LogoWatch Kraft has announced that it's dropping the name Vegemite iSnack2.0 for its cream-cheese-impregnated Vegemite following a severe shoeing from outraged Aussies.
Just a few days after the company trumpeted that 27-year-old web designer Dean Robbins had beaten off over 48,000 rival suggestions from fellow Australians to brand the product, it has admitted the name "has simply not resonated" with the good burghers of the Lucky Country.
According to the BBC, one rather disgruntled Vegemite fan suggested Robbins be forced to run naked through Sydney "wearing nothing but a generous lathering of old-fashioned Vegemite as retribution for his cultural crime".
A red-faced head of corporate affairs, Simon Talbot, strongly denied the whole sorry affair had been a cheap way of drumming up press coverage. He defended: "At no point in time has the new Vegemite name been about initiating a media publicity stunt. We are proud custodians of Vegemite, and have always been aware that it is the people's brand and a national icon."
Kraft will on Friday announce a new public participation exercise to decide on a more acceptable moniker. In the meantime, our cousins Down Under will have to suffer what one local described as "the worst name ever".
Talbot said: "Our Kraft Foods storeroom currently has thousands of jars of the iSnack2.0-named Vegemite. This product will be distributed around Australia, and will continue to be sold in supermarkets for months to come, until Australia decides upon a new name."
While Kraft is apparently responding to the will of the people, there may be more to the fiasco than meets the eye. Brand Republic notes that sandwich maker outfit Breville holds a trademark on the name "iSnack" - granted in 2001 to cover "cooking apparatus including snack makers and sandwich toasters; parts and accessories in this class for cooking apparatus". ®