slogan "Have yourself a Derry little Christmas."

It has now been removed after the councillors' complaints.

Unionists say the branding should also include the word Londonderry.

The name of Northern Ireland's second city is often a political issue with nationalists and republicans using the name Derry, while unionists use the name Londonderry.

DUP councillor David Ramsey said it was important everyone was made to feel welcome in the city.

"This city is well known for being inclusive and it is important, especially at Christmas, that inclusivity is at the forefront of our marketing," he said.

Image caption DUP councillor David Ramsey said it was important everyone was made to feel welcome in the city

"Perhaps it is a case of a marketing company trying to be witty in their branding, but not being sure of the bigger picture around the city's name," he said.

A council spokeswoman said this year's campaign intended to use a catchy slogan to engage visitors.

She said the marketing had used wordplay with the tagline 'Have yourself a very Derry Christmas'.

"However, it has since been highlighted by some council members that this may not be considered inclusive by all members of the community and as such has been amended in some campaign branding," she said.

The council did not receive any complaints from the public in relation to the billboard, the spokeswoman added.

She said the poster has been "refreshed slightly earlier than planned to reflect members' concerns".

There have been several failed attempts to get the name of Northern Ireland's second city officially changed to Derry.

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