New Aussie 'coronavirus-shaped' logo ditched
Australia's costly new logo will be ditched after it drew unfavourable comparisons to images of coronavirus.
The National Brand Advisory Council unveiled the logo earlier this year, which reportedly cost $10 million to develop, and was to be used to promote Australia as a 'brand' to international markets.
The logo, which was to be used alongside the "Australian Made" logo that features a kangaroo, attempted to move away from the traditional imagery associated with Australia and featured an abstract depiction of the wattle flower.
However, it drew unflattering comparisons to imagery of the coronavirus.
According to The Australian, the logo will be replaced with a different take on what the Government describes as a "wattle glow".
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham confirmed today a redesign was in the works given the comments about the logo looking like coronavirus.
"Obviously COVID means there's a need to have a look at that piece of work - particularly the logo element - given some of the associations people were drawing," Mr Birmingham told 2GB's Ben Fordham.
"And so a careful look will be had before anything else is done with that in the future."
Mr Birmingham said the logo was part of an overall branding exercise done by a business advisory group appointed a couple of years ago.
"They finished their work at the end of last year," he said.
"Listeners should be reassured it was never, never intended to replace the Australian Made kangaroo, in fact we put an extra $5 million into the roo earlier this year to increase its international recognition and awareness."
The wattle logo was part of a $3 million rebranding effort to create a "unifying nation brand that inspires the world to buy into Australia's people, place and product".
The logo was to be used at international trade shows and exhibitions to promote Australian education, agriculture and tourism along with other key exports.
However, the rebranding exercise was ridiculed as a "sign of the growing anxiety" in Australia by The Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party.
"To a certain extent, the use of the controversial new logo may underscore (the) Australian Government's eagerness to promote its profile in the global marketplace," an editorial in July said.
"It is also a sign of the growing anxiety over its trade prospects amid its deteriorating relationship with China - its largest trade partner."
In putting forward its recommendation to the Morrison Government about the new logo, the National Brand Advisory Council said Australia should not focus on kangaroos as it would reinforce what people already knew about the country.
The use of a kangaroo was also viewed as tricky because it would require agreement on a new image of a solo kangaroo by all agencies using kangaroos.
"Dual-branding situations of multiple kangaroos sitting side-by-side will not work," the report noted.
"Therefore, with consideration for the mark to coexist with existing national symbols, this led to a recommendation against the kangaroo."
While the advisory council, which included mining magnate Andrew Forrest, Atlassian tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes and Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, noted the wattle was "not immediately recognisable internationally", it suggested it would become so over time.
The wattle logo was designed by marketing company Clemenger BBDO Sydney in co-operation with Indigenous design partners Balarinji.
"The contemporary, pan-Indigenous design is a unique symbol that depicts recognisably ubiquitous and timeless Aboriginal art elements - dots of irregular shape and placement, their spontaneous circular distribution following radiating lines and clustered configurations," the report said.
The wattle logo was described as "an optimistic burst of gold positivity" and the report said the flower was "elegantly and undoubtedly Australian".
Originally published as Costly new Aussie logo ditched