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Buzby in a car
In the run-up to privatisation, Post Office Telecommunications adopted a yellow cartoon bird called Buzby as part of a marketing campaign, which was carried on when the company was renamed British Telecom in 1980.
Shown here performing what is now an illegal act, Buzby stirred up strong feelings, especially among those who bore an animus against BT. These included pirate radio operators, who nicknamed the radio detection agents that tracked them down 'Buzbies'. Buzby was retired in 1985, but is set to be re-employed in 2012 by BT as an Olympic brand ambassador.
As a teenager, the editor of ZDNet UK created an experimental Prestel page in 1983 with an animated block graphic of the blessed bird and a cordial invitation to join the Buck Fusby Fan Club. He was thrown off the system about a week later, the event that led to his employment at Micronet 800 by the equally mischievous editor David Babsky. One travel agent who had to use Prestel in her work said it was the only thing she'd ever seen on the system that gave her pleasure.
Image credit: BT
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