According to The Register , former Dixons ISP spin-off Freeserve is once again considering plans to ditch its brand and replace it with the livery of its French parent Wanadoo. Last year Wanadoo CEO Nicolas Dufourcq threatened to scrap the popular if non-too-profitable Freeserve brand. This January the ISP said that the decision not to go ahead with the £30 million makeover had been made after an "extensive evaluation" found that there was "a huge strength of feeling for the Freeserve brand in the UK". But this week’s press release, detailing Wanadoo's half-year results, makes no reference to Freeserve by name, calling it "Wanadoo United Kingdom".

Wanadoo is not well known in the UK. Moreover it happens to be French -- and anti-French sentiment remains high after Gulf War II and French resistance to the importation of British beef. However, earlier this summer Freeserve adopted the strapline "Freeserve - A Wanadoo Company", which will gain more coverage as Freeserve embarks on its autumn schedule of press and TV advertisements. The IPKat is watching with interest: will the name of Freeserve, with the extra protection to which well known brands are entitled, be scrapped, or will it be retained in place of the unusual and therefore potentially more distinctive Wanadoo?

Anglo-Saxon francophobia here and here
Britain’s favourite French products here, here and here

WANADOO OR WANADON’T <strong>WANADOO OR WANADON’T</strong> Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 Rating: 5

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