What's in a name? Plenty if you're one of the world's largest IT consulting and services firms. Andersen Consulting has introduced Accenture as its new name and brand, effective Jan. 1.
In early August, Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting completed their legal separation. The International Court of Arbitration ordered Andersen Consulting to relinquish the Andersen name, requiring the firm to develop and market its services under a new brand by the end of 2000. Andersen Consulting was also directed to pay Arthur Andersen about $1 billion in payments withheld since 1997, when Andersen Consulting began the legal process of splitting itself from parent firm Andersen Worldwide.
Andersen Consulting expects to spend up to $175 million through August to promote and advertise the new name, with about 65% going toward print advertising, about 25% toward television advertising, and the remainder toward Web and billboard advertising. The firm searched for and approved the name Accenture in a period of 80 days, ensuring it received approval from its offices in 50 countries. Andersen Consulting also had to test the name in 60 languages to make sure it did not have an offensive meaning anywhere the firm does business and didn't infringe upon any existing trademarks.
Accenture was chosen from a pool of about 5,000 potential names. The firm denies any intentional connection between the AC initials Andersen Consulting is known by and the first two letters of the new name. James Murphy, Andersen Consulting's global managing director of marketing and communications, says his firm test-marketed the name Accenture ("accent on the future") to about 600 companies to get their input without revealing that the word was a potential replacement for the Andersen Consulting name. The name was submitted by Kim Petersen, a business consultant working for Andersen Consulting in Norway.
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