NEW YORK - Hillary Clinton's campaign rollout on social media set Twitter abuzz as she likely hoped, but part of the discussion quickly veered away from the candidate herself to her new logo, and it got a hearty "thumbs down." The blocky blue "H" with a horizontal red arrow running through it looked like a road sign pointing to a hospital, some said; it looked too similar to the logo for FedEx, others complained; it could easily be compared with a World War II-era Hungarian fascist party logo, a journalist for the Wall Street website Business Insider pointed out.
Worse yet for the would-be 2016 standard-bearer of the left-leaning Democratic Party: The arrow pointed to the right. "So what lucky 3rd grader won the Design the Hillary Clinton Campaign Logo contest?" Tweeted a commentator with the handle #massfubar to nearly 14,000 followers.
It isn't clear who designed the logo or how much Clinton's campaign team is paying for it. Staff members did not immediately respond to Reuters' questions about the logo.
But the discussion kicked off what, for the Clinton campaign, will be an ceaseless cycle of scrutiny of her and the other presidential candidates. It also became an early reminder that missteps or hiccups by the campaigns, however small or trivial, can echo across social media at lightning speed.
The official Twitter account for WikiLeaks, the organisation founded by Julian Assange which publishes secret information leaked from governments and corporations, tweeted its own logo, which also includes a thick red arrow pointing to the right, side-by-side with Clinton's to emphasise the similarities. "Hillary Clinton has stolen our innovative WikiLeaks twitter logo design," the tweet to Wikileaks' two and a half million followers read.
Other tweets pointed out the arrow-crossed "H" resembled a stock logo available for purchase from the commonly used image database Shutterstock.
Most of the commentary was negative, but there was the occasional bit of praise: "Hillary Clinton's campaign logo is Obama meets FedEx and I love it," tweeted Gina Uriarte, who described herself in her Twitter bio as the "voice of" real estate agency Coldwell Banker in California and "a lover of good design." A follower, Vince Moreschini, whose Twitter bio lists"advertising & tech" among his interests, responded: "Think you're in the minority." Linda Fowler, a political science professor at Dartmouth, said she thought Clinton's rollout was successful in general, but added the new logo made her think of a hardware store. "But maybe it's working," she told a journalist. "She's got you guys writing about her logo instead of her pantsuit and her hairstyle."