Britain's oldest logo heads to Belgium as Bass becomes 'Six Continents'

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The Independent Online

After a year of sifting through more than 10,000 suggestions, Bass is giving up its red triangle logo, Britain's oldest trademark, for a new "Six Continents" badge based on the name of an existing loyalty scheme.

The British hotels and pubs group agreed to give up using the Bass trademark by August 2002 after it sold its centuries-old breweries for £2.3bn to its Belgian rival Interbrew, which wanted sole rights to the brand.

Tim Clark, the chief executive, yesterday said that Bass had spent £375,000 so far to come up with Six Continents as its new corporate identity and expects the final cost of implementing the change will be in the "low single millions".

The company does not plan to rebrand any of its hotel or pub chains, which include Inter-Continental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Harvester and All Bar One.

Employees bombarded the company with suggestions as part of a competition to win a "holiday of a lifetime" anywhere in the world. "The winner won't even have to stay at one of our locations," said a spokeswoman. She said the name comes from the Six Continents Club global loyalty programme that has been operated by the hotels for several years. As the name already exists it has been easier to register around the world.

The company has shunned the recent trend for corporates to pick made-up names. Andersen Consulting became Accenture, the Post Office is now Consignia and National Power has changed its name to Innogy.

Six Continents is supposed to reflect Bass's global reach. It has 3,200 hotels in 100 countries across North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. Shareholders will vote on the name change at the annual meeting on 20 July.