Brechin Retailers’ Group have reclaimed the ‘Lion King’ image as their own, as they fought back against the internet meme poking fun at the town.
The image, which featured in last week’s Brechin Advertiser, has been altered to promote a variety of events planned in the town for 2013 - including the hotly anticipated Brechin Music Fest and ‘Harley in the City’ weekend.
Graeme Gove, a spokesperson for the Retailers’ Group, said: “The Brechin Retailers’ Group were aware of the Lion King picture that had popped up on Twitter and Facebook. These types of images are common online and have been altered to mention many towns and cities long before Brechin became the target.
“The Simba image, that had been altered to feature Brechin was meant to be satirical and really should not have been taken so seriously.
“It was agreed that something should be done to balance the negative publicity that had been circulating online and in the press.
“While planning a response, it was actually found that Brechin has more large annual events than any other town in Angus. The list includes ‘Harley Davidson in the City’, ‘Easter in the City’, ‘Halloween Cartie Race in the City’ and ‘Christmas in the City’, all of which are organised by the Retailers Group.
“These are joined by other events such as the Angus Show, Thomas Weekend at the Caledonian Railway and the newest addition the Brechin Music Fest that will take place during the summer.
“The retailers quickly released a parody of the original message highlighting many of the events that are now fixtures on the yearly calendar of the City.
“To date over 6000 Facebook users have now seen one or more of these new positive images that features Simba discovering the delights of Brechin. Far from being ‘a Dark Place’, the events are bringing the place back to life and attracting many visitors from near and far.
“The organisers of these events really are determined to “put the heart back in the City of Brechin”.”
Councillor Mairi Evans added: “There have been and always will be light-hearted rivalries between towns in Angus - just as there are in other areas - and I know that the image has already done the rounds in other parts of Scotland with a different town name attached.
“I think the image is intended as a joke. It’s not the kind of thing I would share or post online because I would rather try and talk Brechin up, in the same way that the new images do.
“I think the spin the retailers have put on the image is fantastic. They’ve turned something that could be seen as negative, into something that paints Brechin in a positive way and hopefully these images will replace the others floating around social media sites.”