Honest to Pete, we’ll try to avoid double entendres in reporting this story.
As a result of numerous mergers, takeovers, buyouts, IPOs, and other Wall Street manipulations, ConocoPhillips, one of the nation’s largest refiners and petroleum product distributors, has ended up with a trio of brand-loyalty-inspiring retail logos, representing Conoco, Phillips 66, and
Union 76’s logo and gas station sign, beginning in 1967, was a blue-white-and-orange eight-foot diameter ball, looking sort of like a giant pool-table ball, designed to catch the eye of passing motorists. Before selling off its retail logo, the Union Oil Co., a.k.a. Unocal, was headquartered in
Phillips 66, once headquartered in
But the new marketing geniuses at ConocoPhillips, headquartered in
Immediately collectors and museum curators of kitsch, such as the
A Web site, www.savethe76ball.com, was launched and generated some 3000 signatures on a petition to the oil giant to rescind its new marketing scheme, or at least protect its ball signs from the wrecking ball.
Wisely, ConocoPhillips read the tea leaves of public protest and relented, making its balls available to various museums, including both Neon and the Smithsonian.