Turns out the product will remain in Kraft’s Vegemite line, but will be renamed. That’s reasonable.

However, Kraft says that it has culled a short list from names submitted during the contest and will–wait for it–conduct a survey and choose whatever the public tells them to.

Again, instead of evaluating these name options on a set of relevant criteria that affects how well the brand name will perform in the marketplace, they’re just going to leave it to whatever the public likes.

“Rest assured, Kraft’s hands are off it,” spokesman Simon Talbot told the Brisbane Times. “The public can have their say and it won’t have anything to do with us.”

This reeks of “we just want this problem to go away,” but still I’m dumbfounded that a company the size of Kraft would so completely relinquish its opportunity to create this brand.

Although Kraft isn’t saying which names will be voted on, there’s a short list on its Web site with names some believe are front runners:

Golden Mite
Wow Chow
Moo in Mud
Vegemite blonde

If I were Kraft, I’d want this problem to go away, too. But now it appears the company is going to live with this branding mistake for the lifetime of the product.