You've heard of branding, but DE-branding? In a world full of media hounds who'd kill to have their name in the spotlight, this seems almost implausible. But indeed, last week beleaguered financier AIG decided to go incognito. Their Water Street Manhattan office signage vanished overnight.
Saying this was an attempt to differentiate this office-where much of the alleged financial shenanigans have taken place--from their headquarters around the corner is, well, just what every PR person calls "spin." "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" seems more like it. Companies have for decades paid major fees to brand their identities and achieve recognition. With so many Fortune 500 firms going defunct now, DE-branding may well make Madison Avenue positively tipsy.
And what of AIG's name change to AIU? We say thumbs up. Anonymous, Incognito, Unidentified. Sounds like IOU. Perfect!