January 20, 2019

Ernst & Young Trusts That Everyone Knows Those ‘Sexy Boys’ Aren’t Building a Better Working World

As you know, earlier this month the accounting firm formerly known as Ernst & Young unveiled a major rebrandingWe spoiled things a little bit by breaking the news early, but what no one knew — including, apparently, everyone involved in the makeover — was that there was quite a surprise awaiting anyone who searched Google Images for "EY," the firm's new brand name.

Yes, there were very fit, very unclothed young men coming up in those EY searches and that gave people a bit of chuckle/groan/face palm.

As you can imagine, this little mishap made news worldwide and a colleague from the UK sent us this post from a Marketing Week blogger who is really enjoying this:

Who can forget the in-fighting and subsequent implosion of Anderson [sic] Consulting? Or the infamous decision by PwC to rebrand itself as Monday, only to rebrand back to PwC barely two weeks later? And how about the mismatch between KPMG’s stated brand values of “integrity”, “leading by example” and “open and honest communication” and its recent troubles in the US where a former senior employer in audits was discovered to have been involved in insider trading. It has also been criticised for poor practice in seven audits reviewed by an industry regulator.

If ever there were evidence that those who know, do and those who don’t, consult – it can surely be found in the brand strategies of the big accounting and consulting firms. And now we have another smashing example to add to the ever-growing list.
 
[…]
 
One might have expected one of the world’s biggest audit firms to, er… audit the EY brand name prior to embarking on such a major global rebranding. Granted, checking brand names is a complex business and I make no apology if some readers get a little lost with my how-to. First you have to open Google on your desktop. Next you have to type in “EY” (remembering the speech marks and to also press enter). And third, you then have to see what pops up.
Told you he was enjoying it.
 
I was still drinking myself blind in college when Andersen Consulting and 'Monday' fiascos happened so I can't speak directly to those, but I have to say, if an organization rebrands itself in this day of Internet ubiquity, and LOTS of strapping young men appear when your brand name is searched on the Internet, then some people might consider that along the lines of "an unmitigated disaster." Others might call it a "severe mistake" or "colossal fuck-up" or something of that nature.
 
Anyway, at the time we reported on sexEYgate (or whatever) the firm didn't get back to us for comment, which wasn't that surprising, really. In the following days, the story got picked up by other outlets and of those, the Huffington Post managed to wrestle a statement out of the firm that we hadn't seen until we read the Marketing Week post. I figured it was worth sharing:
"We are aware of the images in question," said Amy L. Call Well, a communications director for the accounting firm, in an emailed comment to The Huffington Post. "It will be apparent to individuals looking for EY, the professional services organization, that the images are not related to us." 
We'll just say now, that should there be any gents currently employed by EY (non-Megateen edition) that have had a spread in EY! Megateen and would like to clear things up in that regard, you should get in touch with us. Carry on.

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