(Photo: Warren Clarke)
Branding wombats. Nope, it’s not the working title of Crocodile Dundee IV or a Men at Work comeback album, it’s the goal of “global diversified mining group” XStrata, which has agreed to fund an aggressive, multi-million dollar program to save the endangered marsupial in exchange for wombat branding rights. “Xstrata’s name will appear on everything wombat: from websites to educational DVDs to shirts worn by wildlife workers,” writes Todd Woody in Time. “Xstrata execs will also star in documentaries about the northern hairy-nose [wombat] and speak at media events.” Why wombats, reclusive, nocturnal creatures that have been compared to everything from porcine badgers to Alan Greenspan? Well, they’re rather adorable and massively endangered. “There’s obviously benefit in terms of the way people perceive Xstrata,” said Peter Freyberg, the CEO of Xstrata Coal. Obviously. Note to Crash Bandicoot: we smell a dingo of a co-branding opportunity.