Naming balls up for professional services giant


Multinational professional services giant, Ernst & Young launched their newly named brand, EY, earlier this month with an accompanying fresh new look. A re-brand is always an exciting time for any brand. Unfortunately for EY though, who deal heavily in due diligence and corporate advice, is that this exciting time has been dampened by the criticism and giggles around the new name. What looks to be a fact that was unknown to Ernst & Young, EY! is also the name of a gay Spanish soft porn magazine, known for its spreads of naked male models in, lets say compromising positions. What probably seemed like an easy re-naming project – EY has been used as shorthand for Ernst & Young for decades – has turned into a balls up.


The name switch must have seemed obvious. But no matter how obvious a name may be and no matter how much a company may already ‘own’ a name, it should always, always, always be checked. A simple Google image search shows what EY is now competing with.

An EY representative defended the name and unfortunate Google search findings; “It will be apparent to individuals looking for EY, the professional services organisation, that the images are not related to us. People are aware of how search engines on the internet work and, as the imagery for our new brand becomes more established in the market place, it will be easier for internet browsers to find the images they are looking for.”

Balls up or calculated decision? It’s hard to say, but for the moment EY have attracted a lot of publicity for the brand and some unexpected online competition.

Sandy Muir
Director of Brand Projects
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