Australia’s iconic national kangaroo logo has been replaced with a heavily stylised image of a gold wattle that looks more like COVID-19 after a recommendation by a panel of prominent business and culture identities.
The new national brand, which cost $10million to create, was unveiled on Tuesday night and will be used to market Australia to the rest of the world.
Australia’s Nation Brand Advisory Council, set up by former PM Malcolm Turnbull, recommended scrapping the kangaroo in a report that was adopted by Trade Minister Simon Birmingham.
The council was chaired by mining magnate Andrew Forrest and included Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, Vogue editor-in-chief Edwina McCann and billionaire Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.
However, the decision to replace the iconic kangaroo with the gold blob has shocked and outraged plenty of Australians, with many comparing it to a 3D model of the coronavirus.
OUT: Australia’s Nation Brand Advisory Council felt the kangaroo (pictured) only reinforced what foreigners already knew about Australia
IN: The new national brand will be used to market Australia to the rest of the world. The stylised gold blob (pictured) was chosen to be ‘a blank canvas, to tell a new Australian story’
Opps: The decision to dump the iconic kangaroo and replace it with the gold blob has shocked and outraged plenty of Australians, with many comparing it to a 3D model of the coronavirus (pictured)
‘Australia’s official logo has changed from the Kangaroo to the COVID19 symbol… sorry Wattle,’ one person wrote on social media.
‘Kangaroo is still better than a symbol of hay fever,’ another wrote.
‘Utter F**kwitts. Changing the Australian Kangaroo icon for a gold ring of dots that has no connection with Aussie’s…PUT THE KANGAROO ICON BACK,’ wrote another.
‘The new ”Australian Made” symbol of the golden wattle is a terrible replacement for the current one of green triangle with the yellow kangaroo,’ another person wrote.
‘It cost $10m of our money to decide on this change? Leave it or make a new spin on this iconic logo, I say,’ another wrote.
‘You have to be joking, it looks like a vomit spray. It doesn’t represent anything about Australia in the least,’ a social media user wrote.
‘Why is the government wasting money on this while there are so many bigger issues going on? Surely the old design represented ‘Made in Australia’ no matter what industry it was from,’ another person asked.
NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham slammed the design as a ‘waste of money creating confusion internationally’.
‘In light of the Wuhan virus, it’s now plain embarrassing as it looks like a representation of COVID-19,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
Australia’s Nation Brand Advisory Council (Pictured left to right: Wesley Enoch, Glenn Cooper, Bob East, Austrade CEO Stephanie Fahey, Andrew Forrest, Christine Holgate, Jayne Hrdlicka, Alan Joyce, Edwina McCann and Mike Cannon-Brookes)
The council that came up with the change was was set up under former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull (pictured)
‘It’s a complete fiasco that should be chucked in the bin.’
Which design do you prefer?
Kangaroo 688 votes Gold wattle 19 votes
In a report by the Nation Brand Advisory Council, which was accepted by Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, it was explained that the kangaroo only reinforced what foreigners already knew about Australia.
The council found that Australia should pushing other, lesser-known assets such as technology and education.
‘Australia is internationally popular for its friendly people and natural beauty. However, there is room to improve perceptions around our business capability. There is an opportunity to increase foreign investment if we can strengthen awareness of our products and services overseas,’ the report said.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and billionaire Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes were part of the council which opted for the new design
Vogue editor-in-chief Edwina McCann and Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate were also part of the advisory council
‘We love our kangaroo — it is currently the most internationally recognised shortcut to Australia. But we considered whether it would shift perceptions of our nation, or simply reinforce what people already knew about us.’
The council said its preference for the Nation Brand mark was the wattle.
Michael O’Keeffe, Aesop CEO, was also on the council which opted for the wattle over the kangaroo
‘It’s our national flower and, while it is not immediately recognisable internationally, it will become so over time.’
The logo will be used by business, industry and government agencies. The kangaroo logo will still be used for Australian-made products.
Australian Made Campaign Chairman, Glenn Cooper, said the iconic kangaroo logo will continue to be used as the global product symbol.
‘The iconic green-and-gold kangaroo logo has been clearly identifying Australian goods in export markets for more than 34 years with great success,’ he said.
‘It is by far Australia’s most recognised and trusted country-of-origin symbols and is central to the export strategies of Aussie exporters taking their goods abroad. There is no need to make a change in this space.’
The council found that Australia should pushing other, lesser-known assets such as technology and education (pictured A2 milk chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka and Sydney Festival Artistic Director Wesley Enoch)
He said should the Government proceed with a new overarching Nation Brand to promote Australia more broadly then the Australian Made logo is perfectly positioned to work in concert with it.
‘For decades now, the Australian Made logo has been used as a trusted country of origin mark alongside other Australian brands. It has a strong track record in this regard,’ said Mr Cooper.
‘For now, it’s business as usual for the Australian Made logo—providing recognisable and trusted country of origin branding that makes the Australian connection instantly and clearly, here and overseas.’