Ad Age reports that the Pork industry is trying to rebrand swine flu. They want the government to call it H1N1.
But it could prove a pretty tricky rebrand. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are still referring to the virus as swine influenza. “You can point to the sun and call it the moon, but it’s still the sun,” said Robbie Vorhaus, a crisis-communications expert. “Renaming it isn’t the issue; it’s helping people understand where it’s coming from. They’re reacting out of fear, and that’s not a good basis for communications.”
Maybe it would just be easier to rebrand pork. The “other white meat” campaign is long gone. How about “free range bacon”? Or “Organic-raised Boar”?
Rightly or wrongly the pork industry is going to be collateral damage in this pandemic. It’s a case where branding won’t help. The swine metaphor is too strong to be replaced by “H1N1” Call me an old sentimentalist but I vote for renaming the flu “R2D2”.