Hassan Rouhani, Iran's chief marketing officer
Iran’s snappy tagline “Death to America” is so 1980s. It is long overdue a facelift, which is why the country’s new president appears to be pushing for a brand refresh.
The current line’s longevity is no surprise. It meets most of Inc’s “five tips for writing an effective slogan“.
Admittedly, it doesn’t rhyme (but who has ever written a successful rhyming couplet that ends “America”?) and while it definitely underscores the country’s “general mission”, it doesn’t really differentiate the product from, say, al-Qaeda or the Taliban.
The sense of shock in London about the allegations levelled against Standard Chartered goes well beyond the stock market where – as of mid-morning on Tuesday – the shares were down by nearly a quarter.
The group is virtually the only large UK bank not to have suffered serious reputational damage over the past five years. That’s partly because its operations are mostly outside the UK and other developed markets, partly, the bank would say, because of its strong culture.
As a result of that unique position – and the high reputation of its senior management — it was the safe harbour of choice for government ministers and their advisers in autumn 2008, when the rest of the UK banking sector was on the brink of collapse. The recapitalisation and rescue plan for the industry, later copied elsewhere, was cooked up in its boardroom, with the help of its top executives, generating a mass of laudatory coverage.
Iran’s threat to withdraw from the 2012 London Olympics must be the first time anybody has tried to boycott any event because of a logo.
Iran’s claim that the collection of irregular polygons conceals the word “Zion” is only the latest, albeit the highest-level, objection to the design. It triggered controversy (of the “what the heck is it?” rather than the Iranian “it offends our moral principles” variety) as soon as it was launched in 2007. The BBC asked for suggestions and received 600 alternative logos and 10,000 comments.