11 worst name changes of 2018

Corporate moniker makeovers aren't always pretty

By Published on .

Credit: Fig

A rose may be a rose by any other name, but what about Tronc? Not every rebrand is a winner. Here are a few companies that rechristened themselves in 2018, and not for the better. .


In a shout-out to Alexander Graham Bell, AT&T's advanced advertising unit—which brought together ad and analytics businesses such as AdWorks and AppNexus—was named Xandr. It beats the placeholder name: AdCo.


Pretty much everyone already called Dunkin' Donuts just Dunkin' anyway, so why bother with the name change? Time will tell if it'll help the chain juice sales.


In honor of its five-year anniversary, creative shop Figliulo & Partners rebranded itself complete with fig-tree illustrations.

Capri Holdings

Michael Kors Holdings wanted a new name after buying Jimmy Choo in 2017 and Versace in 2018. Capri Holdings was inspired by, yes, the island. A statement noted that its "spectacular three rock formation, formed over 200 million years ago, is symbolic of the timeless heritage and strong foundation that is at the core of each of the three founder-led brands in our global fashion luxury group." OK, sure.


An already pretty unpronounceable agency name, Muhtayzik Hoffer, gets chopped and adds the dreaded slash.

RTW Retailwinds

Women's apparel retailer New York & Co. Inc. (consisting of New York & Co., Fashion to Figure and celebrity collaborations with Eva Mendes, Gabrielle Union and Kate Hudson) decided it had enough brands to go the letters-and-word mash-up route.


Thomson Reuters sold its Financial & Risk business unit to Blackstone, which changed the name to Refinitiv. Actually, when selling data tools with names like Eikon and Elektron, perhaps Refinitiv doesn't sound all that terrible.

Kontoor Brands

VF Corp.'s jeans-focused brands Wrangler, Lee and Rock & Republic, plus its VF Outlet business, are being separated into another company in 2019. Wonder how much VF paid a consultant to come up with this spin on "contour."


The merger of WPP shops VML and Y&R created the alphabet soup VML­Y&R. We're pronouncing it "vamiliar" unless told otherwise.


Weight Watchers made its pivot to wellness official by slimming down its name. Perhaps having people say "double you, double you" wasn't the best idea.

Tribune Publishing

This one, thankfully, is a reversal. Tribune Publishing returned to that name after two years as Tronc, short for Tribune Online Content.

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