Marketing

The stuff of urban legend and rumour

| | Updated on: Jan 21, 2016
CT22_KFC

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CT22_PARLE

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At first, it was the Liril girl. She had slipped in the waterfall and died, they said. She hadn’t. More recently, a piece of news circulating on social media identified the Parle G child as Sudha Murty, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, till an executive from the company set the record straight – it was an illustration that Everest ad agency came up with in the 1960s.

There are several other weird and wacky rumours associated with brands. Coca-Cola, for instance, has been rumoured to contain an insect-based dye, alcohol and pork. It has been charged with funding campaigns against Palestinians and Muslims. Its logo, reversed, is an Arabic phrase that blasphemes Islam, is another rumour.

A tale attached to PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew is that consuming it reduces sperm count. And that KFC changed its name from Kentucky Fried Chicken because it was no longer using just chickens but genetically modified six-legged organisms that it bred for the business.

P&G was charged with being a front for Satanists and having 666, the devil’s number, worked into its old logo containing the man in the moon and stars.

P&G refuted this and sued Amway for reviving the rumour that had been in circulation since the 1980s. It charged Amway with alleging that part of its profits went to Satanic cults.

Eventually, four Amway distributors were found to be guilty of this and P&G was awarded $19.25 million in a civil lawsuit in 2007.

Compiled by Sravanthi Challapalli

Published on January 19, 2018

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