Sunday, June 12, 2011

Will Weinergate Cost Summer Jobs?

Kenneth M. O’Brien

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

So observed Shakespeare.

The logical corollary is that a skunk by any other name would smell as foul.

In the all-pervasive world of commerce, THE BRAND is everything.

And the name IS the brand.

Think Nike, and then think Tiger Woods. But that is nothing new. For us older folk think Ivory Snow and Marilyn Chambers.

But both of these incidents had to do with celebrities that represented a product.

What happens when the name of the product itself becomes the focus of the joke?

Obviously, there has been a long history of innuendo regarding the term “wiener.”

However, it has never had an association in the public consciousness with anything more than a casual or humorous euphemism.

The latest public political scandal, however, has put a far more sinister spin on the term.

For decades numerous college students or recent college graduates have found employment with the Oscar Mayer company promoting their brand by driving about in a “wienermobile”.

See for example:

Current Congressman Paul Ryan, author of the controversial Republican budget plan to redefine Medicare, once was a “hot-dogger”, i.e. he was a “wienermobile” driver in his early years.

Knowing the risk averse nature of corporate marketing executives, I think it is only reasonable to ask, “Will the antics of the New York Congressman so besmirch the term “wiener” that promotions using the “wienermobile” will be curtailed?

If so, how many fewer college students will be able to find work this summer?

1 comment:

  1. Heard Weiner is changing his name to Peter Pecker to avoid the embarrassment.


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