I was reminded recently of these appetite suppressant pills that my mom must have purchased when I was a kid in the late 70s. They were called AYDS. Worried about your reputation and your brand? What could be worse that your brand being associated with a terrible disease? (Well, I recall there being a sushi place called Osama Sushi in Toronto about 10 years ago which is no longer there/or they changed their name.)
Read more at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayds
Time Magazine wrote in1993:
The problem: a deadly disease breaks out that has a name that sounds the same as that of a well-known diet product. Question: What should the marketer do to avoid possible confusion?
Jeffrey Martin Inc., the distributor of Ayds appetite-suppressant candy, has faced just this issue since AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, began getting public attention in mid-1981. Jeffrey Martin acquired the Ayds marketing rights from Purex at about the time of the first report of AIDS.
Sales of the diet candy had been sluggish for years when Jeffrey Martin took over the product. Says Martin Himmel, company president: “We have repackaged it, redesigned it, readvertised it and given it a new breath of life.” Perhaps as a result, retailers say, the disease is not hurting the product. Says Elliot Dworkin, vice president of Revco D.S. Inc., which operates 1,661 drugstores in 28 states: “Ayds sales have never been better.” Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,926056,00.html#ixzz0cK0XgdPI