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Landor Distancing Self from Syfy Naming Credit?

Update 3/30/09 8:45 AM:  Blogtalkradio has landed an interview with former SyFy Radio host and SyFy Portal founder Michael Hinman (whose brand name was purchased from Sci Fi- and thus creating even more confusion on true origins of the new SyFy moniker). The interview also includes a chat with Mitchell Rubenstein, one of the founders of Sci Fi Channel.

Update 3/28/09: Dave Howe Responds Further, mentions tracking Twitter for Syfy feedback.

Confirming some internal chatter from some of my colleagues at Landor-

In a blog posting from Executive Director Ken Runkel, it looks like the Syfy naming controversy has taken an unexpected turn. Global Branding Agency Landor adds a twist to the latest by explaining in their blog that they are NOT behind the new name. Unconfirmed sources say that the credit (internally at least) has been given to Michael Engleman, VP Creative with developing the name. He was previously VP at CMT overseeing rebranding efforts at the network. The channel names “SFC” and “Beyond” were also considered and tested.

Here’s the screenshot of the Landor blog entry:

Interestingly, it’s been reported that NBC-U appears to have registered “SyfySucks.com” on January 30, via Corporation Services Company— which also holds new registration for Syfy.com

And for mobile phone readers, here’s the text:

“While we’d love to take credit for all the branding initiatives our clients take on, sometimes we just can’t. This is the case with the recent launch of Syfy, the new name for our client, the Sci Fi Channel.

As reported in last week’s New York Times, the Sci Fi Channel, a division of NBC Universal, introduced its new name and identity, Syfy, at upfront presentations in New York. The announcement got a lot of attention, and although the New York Times story seemingly gave Landor credit for the work—we can’t take it—because we didn’t do it.

Yes, we worked with the Sci Fi Channel, and it hired us to consult on the project. However, Syfy was a name generated internally and pre-tested at the channel before our involvement. Once Landor was involved, we explored new names as part of the process, but it was the Channel’s call to go with Syfy.”

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