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03 maggio 2008

Bad publicity is good publicity: OGC Logo Embarrassment

Tatiana Semenova

I have to hand it to FHD, one of the prestigious London branding agencies, for having brought worldwide attention to the UK Office of Government Commerce – an independent department of Her Majesty's Treasury, “responsible for improving value for money by driving up standards and capability in procurement...

In fact, in order to modernize the graphic of the institutional logo for a modest sum of £14,000, FHD has recently presented a bold and distinguishing new brand identity, as per the image below.

During the presentation of rebranding strategy, the office staff didn’t fail to notice the implicit graphic sense of the new logo. Needless to say, the rebranding has also involved stationary, mousepads, pens, cups and other office souvenirs for future Clients.

When asked for a comment, Catherine Hastings, director of communications at the OGC, proudly replied: "We were impressed with the integrated approach FHD had to offer, which combined expertise in workings of government."

FHD's MD Adrian Day also issued an assuring statement: "We are seeing growing demand from clients for consultancy support that spans branding, strategic and stakeholder communications, and this brief from OGC and is a perfect example of the need for a more integrated, informed approach to branding. We have worked on a number of successful corporate branding projects in the past few months and this project is an exciting new win for the business."

Though for some unclear reasons the official OGC site is still bearing the old logo version, apparently they are going strong with the new brand identity. A spokesman for the OGC said – courtesy of the Telegraph - literally this: "We concluded that the effect was generic to the particular combination of the letters 'OGC' - and is not inappropriate to an organisation that's looking to have a firm grip on government spend." - An allusion that seems hardly arguable.

The good news: the Oil and Gas Commission of British Columbia, in Canada, seems to be dealing rather well with similar logo issues as it can be seen on the Company's website "for the benefit of all British Columbians". One thing is certain: now many of us do realize the UK Office of Government Commerce really exists - so may be in the end it was all worth it.

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