Authorities of a printing firm named Omicron in the United Kingdom say they will not change the name of their business despite now sharing it with the latest COVID variant, the Daily Mail of UK reported on Tuesday.
Omicron has been running for more than 25 years in Canterbury in Kent.
But the small printing shop is now no longer the most talked about Omicron in the cathedral city since emergence of the new COVID strain -named after the 15th Greek letter.
Owner Mark Fawcett-Jones and director Dave Loveridge, say they have been inundated with calls and messages from surprised customers following the naming of the new variant by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
But they say they will not change the shop’s name, which is also shares with a 1963 Italian sci-fi film.
Instead they have decided to embrace it by dressing up in Breaking Bad-style costumes and adding ‘not the variant’ in email signatures.
They also hope the wider use of the name will mean customers will spell it properly, ‘having corrected people for the last 13 years.’
Mr Loveridge said: “We’ve been asked by a few people if we’d considered changing the name, but we haven’t. We’ve had the business since 2008 and it’s been around for 25 years, so we’re well-known throughout the south east. We’re hoping we won’t need to change the name.
“It’s our web address and email address. We’re forever having to spell it to people as they get the name wrong all the time. We’re hoping that now they’re going to get right, having corrected people for the last 13 years.”
Despite this, he has not witnessed a drop in trade.
Mr Loveridge continued: ‘There’s been no impact so far and we’ve had quite a busy day. If people believed it came from us and that we’d started it, then maybe we would have to consider changing the name.
“We’re having current and former customers getting in touch and saying “isn’t that strange they’ve chosen your name?” The phone’s just lit up.”
Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet – which the World Health Organisation has been using to categorise new COVID variants of concern.