When Your Brand Name is a Problem

Clothing company, Fidel, is under fire from the New York Post saying "THAT some idiot on Seventh Avenue, who doesn't realize that the dictator of Cuba is about as popular with his people as the dictator of Iraq was with his, has come out with a Fidel clothing line. Ads show a cute brunette in a tank top with the Fidel logo across her chest."

Wasting no time, Fidel fires back saying, "Your article makes the connection between our brand - which stands for loyalty and integrity - and the firing squad execution of "would be (Cuban) escapees". Exactly what is your intention in doing this? Are you purposely looking for ways to slander and embarrass us, or do you actually consider your implications to be accurate?

Your comments are juvenile and unfounded. Making the connection between our brand name and the execution of (Cuban) escapees is preposterous and inflammatory. We are adamantly opposed to the execution of prisoners and to the implementation of the Death Penalty in general - whether on Cuban soil, in the United States, or elsewhere in the World."

Granted Fidel has a point about the "over-reactiveness" and "over-sensitivity" of the media but then again, brand names are very important and they can be damaged overnight if associations become negative whether justified or not. It's really a lose-lose situation for the marketer when it gets to this point.

Interestingly almost all the reactions in the comment section of the company's web site are positive and supportive...except for this guy:

"serves you pinkos right! it's time to get off Castro's dick and pay your respect to the red-white and blue.....if you really loved god you'd call your shitty company Springsteen."

There's always one in a bunch. Going to name your company or product soon or doing it for a client of yours? Better be sure to consider all the potential ramifications of your choices.
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by Steve Hall    Apr-17-03   Click to Comment   
  

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