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Australian govt mocked for the rebranding of Women’s Network logo as it resembles male appendage

Australia’s government has been left red-faced after a recent rebranding exercise resulted in a rather incongruent logo for the Prime Minister and Cabinet Department’s (PMC) Women’s Network.

The design in question featured a “W” placed next to an innocuous-looking purple dome.

Yet taken together — accounting for the W’s curved font style and the elongated shaft leading to the dome — the Women’s Network logo appeared somewhat, well, phallic.

According to a description on the PMC’s website, the Women’s Network is amongst a number of initiatives focused on fostering “a culture where everyone feels valued, safe and included at work”.

Among its critics was the National Older Women’s Network Australia, a group that advocates for the rights of older women.

“Poor messaging,” decried the group on Twitter.

“I thought this was satire, but it is either thoughtless or an insult.”

Part of a rebranding exercise

In a statement, the PMC said that the logo was conceived after a 2019 rebrand of staff diversity networks “to establish a consistent look and feel” between insignia for groups including the women’s network.

The department explained that the W had been retained as part of the logo as it had been used by the network for years.

“The rebrand was completed internally, using existing resources, and designs were consulted on widely. No external providers were engaged for this work,” said the department.

It added that neither Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison nor his office were involved in the rebranding.

One user on Twitter, who offered her take as a graphic designer, pointed out that the logo was in keeping with the other logos for networks in the PM&C.

“My experience tells me they probably [had] a limited amount of time to design all of them as well,” she wrote.

The logo has since been removed by Australia’s government.


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