WorldCom by any other name may still be bankrupt, but the company that's become synonymous with questionable accounting wants to dump its tarnished brand and will likely adopt the name of its MCI residential long-distance unit, sources said on Friday.
Faced with the daunting prospect of rejuvenating the WorldCom brand or the costly option of coining a new name, sources familiar with the situation said the easiest option is expanding the well-known MCI brand, which has been drilled into consumers' minds by commercials featuring the likes of Michael Jordan.
"If I were them I'd definitely drop the WorldCom name -- it's associated with world-conquest gone wrong ... blubbering (former Chief Executive) Bernie Ebbers and shady practices," said Mark DiMassimo, head of DiMassimo Brand Advertising.
WorldCom said no decision has been made on its name.
"It's certainly something we're considering, and it's a process that we're taking very seriously. There is going to be a lot of research and thought put into it. But at this point no decisions have been made," said WorldCom spokesman Brad Burns.