Inside Osama bin Laden's Quest for an al-Qaeda Name Change

The Email Exchange That's Sure to Have the Whole World Talking

Published on .

News item: Osama bin Laden Wanted to Change al-Qaeda's Name for Marketing Reasons. The Telegraph, London, June 24, 2011

To: Trevor@GloboMarque.com
From: OBL@ISI.gov.pk

Loved your work with Philip Morris and Comcast, Allah be praised. Looking for something more accessible, but not too touchy-feely. Wish to communicate: Global Caliphate. Crush Zionest Entity. Holy Struggle, blah blah blah. But downplaying exploding underpants and cave cowering. Doable?

To: OBL@ISI.gov
From: Trevor@GloboMarque.com

GlobalMarque, London, are flattered by your inquiry. A bit about our four-stage 18-month process: Global communications audit, semantic mapping, 12-country, 41-language focus group investigation, permutational lexography, socio-rhetorical pattern analysis, neurolinguistic modeling, etc. See attachment.

To: Trevor@GloboMarque.com
From: OBL@ISI.gov

Money no object, thanks God, so skip the bullshit.

To: OBL@ISI.gov
From: Trevor@GloboMarque.com

Ah. In that case:
AQ-47
It's al Good
al-Gore, al-Bundy, al-Franken, Weird al-Qaeda
Juno (get it?)
We rather liked simply "G," for "jihad," but there are some trademark issues concerning a sports drink. We suspect this could be a matter of routine negotiation.

To: Trevor@GloboMarque.com
From: OBL@ISI.gov

Dude, are you insane? We are not worried about the Coalition of the Willing, but we -- shame be to us -- are in no position to take on Pepsico.

"Juno" is on the right track, but too narrow. It is not merely the pig devils whom we target in our holy struggle, but also Christianity, apostates, capitalists, Gulf royalty, Danes and the producers of "Slut Caboose IV," which was just a re-edit of "Slut Caboose II" but with only half the money shots.

To: OBL@ISI.gov
From: Trevor@GloboMarque.com

OK. Ready?
Quexxon

To: Trevor@GloboMarque.com
From: OBL@ISI.gov

Finally I think we're onto something, if God be pleased. Next steps….hold on. I think there's someone at the doo…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Garfield, now a consultant, has reported on advertising, marketing and media for 28 years.
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