Former Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) staff have mocked the weather authority’s attempt to change its name earlier this week, branding the fiasco “ridiculous”.
BoM sent a edict to news organisations earlier this week asking to be called the Bureau – not BoM.
It largely fell on deaf ears, other than to be ridiculed by politicians and members of the public.
A former forecaster told the ABC that the attempted name change – coming at a cost of $220,000 – was “an incredibly public example of the nonsense” that went on at BoM.
Another former staffer said they were “very glad to see that the people who run the show there are being exposed”.
Environment minister Tanya Plibersek earlier this week said she “did not understand” why the rebrand needed to happen.
“The Bureau of Meteorology, the BoM – Australians will make up their own minds about what they call it,” she said.
“It’s ridiculous for the BoM to be talking about rebranding.
“What matters is accurate and timely weather information for communities, particularly during severe weather like we’re experiencing right now.”
In a statement sent to journalists on Tuesday morning, the weather authority asked publications to update how the organisation 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,” they wrote.
The request was made in an effort to ensure the Bureau’s “insights, wisdom, data and information” would be well-respected and “shared, understood and acted upon”.
The weather agency is still called BoM on its Twitter accounts and phone app.
BoM later said in a statement that it had not rebranded – it had simply “refreshed its brand and updated the visual identity”.
“Until now, our name and visual identity were expressed differently across content and channels,” the statement said.
“Feedback from a wide range of stakeholders has been that this variability can sometimes impact negatively on the effectiveness of our messaging.”