‘Old Logos for New’, Cries BT

08 April 2003

In an attempt to convey its global aspirations, UK telecommunications giant BT Group unveiled Monday it’s new logo. But despite reversing the Aladdin storybook street-cry, BT’s ‘new’ logo is nothing of the kind.

Having decided to pension-off its much-derided prancing piper introduced in 1991 [WAMN:24-Mar-03], BT has annexed the ‘globe’ logo of its internet unit BTOpenworld. This, BT chief executive Ben Verwaayen declared without trace of a smirk, is intended to dispel the negative image of BT as a lumbering fixed-line monopoly.

The globe signifies ‘a dynamic company, with operations increasingly focused on high-speed internet products and servicing the corporate world’. Comments Verwaayen: “This is helping us to convey the right message.”

The facelift will be phased over the next three years and will cost, BT insists, no more than £5 million ($7.77m; €7.27m). The logo will eventually adorn over 34,000 corporate vehicles and 133,000 public payphones.

The new logo was designed in 2001 by brand consultancy Wolff Olins (also the prancing piper’s perpetrator). BT had always hoped that the globe would eventually come to symbolise all of its operations, claimed a Wolff Olins spokeswoman: “It was designed with that in mind, although that wasn’t the original brief. We think they have made an excellent decision,” she said modestly.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff