In line with the current fad to confer meaningless names on large UK corporations born of merger (Diageo, Arcadia and Corus spring to mind), the British government now plans to saddle the nation’s Post Office with the appellation Consignia when it converts to a government-owned public limited company in March.

In the UK, the familiar names Royal Mail and Parcelforce will survive; elsewhere the Consignia rebranding will be directed at the international corporate market. According to Post Office chairman Neville Bain: "We now own nearly twenty international companies based in Europe and North America, some with links to the Far East - we are already doing much more than the words 'The Post Office' suggest."

For the less literate among us, Post Office chief executive John Roberts carefully explained the root of Consignia: "To consign means 'to entrust to the care of' - which is what each of our customers does every day," said Roberts, claiming that research shows the name to be perceived as “modern, meaningful and appropriate”.

Needless to say, the new name was greeted with almost universal derision by the UK media. The cost of rebranding alone is estimated at around £500,000.

News source: Financial Times