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Quaker Oats to Change Name, Says William Penn ‘Does Not Represent Our Commitment to Crass Materialism’

CHICAGO — The Quaker Oats Company, has announced plans to retire their century-old mascot amid backlash over the character’s history, acknowledging that “the Quaker principles of simplicity and integrity are incompatible with our corporate mission to embrace the extremes of Capitalism.”

Critics of the company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, says that the move is in the right direction, but some activist investors claim that Quaker Oats knew the image of William Penn “promoted outdated values,” such as stewardship in the community and devotion to integrity in all aspects of life, for years without taking action. “Honestly, it was hard for me to come to work and see that grinning Philadelphian,” admits assistant brand manager Kelsey Peters, “knowing that he does not represent who I am and would not appreciate that ‘Warn-n-Gooey Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies’ are part of any balanced morning meal.”

The founders of Quaker Oats originally chose a caricature of people formally known as the Religious Society of Friends as their logo in 1877 to appropriate the stereotype that Quakers were “honest and pure,” despite having no ties to the sect and promoting products that were neither honest nor pure. The company admits that the face of the brand must change, and has announced plans to re-launch with a “more appropriate namesake” and will become “Jerry Falwell’s Oat Extravaganza.”

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