Animals & Money: Will companies try to save the species on their logo?

lacoste ad for save your logoLast fall companies in Europe got this pitch: Save Your Logo, or, more specificially, save the threatened animal that's made your logo so catchy over the years. Lacoste just became the first company to jump on board. René Lacoste, a famous tennis player in the twenties, was nicknamed "the Crocodile" because he was fierce, so his Izod shirts bear the creature. The company announced their new project with pride: "LACOSTE is the international brand the most clearly associated with an animal. The brand's commitment to the preservation of crocodiles seems natural as this animal is part of LACOSTE's history and identity."

This is no goofball little plan or trifling publicity stunt. It's something we're probably going to see more of. Behind the plan are some of the biggest names in finance and and conservation. They hope private-public partnerships save some species. The World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, which funds environmental projects that support sustainable development and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (known as the IUCN or the people who place species around the globe on the spectrum between "least concern" to extinct.) The World Bank is obviously more concerned about economic development, but they're in here because it's a way to bring cash into developing countries. People are willing to travel to see animals in the wild, especially rare ones.It would be great to see companies that use some of an animal's charm give back to their favorite species in a tangible way. The broadbrush of the project is that companies support specific projects--though not necessarily just for their logo species. That's because there are too many "logo orphans" out there and the conservationists don't want to just save the charismatic megafauna. Eventually, they'll also have web cams set up so that people around the world can appreciate the species--and the effort to save them. I already liked Lacoste, but I think of them a bit better now.

As a consumer, I like to see companies spending money to actually do something good rather than just buying ads to tell me how good they are.

I put together a list of brands popular with Americans that I hope with jump on the SaveYourLogo bandwagon.

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