What’s in a name? Not a press story….wll, nrmlly anywy

Unless…it amounts to “corporate bullying”…

There are very few queries from business owners that I struggle to find a press angle on but there is one that seems to surface a lot and 9/10 is NOT a story:

“Once upon a time, there was a business. One night, a fairy godmother rebranded it with a fancy new logo and a website that created a dynamic new user interface and immersive experience…”


Now, spoiler alert, that is NOT going to pass the PressTest here so I will probe for stronger angles such as company milestones that have promoted the rebrand.

The rebrand itself, unless a BIG brand, is not really going to make the headlines.

Until now!

It seems that the poor folks at the fund manager formerly known as Aberdeen, now rebranded as “Abrdn” are getting a bit tetchy about the media mocking the lack of vowels in their TikTok friendly update of a 200 year old brand,

Fancy that!

Some experts have suggested that the IP around branding the city “Aberdeen” would have been too tricky so they settled on this snazzy new approach.

Well, it immediately led to a field day in the press when it was launched a couple of years back and now Chief investment officer Peter Branner is back pointing fingers at “childish jokes” about the name change.

Peter, trust me, this won’t help!

“I understand that corporate bullying to some extent is part of the game with the press, even though it’s a little childish to keep hammering the missing vowels in our name,” he despaired in an interview with Financial News.

Meanwhile, an Abrdn press rep said:

‘‘As Peter made clear in his interview, we appreciate it is for the media to make their own assessments about the companies they wish to write about.”

Yes, it is. So stop fuelling the fire.


This was the cunning plan all along because for once, the media is paying attention to a dull rebrand story.

Corporate bullying or calculated PR call?

In the end, their customer base will decide more than the media and will vote with their cold hard cash.

Meanwhile, as one Guardian scribe wonderfully put it, “May I have a word about this irritable vowel syndrome”