How To Re-brand A Toxin


Alex Thomson, the chief reporter for Channel 4 News, has suggested a way forward for the supporters of the now extinct Rangers Football Club.  In his blogpost of June 23rd he proposes a solution which is based upon the principles –  we are probably stretching the meaning of that word beyond its limits here – which guide the thinking of the leaders of multi-national corporations such as Nestlé™ and Tesco™.
To give Mr. Thomson his due, he hints at an acknowledgement that there is far from universal consensus that these companies represent ethical standards to which the rest of us should aspire.  I, for one, do not consider either of those companies to be worthy of my support and I have deep misgivings about many of the methods which they employ in order to maximise their profits.  But that can be left for another day; let us move on to the substance of the proposed strategy for resolving the problems which have been created by the self-destruction of Rangers FC.

In line with the materialist, corporate thinking of the company men, the first recommendation is to identify the existing concerns which make it hard to sell products associated with the brand name of Rangers FC.  That’s easy.  The name of Rangers is now a byword for a long list of offence such as corruption, dishonesty, remorseless arrogance, aggression, shameless cheating and so on and on and on. Not an easy sell.

In the Gospel According to St. Tesco™, it is written:

Here is wisdom; blessed is he who hath ears to hear.
Shouldst thy very name be like unto a stumbling-block to thy prosperity, yea, even to such degree that the very ears of the righteous are sore offended by its sound; thereunto I say to thee, “cast thou thine name into the burning pit whereupon it canst be consumed by the flaming tongues of fiery devils. For what doth it profit a man to cleave to that which causeth the very foundations of his corporate strategy to crumble?  Verily, I say to you, better to take to thyself a New Name and store up thy treasure on earth than to atone for the sins committed under thine old name.”  (© All rights reserved. )

This is known as rebranding.
It’s simple but very effective.
Has it become generally known that the Windscale nuclear power station is causing too much leukaemia?  Change its name to Sellafield and restart the clock.
Anglo-American imperial ambitions repeatedly having a spot of bother in Mesopotamia?  Okay, we’ll call it Iraq instead.
Is that boardroom full of fully-fledged, clinical psychopaths?  No, no!  We say now that they’re afflicted by some narcissistic tendencies.  Or they’re suffering from borderline personality disorder.  (For pity’s sake, don’t give the game away by calling them psychopaths.)
A bare-faced lie is rebranded as a terminological inexactitude and a liar is someone who is economical with the truth.
A British person who goes to a foreign country to steal its resources and murder everyone who resists is called a war hero but dark-skinned people going about their lawful business are called terrorist threats.  Someone who steals a tenner from a shop is called a thief but someone who robs the entire population of billions of pounds is called a banker. Or a financial expert.  Occupy someone else’s back lawn and you are called a trespasser; occupy the whole of India, Australia and half of Africa and you’ll be called Your Majesty.
What a great wheeze!

So step one is to rebrand the toxic, disgraced Rangers as something less repellent.  Alex suggests Govan Rangers™.  I don’t know about you, but that looks to me like exactly the same name except it has the word Govan in front of it.  I’m not entirely convinced, even though it worked for New Labour.  I think Hun Loving Criminals would be much better.  But I’m not going to argue with revealed corporate wisdom, so Govan Rangers™ it is for just now.

By some process of corporate marketing doublethink which I admit I cannot fathom myself, this totally new identity somehow separates the new G. Rangers™ from the negative associations of the word Rangers while simultaneously rewarding the “extraordinary brand loyalty of fans which is the one real asset” the club still has.   Or something.
So the loyalty to the brand will survive because the brand has been rebranded as a totally different brand to remove the negative associations of the brand name Rangers which is still in the brand’s new, re-branded brand name, Govan Rangers™?
Nope, I still don’t get it.
But maybe that’s why I’ve never made millions out of dissuading mothers in Third World countries from breast feeding their babies so that the infants have an increased chance of dying from water-borne diseases in Nestlé™ baby formula solutions.  Guess I’m just not a corporate kind of guy.

But, having come this far, I’ll see it through to the end.

So.  The next two parts of the deception are called re-positioning and relaunch.

