Tourism boss Ian Hill has cited the latest round of Canberra bashing on a US TV show as a "call to arms" for proud citizens of the national capital to counter some of the criticism via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Australian actor Guy Pearce took to the international airwaves to bag Canberra and Canberrans, appearing on The Late Late Show to tell host Craig Ferguson "there's a lot wrong about Canberra".
The acting director of Australian Capital Tourism said Canberra-bashing was nothing new, but tourism authorities - and residents themselves - could respond in a more innovative way.
"Particularly with social media and the ability to build communities, we have a much greater opportunity to engage with that conversation rather than fight the conversation or ignore the conversation," Mr Hill said.
"Perhaps this is a bit of a call to arms for some of the Canberra community to get in behind and support why Canberra is such a great place. Everyone here has their own hidden gems of what to do and see, so why not get online and share some of those things."
Failing that, Mr Hill invited actor Guy Pearce, who has been part of the latest Canberra-bashing, to come to the national capital and recreate his most famous scene from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
"We should invite Guy Pearce to come down Northbourne Avenue on the top of a bus," he said, with a laugh.
Ferguson, the Scottish comedian tipped to succeed David Letterman as the leading night show host on CBS, devoted much of Tuesday's edition of his program to mocking the Australian capital, including with obscenities bleeped out by the network's censors.
Local Labor MP and passionate Canberran Andrew Leigh also joined the debate, doubting there would be any lasting damage from Ferguson calling the national capital "a [CENSORED] dump".
"I think most Canberrans have a robust love for the city which is strong enough to sustain quips from overseas," he said.
‘‘I’m sure most Canberrans will laugh this off,’’ Andrew Leigh said today.
‘‘We don’t need affirmations from movie stars and talk show hosts. We know we’re living in the best city in Australia and one of the great cities of the world.’’
He wouldn’t be boycotting Pearce’s movies any time soon.
‘‘Certainly not and I hope he won’t be boycotting Canberra,’’ he said.
‘‘It would be wonderful to welcome Mr Ferguson and Mr Pearce to do a proper tour of Canberra. If they would like to visit Canberra, it would be my pleasure to show them around many of the wonderful sights in the ACT.
‘‘Coffee at Roasters, we could pop up to the AIS and see some of the great sports stars. Pop into the National Gallery to see some of Australia’s extraordinary art and check out some of the fabulous eateries on the northside.’’
While Pearce's anti-Canberra tirade may have offended some natives of the capital, Canberrans might console themselves knowing that Pearce grew up in Geelong, subject to its own occasional bashing.
"I won't comment," tourism boss Mr Hill said.