Fossil fuels are now called ‘molecules of freedom’ – but what other ridiculous rebands are there?

Industrial factory on lakeFollowing last night’s obscene statement from the US Department of Energy that fossil fuels will now be known as ‘molecules of freedom’, Business Leader looks into what other ridiculous rebrands have happened over the years to British companies.

British Petroleum (BP)

It is hardly surprising that the fossil fuel industry and its major players want to try and show themselves in the best light possible, but BP’s plans to rebrand themselves backfired in the worst way.

Much like Trump’s government decision to rebrand natural gas as ‘freedom gas’, BP’s logo change brought much derision from the public.

BP has had a tumultuous recent history, but in 2000, they replaced their historic ‘shield’ logo with a ‘Helios’ design. Helios is the Greek god of the sun.

For a company that benefits from the production of greenhouse gases, the irony was not lost on its doubters and passionate critics.

Over the years, the uproar over the redesign of the logo was lost and those critics focused on more global concerns regarding other climate issues.

However, that all changed in April 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened – the largest marine oil spill in the history of the industry.

This thrust BP into the public spotlight again for the worst reasons, and the logo was used to show how terrible the disaster was. Greenpeace and its supporters edited the logo to show wildlife being destroyed by the oil and the Helios logo sinking into a sea of oil.

Royal Mail

The Royal Mail is a British institution that has been a part of the countries history for over 500 years. However, throughout its lengthy history, there was never the level of outrage when the company decided to completely change its name and branding in January 2001.

Britain’s largest mail carrier company decided to rebrand as ‘Consignia’ and removed the royal-ness of its logo to a weird blue/green/red circular image.

The name was chosen due to the company doing the exact description of ‘consign’, however, it appeared very convoluted and confusing to the public.

A little over a year later, the company reverted back to its original branding and name after months of ridicule and media condemnation.

The rebrand and the reverting back to the original brand cost in the region of £3m.

Cardiff City

Although they have only recently been relegated from the Premier League, the clubs darkest hour in its recent history was the rebranding of the club when new owner Vincent Tan took over the club in 2012.

With his signature black leather gloves and his Bond Villain-esque mannerisms, Tan has been an unpopular and controversial owner of the Welsh club.

Cardiff are known as the ‘Bluebirds’. They have a blue home kit. And they have a blue badge. They are blue in every branding sense and had been for over 100 years.

However, Tan changed that to a red kit, with a red logo and their logo to a Welsh red dragon.

Cue uproar.

The move was done to appeal to a larger international fanbase, but it backfired, and the club was soon relegated.

In 2015, the club changed back to its traditional blue, with Tan and the Cardiff board admitting that it was a massive mistake. Overall, the rebranding cost over £50m, meaning that it wasn’t just a PR disaster, but a financial one as well.

Another shocker from the US Government…

Much like the rebranding of fossil fuels, the US loves to view themselves as the ‘land of the free’ – and this reared its head with another ridiculous rebrand in the early weeks of the Iraq War in 2003.

Republican Congressman Walter B Jones was so offended that the French government opposed their invasion of the Middle Eastern country, that he made sure ‘French fries’ were rebranded as ‘Freedom fries’ in all US governmental departments.

Freedom fries – ‘Merica.

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