The 10-point plan involves a gratuitous insult directed at the Hearts owner who declared that he would not vote for admitting Sevco 5088 Ltd FC into the SPL.  Further repositioning apparently requires a pointless jibe about “Neanderthal” men dressed in green – which is pretty rich, coming from a supporter of Newcastle Utd.   But Mr. Thomson doesn’t stop there – he has eight more great ideas.
Govan Rangers™ draw a line (it says here).  They become clean.  They do a thing called being demonstrably detoxed.  Everybody respects them because they also do paying bills.  Their new Glasgow Govan Rangers™ brand name attracts a fantastic support from somewhere, fantastic supporters who had previously been repelled from attending football matches by the toxic word Rangers in the old brand name and supporters who are so fantastic that they had nothing to do with any of the old “WATP mentality” (although, according to Alex, pandering to this toxic mentality will continue to sell papers.)

Somebody blows the whistle to start a new season.  Govan Rangers™ get to win all the league championships for the next few years and everyone loves them even more, especially because their fantastic supporters with the extraordinary brand loyalty are nothing like the ones they used to have when they had a totally different name without the word Govan in it.

Even better, as the icing on the cake, the SFA and the SPL suddenly see that everything is wonderful now that a totally different G. Rangers™ isn’t cheating while it wins all the time.  Everybody has completely forgotten about the decades of fraud, dishonesty, bias and corruption.  Those honest mistakes have all been forgiven and the spineless cowardice has been completely forgotten about because of the successful rebranding of Sir Stewart Regan, the noble Lords Doncaster and Dallas and that lovable old scamp, His Royal Highness The Prince Campbell Ogilvie, Duke of Larkhall.

And the best bit of all is that there are no impediments to this brilliant marketing strategy.
We “Just Do It,” according to the corporate manual.
So that’s that, then.

What a wonderful world it will be!
What a glorious time we will see!
Suddenly, with one mighty bound, Carruthers was free!

What an insulting and patronising proposal.
I seriously wonder why Mr. Thomson suddenly stopped trying.
At exactly the same time as the SFA, SPL and SFL came up with the most conclusive proof yet of their utter contempt for every vestige of sporting principle, financial probity, general decency and even their own rulebook, Alex has just thrown in the towel.
We have been invited to swallow the contents of a bottle of deadly poison.
We are told that it will be good for us.
Why? Because the bottle has been relabelled as Vitamins.
What is the next, new brand name going to be for cover-up?  They’ve already used Investigative Journalism, Inquiry, Probe, SFA Tribunal, Holyrood Summit, Disciplinary Hearing, Police Investigation, Appellate Tribunal, SPL AGM, Fit And Proper Person Test, Licensing Requirements,  SPL EGM and due process.

Farewell, Alex Thomson.  He came; he saw; but in the end, he couldn’t be bothered.
It was always up to the supporters to stop the corruption of the game.
It still is.

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Posted on June 24, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Well said Henry ,i applaud you . The bacteria that is TGRFC will never die ,i would suggest Dettol ,almost apt as that is what they do,they owe debt to all ,but they seem to be avoiding any chance of a disinfecting .So just let them implode!! Newco ,Sevco or whatever wont make it to the start of season .Shut down Ibrox and make it a graveyard for the pox ridden mutants that inhabit it

  2. buckfastswallier

    Fantastic piece Mr Clarson.

  3. You are being unfair Henry. Alex Thomson has put Scottish journalism to shame by investigating the Rangers issues in depth. But he is an Englishman who has been trained to take an unprejudiced view of the issues he investigates. That leaves him with one major blind spot that shows through in his articles time and again. He doesn’t live in Scotland and so has never actually lived with the non-stop bombardment of arrogance and sectarianism emmanating from Ibrox and it is quite clear that he doesn’t understand the extent to which they permeate Scottish society.

    On the other hand, when he says “No of league games means a big savings on policing bills and a lot of women not getting abused by men green and blue and Neanderthal all over “, that is nothing but the plain and simple truth. The reality is that visits from Celtic supporters are no more popular in most towns than the biannual invasion of the huns!

  1. Pingback: And Thomson Must Score . . . « Henry Clarson

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