You may recall the public hoohah when the sign plan was first announced, and the huge campaign to select the eventual design.
|Wow! Was that a FART???|
But the changes have attracted criticism from a local concert promoter, who reckons it's simply become a billboard.
However, airport spokesman Greg Thomas says they're using the sign exactly as it was intended: "There's one thing that the sign was put up for - which was about showcasing Wellington. And both of these two changes have very much been in line with that, to showcase Wellington. They've only been subtle changes." He says it'll be changed back to Wellington Blown Away after WOW.
The airport first announced plans to build a Wellywood sign (a copy of the Hollywood sign) in early 2010, to promote Wellington's film industry to visitors. That met with intense backlash (plus legal threats from USA) and was slammed by many who thought it unoriginal.
So the airport backed down and an independent panel helped choose an alternative. The panel ran a public competition and Wellington Blown Away was selected as the winner, scoring 18,862 of 33,027 votes.
Interesting to note that, contrary to Greg Thomas' position, at no stage during the initial discussions over the $80K sign, was there ever any mention of repeated promotional changes.
In the USA, the now-iconic Hollywood sign was originally merely a 1923 real estate advertisement, originally saying Hollywoodland! No changes were made to that sign: the -land bit simply fell off with old age!!!