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Swindon and proud of it attracts sniping from rivals

The Swindon Advertiser says it’s: Swindon… and proud of it.

But although its new campaign has drawn a strong positive reaction from around the world, a rival title further along the M4 has not been so supportive.

The Reading Evening Post ran a columnist’s article in response to the Proud campaign claiming that Swindon Sucks.

The Advertiser’s campaign was launched on the back of the town being used as the butt of many jokes, after popular television series such as Red Dwarf and The Office made fun of the Wiltshire town.

A series of news stories have been produced and readers are also being asked to fill in a pledge card to send in their thoughts for publication.

The Advertiser has so far been inundated with support for the initiative, from famous residents and former Swindon-ites – including zoologist and anthropologist Desmond Morris, novelist Jasper Fforde, model Melinda Messenger and readers around the globe.

But Evening Post reporter Tim Hobden used the campaign to fill The Diary page – although the news editor claims it’s all part of the towns’ healthy rivalry.

He wrote: “Imagine The Diary’s amusement on stumbling upon the Swindon Evening Advertiser’s ‘Swindon and Proud’ campaign.

“Surely this is counterproductive and likely to shine a spotlight on the criticisms, making people remember just how dull a place Swindon really is?”

Evening Post news editor, Jason Collie, told Advertiser readers: “I think there’s a healthy rivalry between the two towns. It’s all a bit of fun.

“We’re keeping you on your toes, it’s a gentle nudge in the ribs.”

But he concedes that the campaign is a positive step.

He said: “I think campaigning is what any paper should be doing.”