Ryanair cracks, McDonald’s new chief and corporate rebrands to rival Facebook’s

Planet Business: When it’s time for a change and maybe a song

One more referendum, with feeling: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon poses with a guitar in Dalkeith, Scotland. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

One more referendum, with feeling: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon poses with a guitar in Dalkeith, Scotland. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

 

Image of the week: Anti-Brexit belief

It’s been a happy start to the UK general election so far for Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), pictured here singing along to the Monkees’ hit I’m a Believer and holding (but not exactly playing) a guitar while on the campaign trail.

Outside this session, Sturgeon reiterated that Brexit was far from a done deal even if British prime minister Boris Johnson was to get his deal passed, as it would only be the beginning not the end of trade talks with the EU, which could take years. Scotland shouldn’t face a “lost decade of Brexit chaos” it didn’t ask for, she said, adding that she wasn’t especially worried about backlash from any pro-Brexit SNP voters that might be out there. Hands up who thought Brexit would bring less joy than the Monkees? Wait, that’s a lot of hands.

In numbers: Ryanair ups and downs

3 “At least” this number of Ryanair Boeing 737s were grounded this week thanks to cracks between the wing and the fuselage, it emerged on Wednesday. Dozens of older Boeing aircraft across the world have been grounded thanks to a fault in their “pickle fork” structure.

22 Percentage rise in Ryanair’s fuel bill in the first six months of its financial year, though this was partly for the happy reason of traffic growth.

28 Percentage rise in “ancillary revenues” for Ryanair in the same period as more passengers opted for “priority” boarding and preferred seating to help them get through their flight.

Getting to know: Chris Kempczinski

Chris Kempczinski (51) is the new chief executive of McDonald’s and he has the CV for it. Until this week, he was president of McDonald’s USA, overseeing its 14,000 restaurants. Now he’s got more than 38,000 to preside over in 100 countries. Kempczinski, who previously worked for Procter & Gamble, Pepsi and Kraft Foods, has an MBA from Harvard.

But most importantly of all, he’s married. Kempczinski replaces the divorced Steve Easterbrook, who has been let go from the top job after having a relationship with an employee – a consensual one, it is these days important to stress, but one that nevertheless breached company policy. In more good news for the McDonald’s brand image, Kempczinski is also reported by the New York Times to be an avid marathon runner. Ah, but which chief executive isn’t these days?

The list: Check out our rebrands

Facebook this week rebranded as FACEBOOK, a style choice that is unlikely to be replicated in The Irish Times, which doesn’t like SHOUTING at READERS. But in honour of its move, which is sure to sort out all Facebook’s problems, here are five other rebrands of note.

1. The BBC. In the 1990s, the BBC spent millions on changing its corporate identity from forward-slanting letters to upright ones.

2. Airbnb. The accommodation platform unveiled a new logo in 2014 that it called “Belo” and said represented a universal symbol of belonging. Everybody else thought it looked like either female or male genitalia.

3. Yahoo. The 2013 project to make Yahoo! seem “whimsical yet sophisticated” resulted in less quirky lettering and a slightly darker shade of purple. Yahoo! rebranded again this autumn for the third time in a decade and still nobody cares.

4. Eir. The company remains Eircom Holdings, but the consumer brand became Eir in a massive 2015 rebranding that introduced a logo one journalist felt resembled “a child riding a blow-up dinosaur”. Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

5. Aer Lingus. Still very much shamrock-led after a rebrand in January, but now the shamrock looks like it is blowing in the wind. (The airline says this symbolises “dynamism and speed”.)

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