What's in a name?

"Who the hell are you calling Marion, pilgrim?" You know you’ve got a serious image problem when you have to change your organization’s name to hide your identity. The American League of Lobbyists recently announced that it is changing its name to the Association of Government Relations Professionals, because “everybody has that misconception that lobbyists are walking around with a pocketful of cash and that’s about it,” according to Monte Ward, the group’s president.

The Lobby lobby isn’t the first association to try to hide its stripes under a fresh coat of paint. Following are just a few of the more lame name-change game-changers.

  • The Association of Trial Lawyers of America is now the American Association for Justice. (Apparently, United Ambulance Chasers was already taken.)
  • The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation is now called Marketing EDGE, because how much marketing education does it really take to call people when they’re eating dinner?
  • National Check Cashers Association is now the National Association of Financial Service Centers, which brings them up from the Seventh to the Sixth Circle of Hell in terms of public opinion.
  • The Campus Crusade for Christ is now calling itself Cru because the word crusade “has a negative connotation for lots of people across the world, especially in the Middle East,” according to a Cru spokesman. I’ll bet it does.
  • And finally, but the Phobia Society of America is now the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. I’m not sure what prompted the change, but you know it will boost staff morale.

Got any other examples? Let us know.