ABAC’s statement says the branding of the drink is inappropriately reminiscent of the beloved original version – from its shape to its look and its taste.
“My kids drink Solo. I had a sample in my fridge and my seven-year-old son thought it was normal Solo but in a black can,” says one complainant in the statement.
This is not the first time a supermarket item has been pressed to make changes after being caught in public critique and pressure.
Owned by Saputo Dairy Australia, the popular cheddar brand changed its name to CHEER Cheese in 2020 after a decades-long campaign largely led by activist Stephen Hagan that had also played out against the background of that year’s worldwide Black Lives Matter protests.
The cheese was originally named after US cheesemaker Edward William Coon. Hagan was joined by Indigenous groups who lobbied that the word had racist connotations.
“Treating people with respect and without discrimination is one of our basic principles and is imperative that we continue to uphold this in everything we do,“ said Saputo CEO Lino A Saputo.
When the social media platform’s parent company announced its name change to Meta in 2021, it said it intended to “bring the metaverse to life and help young people connect, find communities and grow business”.
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, many companies re-evaluated their branding: Nestlé changed its Red Skins to be sold as Rep Ripper, and Chicos became Cheekies.
Redskin is a historically derogatory term used for people of Native American descent, with Washington’s NFL team forced to drop the “Redskins” name in 2020 after 87 years. Similarly, the word “chico” is an offensive term for people of Latin-American descent.
In a statement, Nestlé said the decision was made “due to overtones which are out of step with the company’s values”.
In a statement, the company said the name “no longer aligns with the respect we have for, and the value we place on the rich cultural traditions and talents of Indigenous people”.
The rice retailer’s logo featured an elderly African-American man in a bow tie, prompting criticism that it was perpetuating racial stereotypes.
In late 2020, the company announced it was changing the name to Ben’s Original. It also removed the image on the packaging “to create more equitable iconography”.
“Over the last several weeks, we have listened to thousands of consumers, our own associates and other stakeholders from around the world,” said Mars Food global president of multisales and global customers Fiona Dawson.
Many users were accustomed to using terms like “retweet” and “tweet” when referring to posting on Twitter, not to mention the blue bird iconography, so the rebrand was a notable evolution for the 17-year-old platform.
Its new flashing X as name and logo did not spur any notable criticism but Elon Musk’s purchase of the company last year and his changes to the platform drew some backlash.
The name change didn’t come as a surprise: Musk’s rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies, is commonly referred to as Space X. In a tweet, X CEO Linda Yaccarino referred to the changes as “transforming the global town square”.
“Not sure what subtle clues gave it away, but I like the letter X,” said Musk in a tweet following the rebrand.