A Company Bound to Have Trouble Marketing Itself

At least in the U.S.

From the Company's Website:

1883

Friedrich Fischer designs the ball grinder. This machine allows steel balls to be ground to an absolutely round state for the first time – and in large volumes. Thanks to this innovation, he lays the foundation for the entire rolling bearing industry. Thus, the worldwide success story of the ball bearing begins in Schweinfurt.

Later, 1883 is officially declared the year in which the company was founded.

1896

Friedrich Fischer applies for permission to build a new plant near the train station in Schweinfurt – a step towards a new industrial dimension. The new plant produces 10 million balls per week. The company is incorporated one year later.

1899

Friedrich Fischer suffers a stroke and passes away at the age of 50 on October 2. He does not have any children. With the death of this innovator and entrepreneur, his 400 employees lose the driving force of the company. The company’s financial situation worsens. This is also due to the persisting crisis in the ball industry, which is caused by overproduction, competitive pressure, protective duties, etc.

1905

On July 29, the FAG brand is registered with the patent office in Berlin. The registered trademark FAG, which stands for Fischers Aktien-Gesellschaft, is protected in over 100 countries today.

I found this website because of a pen that was left on my counter at work. A pen I quickly put away, and considered tossing in the garbage in spite of the fact that it was a pretty nice pen. Why? It felt inappropriate to hand a customer a pen to write with that said "FAG" on it (not to mention the visit us at www.fag.com part). I thought it was probably a company of some sort, but I was also half expecting to find some anti-gay group at the website. A part of me (although a very small part at this point) is still wondering if this is a hoax of some sort, and all because of three letters that in that particular order has a world of bad connotation that it likely doesn't have in most of the English speaking world. I don't know about England, but I doubt "FAG" would turn many heads in India.

In any case I doubt it would really comfort the random gay customer that ended up reading the pen if I told him that it was the logo of a ball bearing company from germany, representing a set of intials and not a slur against them. They would likely still wonder why I had it and why I would give it to a customer knowing the connotation of the word printed on it. Actually given the company I work for's (Home Depot) stance against discrimination I could lose my job if the customer was upset enough. In that event I would definitely write FAG an angry letter about leaving their marketing materials in public places.

:shock:

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Perhaps they should consider

Perhaps they should consider starting a co-marketing campaign with the Film Actors' Guild.

I'm in the computer

I'm in the computer industry, which of course means my company is HQ'd in Taiwan. So when they decided to create motherboards for point-of-sale applications, I'm sure you can imagine the acronym they used...

Fag means cigarette in

Fag means cigarette in England so no worries there.

wikipedia link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fag

I don't know if they still

I don't know if they still do, but back in the day FAG used to sponsor race cars. It seemed a kind of gutsy, in-your-face act to splash their initials across an icon of machismo sports.

Sort of similar to the way Massey-Ferguson would distribute "MF" caps to good old boys.

In any case I doubt it would

In any case I doubt it would really comfort the random gay customer that ended up reading the pen if I told him that it was the logo of a ball bearing company from germany, representing a set of intials and not a slur against them. They would likely still wonder why I had it and why I would give it to a customer knowing the connotation of the word printed on it.

Ah good ol' political correctness and the atmosphere of newspeak rear their ugly heads. :end:

It reminds me of the

It reminds me of the brouhaha a while back when the David Howard (from the Washington DC Office of The Public Advocate") described a budget as "niggardly". Here's a good essay on the issue:

http://ripmcintosh.com/interest.htm#N-Word

I'm not sure, but I think the line about "red-headed Israelis" first came from Jackie Mason.

Note that he designed the

Note that he designed the ball grinder. Another strike against him!

They have a FAG plant in my

They have a FAG plant in my hometown. It's a real company. They will fire you if you answer the phone with "fag". You have to say F. A. G.

So yeah, they are sensitive about it, but not enough to change the name.

So yeah, they are sensitive

So yeah, they are sensitive about it, but not enough to change the name.

Heh, so if I start a company named Shipment and Handling for International Transport then it's ok for me to snicker at my employees behind their backs in my big CEO office? Hooray!

Sometimes you have to have

Sometimes you have to have the "balls" to use the pen (if it's a nice one) and practice handling whatever misunderstanding comments come your way.

Throwing out the pen is a rather wimpish thing to do -- a psychoanalyst would raise at least one eyebrow about that one.

Sure, they have a plant in

Sure, they have a plant in Joplin, Missouri right on Interstate 44. FAG in big letters visable from the highway. Used to drive by it all the time on the way to Tablerock.

Rather than their acronym,

Rather than their acronym, I'd be more worried about WW2-era connections.

The Schweinfurt ball bearing plants were a vital industrial supplier for German tanks and other military hardware. One of the most costly Allied bombing raids was dedicated to wiping it out.

Of course you could say the same about Volkswagen or Mitsubishi.

"Ah good ol’ political

"Ah good ol’ political correctness and the atmosphere of newspeak rear their ugly heads."

I think there's a difference between wanting to be "politically correct" and not wanting to use a derogatory slur. The pc movement encouraged us to call people African American's instead of blacks. We don't usually consider someone politically incorrect if they call someone else a "wetback" or a "nigger." We call them racist. Gay people feel the same way about the term "fag" and it is used in the same way, as a derogatory slur against an entire group of people. I pity anyone who thinks its political correctness that keeps me from handing a customer in a retail store a pen with "FAG" printed on it in big letters regardless of what the term is supposed to represent. If I come across a pen that says NIGGER on it and it turns out to be a company in china I'm still not going to hand it out. The blatant ignorance of likening that to an attempt to be politically correct is actually quite appalling.

" Sometimes you have to have the “balls” to use the pen (if it’s a nice one) and practice handling whatever misunderstanding comments come your way.

Throwing out the pen is a rather wimpish thing to do – a psychoanalyst would raise at least one eyebrow about that one. "

Oh yeah I should have the courage to hand people the pen and thus stand by the fact that the "FAG" on the pen is actually a company I've never heard of. People shouldn't be offended by the fact that the acronym represents a mean-spirited and derogatory term because it is in fact a german company. :wall: I would be bothered by the pen if someone handed it to me. The fact is it has nothing to do with being afraid of what people might think or say. I actually don't think gays and bisexuals (which I happen to be) should have the term "fag" thrown in their face by the employees of a retail store, even if it is unintentional and isn't meant to be derogatory. Funny how so many people can't tell the difference between wanting to be sensitive to other people's feelings and not having the courage to use un-popular terminology.