Procter & Gamble very quietly unrolled a new logo this year that adds the sliver of a moon to the P&G letters, design blog Brand New noticed.
Landor Associates created the new look, explaining:
With the leadership of P&G Design, we were inspired by P&G’s heritage as a soap and candle company. The company’s original logo was a star that barge workers painted on cases of Star Candles to identify them. The symbol later evolved into a mark with moon and stars.
The moon and stars serve as a reflection of P&G’s unique ability to touch the lives of consumers throughout the phases of their day, their life, and across generations. The system is fluid and flexible, allowing the design to be innovative, beauty-inspired, or heritage-driven, depending on the need.
What Landor left out, however, was why P&G dropped the moon — which had been a part of its logo for 140 years — in the first place.
Marketing TheatreThe answer: Decades upon decades of rumours that P&G’s logo was a sign that the company supported and practiced Satanism.
Since the 1800s, a time when images rather than brand names proliferated in logos, P&G used the image of the man in the moon surrounded by 13 stars as the symbol of the company.
All was well until rumours began spreading in the 1980s that the “man in the moon” was a representation of a horned devil with hidden “666” combinations. The blog Marketing Theatre identifies the imagery the public found problematic (right).
In 1991, the company cut off the man in the moon’s curls and eventually cut the art altogether in favour of the simple letters “P&G.” Yet there were still unsubstantiated accusations in the ’90s that P&G’s CEO appeared on various talk shows (from Donahue to The Sally Jesse Raphael Show) to say that he was associated with, and donated money to, the Church of Satan.
The rumour going around that the president of Procter and Gamble appeared on The Sally Show and announced he was a member of the church of Satan is not true. This a hoax that’s been going around in one form or another for the past 20 years…only originally, it concerned the Phil Donahue Show…then evolved to the Jenny Jones Show…and now it’s evolved to The Sally Show. The president of Procter and Gamble has NEVER appeared on The Sally Show…NEVER. Nor has any other person in authority at P&G. Any president of a multi-national corporation (including the head of P&G or Liz Claiborne) would be immediately fired by the board of directors if he or she did such a thing. Also, profits from any such corporation go to the stockholders…not a church designated by the president. Do not send money in to get a transcript. We do not provide transcripts or video tapes of our shows to the public. Frankly, this thing has gotten out of hand. If we had this man on our show, and he had said what it’s alleged he said, we would have scored a broadcasting scoop and would have trumpeted it to all the newspapers. It would have been to the show’s advantage. But there was no scoop, and there were no headlines.
P&G was awarded $19.25 million in a civil lawsuit against former competitor Amway for them reinvigorating the Satanism rumours in 1995, when the company had to change its logo from the man in the moon to the letters.
While the man in the moon is still gone, the moon has made a comeback.
1995: When rumours of Satanism resurfaced again in the 1990's, P&G decided to go in a completely different direction.
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