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Vancouver's brand in middle of pack, poll suggests

VANCOUVER - B.C.'s largest urban centre may have been judged to be the world’s “most livable city,” but the west coast metropolis doesn’t rank quite as high on a new survey rating cities’ reputation and image.

Vancouver was ranked No. 18 out of 50 on the 2009 Anholt-GfK Roper City Brand Index. Toronto finished five spots higher at No.13.

Paris, Sydney, London, Rome and New York topped the list.

The index was compiled by GfK Roper, a global market research firm that polled 10,000 respondents in 20 countries.

“This is not a horse race,” said Xiaoyan Zhao, senior vice-president at GfK Public Affairs, who directed the study.

But the research is aimed at civic decision makers, who are in a global competition for tourism, business and foreign student dollars.

“It’s very important for a city to understand where its reputation is strong and where it’s weak so that it can tailor its message and communication,” Zhao added.

Respondents found the Vancouver brand was weakest, Zhao said, in terms of its “presence,” a measure of how familiar people are with the city. Vancouver ranked in the bottom 10 for respondents in half the countries, Zhao said.

On the other hand, Vancouver ranked high at 6th for “pre-requisites,” an indication of Vancouver’s amenities and relatively affordable accommodations – at least when compared to larger global capitals.

Irwin Loy reports for Vancouver 24 hours.

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