Ernst & Young has unwittingly rebranded itself with the same name as a Spanish soft porn magazine. “It’s marketing 101: you check who has the rights to the name.”

Rude shock as Ernst & Young rebrands

PUBLISHED: 0 HOUR 25 MINUTE AGO | UPDATE: 0 HOUR 23 MINUTE AGO

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Ernst & Young now shares its name with a racy Spanish magazine.

AGNES KING

Professional services giant Ernst & Young has unwittingly rebranded itself with the same name as a Spanish soft porn magazine. The London-based global accounting and advisory firm should have run a quick Google search first before re-branding itself as “EY”. It now shares a name with a racy Spanish magazine, EY! Magateen, featuring near-naked male models in homoerotic poses. As a result, a Google image search of “EY” brings up photos of strapping lads clad in low-cut briefs, with Brazilian flags covering their crown jewels, alongside the Ernst & Young logo and exterior shots of the company’s offices. “This is a definite balls-up,” marketing and brand expert Mark Ritson said. “It’s marketing 101: you check who has the rights to the name, whether it means something rude in a foreign language and who owns the digital personality.”“People assume when smart companies do something stupid like this that it’s deliberate, but in most cases companies really are this stupid. They are clearly not doing their due diligence.”

According to US news reports, the EY! magazine is the work of Luis Venegas, a Spanish creative director known for his flamboyant, sexually charged fashion publications.

The gaffe has left many wistful observers wishing that EY’s partnership did look this good in the raw.

It certainly lives up to EY’s newly adopted tagline: “Building a better working world”.

Branding gurus say EY now has no choice but to brave-face it.

It is knee deep in an expensive makeover that includes a new name, logo and global chief executive.

“There is no upside here,” said Mr Ritson. “it just makes [EY] look like baffoons, which when you’re a consulting firm is never good.”

The saga follows a series of stunning accounting firm brand faux pas.

In 2010, PwC Australia went to market with a bizarre double entendre tag line: “What would you like to grow?”. It conjured some unsavoury mental images given PwC’s male-dominated partnership.

PwC also famously paid London ad agency Wolff Olins $US110 million in 2002 for the courageous idea of renaming PwC’s consulting arm “Monday”. The name was dropped within days.

EY’s rebrand coincides with the naming of Mark Weinberger as global chairman from July 1. Mr Weinberger, 51, succeeds Jim Turley, who announced his retirement last year.

Ernst&Young’s red face aside, Mr Ritson said the bigger branding crisis belongs to EY! Magateen. “It is now associated with an advisory firm which has a reputation for a lot of things but probably not nubile young men,” he said.

Comment was being sought from EY.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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