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Here are some thoughts arising out of the fact that the University of Birmingham has recently gone through a re-branding exercise led by its administrators responsible for marketing, who failed miserably in marketing the exercise to staff and students within the University, as a result of which there is an online 'Save the Crest' petition that has attracted so many supporters that it made the national news The original version of this document referred to a web site at which the people responsible for the re-branding exercise attempted to explain why they had done what they had done. That web site used to be here: http://www.general.bham.ac.uk/brand/ but no longer seems to be accessible. It made totally untrue, and highly embarrassing, claims about how this university was 'unique'. I don't know whether its removal was a response to criticism or an unintended side-effect of reorganisation of the web site: the sort of thing that far too often breaks links and bookmarks when done by people who don't understand what the internet is about and don't realise that their web site has become a highly distributed entity, whether they intended it or not. Although some people are pleased to see the currently used crest abandoned, staff and students in my school have mostly been very critical of the changes and especially of the move to the new format for business cards -- apparently designed on the assumption that what your job is is more important than who you are and therefore should be listed first. This is typical of decision making by people who have very little understanding of the diversity of functions and interactions of a university and its members.
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