LCP will disappear into anonymity after name change

I was recently reading an article about the constraints affecting the naming of cars. The MR-2, for example, has had to be renamed in France, for MR-Deux, sounds suspiciously like ‘merde’ (shit to us). A number of other cars have been troubled by similar problems, one requiring a name change because its marque in Rio de Janeiro was the local slang for ‘small penis’.

This renaming problem is usually associated with the transcendence of brand names across languages. It hasn’t, however, prevented J Walter Thompson, current LCP head Will Bridge and an LCP student group coming up short in renaming LCP the London College of Communication (DW 27 November 2003).

I know this follows the oh-so-1990s real-life real people ‘it does what it says on the tin’ thinking, but this is like Ronseal releasing wood stain without its name on it.

There are more than 3.9 million references to ‘colleges of communication’ on Google alone. The rationale to change an individual, if charmingly outdated name with a bit of heritage is one thing. To then call the college what everyone else’s college from Tacoma to Tampere and Tokyo is called, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the issues at hand. I trust branding and nomenclature isn’t on the current syllabus?

Robin Richmond

Designer at large, ex-LCP

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