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A&W Drops Ampersand From Logo As Symbol Fails In Hashtags And URLs
By Mikelle Leow, 01 Feb 2019
Image via A&W
A&W Restaurants turns 100 this year, and it has a proposition as a wise old centenarian: put the ampersand back in the alphabet. Yes, the symbol was once the 27th letter, but it has since been shoved into the ranks of the asterisk and percentage sign.
The fast food chain regrettably notes that the ampersand is especially impractical in the digital age: when “#A&W’ is tweeted out, only the ‘A’ is clickable. The symbol also doesn’t work in URLs.
“The Internet has not been kind to this centuries-old symbol of unity…” describes Sarah Mueller, Vice President of Marketing at A&W Restaurants. “Have you ever tried to use one in a hash tag? Or a URL? It doesn’t work, which has become problematic for many brands.”
To protest, the company has unveiled a new logo that comes without the ampersand.
AW… will you miss the deleted glyph? Thankfully, you can help to bring it back.
The restaurant has launched a petition urging leading dictionaries, social media decision makers and “whomever will listen” to restore the ampersand as one of the letters in the alphabet, so that it becomes more functional on the internet.
The brand says it will retain the ampersand-free logo until its petition receives 10,000 signatures, or until “some dictionary somewhere hears our plea.” If all else fails, the logo will stay live until National Root Beer Float Day on 6 August 2019.
A&W adds that thousands of other companies with ampersands in their names could benefit from this change.
“We’re doing this for everyone that loves the ampersand and all of the companies like ours that proudly display it in their names and logos,” Mueller explains. “Its exclusion has made all of our lives a little harder.”
“‘AandW.com’ is clunky and ugly. The Twitter handle ‘@aandwrestaurants’ looks ridiculous. ‘#A&W’ is read by computers as just one lonely ‘#A’. Sometimes using an ‘&’ just makes a lot more sense.”
On social media, the company is promoting its cause with the hashtag, ‘#BringBackThe&’, even though it “obviously doesn’t work (yet),” it says.
The A&W logo before the ampersand was removed. Image via A&W
[via QSRweb, cover image via A&W]
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