The Bureau of Meteorology has asked media outlets to stop referring to them as “BOM” while a disastrous flooding event ravages the southeast of Australia.
In a statement released by the national weather authority, the Bureau defended its timing, saying “it is more crucial than ever” that they are referred to with uniform clarity.
“With an ever-increasing number of severe weather events, it is more crucial than ever that the Bureau of Meteorology’s insights, wisdom, data and information are shared, understood and acted upon,” the statement read.
“To support this need, the Bureau of Meteorology asks that media outlets update editorial style to ensure references to the organisation are by its full name, the Bureau of Meteorology or the Bureau for short, and not BOM or the Weather Bureau.”
The Bureau of Meteorology no longer wants to be called “the BoM” pic.twitter.com/C7dhN2e51L
— @MartySilk (@MartySilkHack) October 17, 2022
Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek publicly criticised the Bureau for its rebranding on social media.
“With the severe weather we’re experiencing right now, what matters is accurate and timely weather information for communities. Lives are at risk,” Plibersek said.
“I’ve asked for info about costs and contracts related to the Bureau of Meteorology’s ‘rebrand’ undertaken during the previous government.
“My focus and the focus of the BOM should be on weather, not branding.”
The public was quick to agree with Plibersek, saying the change has come at an inconvenient time.
$70,000 of taxpayers $ have been flushed down the toilet for an unnecessary, ridiculous, & short-sighted rebranding exercise while communities are losing homes & livelihoods.
— OWN NSW (@age_no_barrier) October 18, 2022
It’s particularly silly when BOM is such a good and recognisable brand. Bureau? Bureau of what?
— Coral Saunders (@CoralSaunders1) October 19, 2022
The Bureau has said the rebrand will not shift the weather forecaster’s focus away from providing the best information to the nation.
“The refresh in our visual identity has not in any way diverted resources that are dedicated to understanding and communicating the weather, nor has it impacted in any way on the timely and accurate delivery of our forecasts and warnings,” the statement read.
However, the timing of the rebranding isn’t the Bureau’s only concern right now, as the weather authority has faced widespread reluctance from the public in accepting the change of name.
“Stop calling us the BOM and start calling us by the correct name, which is the Bureau of Meteorology.”
— Byron Kaye (@byronkaye) October 18, 2022
The last time I looked the BOM wasn’t the FBI, so their request to call them the Bureau is an absurd notion.
I’m going to keep calling them the BOM, and THEY can do what we pay them to do – get the weather forecast right.
— fifimurray (@fifimurray2) October 18, 2022
If The BoM never want to be called The BoM again I’m afraid the only thing they can do now is move to a new school.
— Dan Ilic ???? (@danilic) October 18, 2022
Textbook distraction technique from the BoM to draw attention from the fact they ordered WAY too much rain in Victoria
— Tim Callanan (@MrTimCallanan) October 18, 2022
I still call it “Safeway” so honestly the BOM stands no chance with me
— anna spargo-ryan (@annaspargoryan) October 18, 2022
For now, the Bureau’s social media handles and website remain under “BOM”, as it seems quick acting members of the public managed to secure the domains before the weather authority were able to do so.