Consignia to go in Royal Mail rebrand

Senior executives at the UK's postal service have decided to replace the much-maligned Consignia brand with the name Royal Mail Group.

The company is keen to finally cut its ties with one of the most unpopular brands in UK corporate history.

Top Consignia managers, led by chairman Allan Leighton, are meeting today (Wednesday) to finalise the decision, which comes much sooner than expected.

Although Leighton had already made plain his intention to ditch the Consignia name, there was speculation that the government-owned plc would simply revert to being called the Post Office.

Confirmation of the change will be timed to coincide with the publication of the firm's annual report and accounts.

Implementation of the name-change will be phased in over a longer period, but it should be completed significantly earlier than the two-year timeframe that Leighton referred to in a recent interview on the BBC's Breakfast With Frost. Leighton is due to deliver tonight's Marketing Society Annual Lecture.

The Consignia brand, developed by consultancy Dragon, has been criticised by the UK media. Many of these critics mistakenly believed the name had replaced Royal Mail and the Post Office as the group's consumer brands.

"The Consignia name has become a stick for the media to beat the group with. It won't escape until the name becomes a relic of history,

said a source close to the group.

Consignia was introduced as the group's corporate brand in January last year. However, the opening up of the UK postal market to competition has led to thousands of redundancies at the group's Royal Mail and Parcelforce divisions, and forced the company to streamline its UK operations.

The Post Office Counters Network is also under serious pressure from the government's decision to introduce automatic credit transfer for benefits payments.

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