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Online Ridicule Follows Re-Branding Of ‘Pioneer Valley’ As ‘West Mass’

Feb 24, 2017

For decades, the three counties of Massachusetts along the Connecticut River — Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden — have been collectively known as the Pioneer Valley, but some boosters of the region decided the moniker is old-fashioned and confusing. 

So the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts spent $80,000 to hire a consultant from Oklahoma to re-brand this region.

The result: "West Mass." It was launched with a two-minute video.

That video, and the brand, have been met with criticism and mockery on social media.

To hear a defense of “West Mass,” we spoke to Greg Chiecko, the director of sales for the Big E, and a board member of the visitors bureau.

This story was originally published by New England Public Radio.