The Bureau of Health Promotion’s (BHP) logo has caused a stir amongst netizens after an businesspundit.com, a US-based online magazine, included it in its list of “15 Inadvertently Lewd Company Logos.”
According to the article, dated April 2, the companies and organizations highlighted had “made accidentally inappropriate oversights” and created unintentionally lewd logos.
The collection of 15 photographs and captions notes that “logos can be a highly effective way of increasing the recognition and presence of your business.” However, creators of logos and their imagery should take into account “alternative interpretations in other cultures and contexts,” it says.
Under a picture of the bureau’s logo, the caption reads: “What does the logo pictured here appear to represent? Don’t ask.”
The story notes that the bureau’s logo has come under criticism before for connoting a three-way tryst.
However, Taiwanese netizens had a mixed reaction to the story, with some scarcastically noting that it was another form of Taiwanese glory to be mentioned in such a manner, while others said that Taiwan — being a country of proper and well-mannered people — had not considered the logo in such a lewd manner.
The bureau said earlier this week that its logo had been chosen from 112 options by a panel of academics and mass media professionals. It was chosen to represent the element of care people may offer each other, and to display “the love of life, and the continuation of health,” the bureau said.
Bureau Director Chiu Shu-ti (邱淑媞) said it also connoted the meaning of “safety in numbers,” adding that that the “3P” symbols could represent the promotion of health, disease prevention and protection of life.
In Taiwan, “3P” is colloquially used to refer to a three-way sexual relationship.
Bureau Deputy Director Kung Hsien-lan (孔憲蘭) said the bureau was seeking submissions for a new logo.
Other logos cited by businesspundit.com included the Brazilian Institute of Oriental Studies, which it noted was meant to represent “a pagoda in front of a setting sun,” but that it “looks like something a lot less serene than it should.” The story cited the British newspaper the Telegraph as reporting the logo was quickly withdrawn due to the controversy it caused.
The logo for Deccan Engineering Enterprises in Hyderbad, India, was named as the most unintentionally lewd logo given that it could appear to be a pair of breasts or a phallic symbol, while the logo of Czech meat company Kostelecke uzeniny, which has been in business since 1917, was described as socially offense because “most of us don’t like the sexual connotation to be quite so in your face.”