National Public Radio has announced it will now be known as NPR. The Public broadcaster joins other image-conscious nonprofits in adopting a self-referential abbreviation, chief among them AARP. “Radio” sounds so old-fashioned, just like “Colored People” and “Retired People.” The “just-call-us-NPR” network is trying to emphasize its sizeable mobile, podcast, and web presence because the NPR radio audience largely comprises … retired people.
Some large corporations have adopted this “abbreviation-is-our-name” marketing ploy, chief among them KFC (née Kentucky Fried Chicken) and BP, formerly British Petroleum. NPR probably hopes for a more positive brand-changing experience.
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