Pfizer’s exclusive patent rights to Viagra begin to expire next year, and the pharmaceutical company is taking what you might call prophylactic measures. This month the company will introduce generic Viagra in New Zealand under the name “Avigra”—an anagram of “Viagra.” “Avigra will be a fascinating experiment in branding and pricing strategy,” writes Bnet’s Jim Edwards, “and rival companies will observe it for clues as to how to compete when generic Viagra comes to the U.S. and other large regional markets.” Pfizer has also introduced a chewable form of the drug, Viagra Jet, in Mexico. (Hat tip: @AHundredMonkeys.)
Preparing for its initial public offering, the real-estate website Zillow, founded in 2005, last week applied for a Nasdaq listing under the ticker symbol “Z.” If it’s approved, it will be the first one-letter Nasdaq symbol, but not the first use of “Z” as a stock symbol. That distinction used to belong to Woolworth, the five-and-dime chain that went out of business in the US in 1997. The New York Stock Exchange has almost an alphabet’s worth of one-letter stock symbols; here’s a list. (Pandora Media has applied for P, which was last used by Phillips Petroleum.) Related: “Ticker Shock,” my 2006 post about about the value of a memorable ticker symbol.
Ford Motor Co. asked its 1.4 million Facebook fans for help in naming a new Mustang V6 performance package, and more than 3,000 of them went to work. The winning submission, “Mayhem Mustang,” came from Jeremy Marler of Charlotte, North Carolina. Unlike some companies that turn to crowdsourcing, Ford had the grace to compensate the winner: Mr. Marler will receive a three-year lease on a 2012 Mustang equipped with the Mayhem Mustang Package. (Hat tip: @WordLab.)
Why is a telephone jack called a jack? “With all the making and breaking of connections, switch-pins wore out quickly. An early improvement was a hinged two-inch plate resembling a jackknife: the ‘jack-knife switch,’ or as it was soon called, the ‘jack.’” —The Information, by James Gleick.