Brand Confusion Rising

Over at Reddit, an announcement plus a prominently placed edit:

Reddit announcement re National Geographic

The reason for that edit at the top? Reactions to this announcement from Redditors was decidedly mixed. Among the concerns (click images to enlarge):

Reddit comment 1

Reddit comment 2

Reddit comment 3

Reddit comment 4

Reddit comment 5

Reddit comment 6

Reddit-comments7-lets-be-clear

That last comment isn’t really accurate: National Geographic News is (I believe) part of NG’s Digital Media division, which is part of National Geographic Ventures, which is a taxable entity; it’s not part of the tax-exempt 501(c)3 Society. Jeffhert59 is blurring a line which is quite distinct in National Geographic’s 2010 org chart (click image to enlarge):

NGS_org_chart

Also, that last comment from National Geographic staffer Jeffhert59 (above) is worth remembering. To paraphrase: Yes, the public might see everyone at National Geographic as part of a single company. But we’re not. Honest. “Please don’t mix us all in the same pot.” We are separate. We are NOT the Murdoch people. You can trust us (even though who “us” is  remains a major point of confusion).  

Then again, for some people, this brand confusion is not a bug, it’s a feature:

Rupert Murdoch laughs

John Fahey National Geographic

 

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