Bureau of Meteorology rebranding cost revealed

The true cost of the Bureau of Meteorology’s name change has been revealed after the organisation fumbled its way through a rebranding announcement this week.

The government agency copped flack on Tuesday after announcing it didn’t want to be called the BoM anymore and asked publications to update how it was referenced in the media.

“The Bureau of Meteorology asks that media outlets update editorial style to ensure references to the organisation are by its full name, the Bureau of Meteorology or the Bureau for short, and not BoM or the Weather Bureau,” part of its statement read.

Rubbing salt in the wound of miffed Australians was the revelation on Wednesday that taxpayers forked out more than $220,000 on the change, The Guardian reported.

The rebrand, according to the publication, included updating the organisation’s visual style and logo, conducting research, developing banners and supporting media engagement.

Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, criticised the move, arguing the organisation should focus on the weather and not its public image.

“My focus and the focus of the BoM should be on weather, not branding,” Ms Plibersek said on Twitter.

“With the severe weather we’re experiencing right now, what matters is accurate and timely weather information for communities. Lives are at risk.”

The announcement didn’t quite go to plan on Tuesday, with the organisation failing to claim new usernames ahead of time.

Within minutes of sharing its statement, the Bureau’s intended Twitter usernames had been claimed by members of the public.

External Twitter users had changed their handles to @TheBureau_AU, @TheBureau_NSW, @TheBureau_ACT and @TheBureau_Tas, leaving them unavailable for future use.

The person behind what would have been the weather authority’s main account @TheBureau_AU edited the profile to read: “Australia’s Little Bureau,” and changed its profile photo a wooden writing desk (i.e. a bureau). The account has since been suspended.

@TheBureau_NSW was also taken, with its display name updated to read as: “Bureau of MEMEorology (parody)”.

“Absolute rookie mistake by the Bureau of Meteorology to announce what they were changing their Twitter handle to BEFORE they actually did it,” the account shortly tweeted after the name change.

The account later said it would give the Bureau back their Twitter handle if it met their “three simple demands”.

They included: A weather balloon, a signed photo of Sunrise weatherman Sam Mac, and the power to manipulate the weather. The Bureau has yet to respond.

It’s unknown if or how the Bureau will persevere in its mission to claim the new usernames.

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