The Guy Behind Bloomberg2020.org: ‘We Know How to Do Logos’

As former New York City mayor and current billionaire Michael Bloomberg prepped a $30 million television ad buy to herald his official entrance into the presidential race, his spokesperson was fending off tweets about fake campaign signage making the rounds once again.Yes, Bloomberg is running for president. No, that viral logo isn’t his. Nor is Bloomberg2020.org, the site where the image originated—and which sells corresponding T-shirts for $20.20 a pop.Instead, they’re the creation of a New York ad agency executive named Glenn Pere, who says he's a Bloomberg supporter and mainly wanted to keep the URL in friendly hands. “We didn’t set it up to sell T-shirts, believe me,” Pere told WIRED on Friday, while also noting that nearly 2,800 had sold. “We just put it on there so people know we’re not cybersquatting.”
Bloomberg certainly isn’t the first presidential candidate to learn a hard lesson about the importance of preemptive domain name hoarding. In the 2016 election cycle, TedCruz.com, CarlyFiorina.org , JebBush.com , and ChrisChristie2016.org , among others, were all owned by someone other than their namesake—and often were used to deliver a pointed protest message.But this might be the first time that a former White House communications director was in the loop.Pere says he discovered Bloomberg2020.org was up for grabs last month, when the former mayor was still weeks from officially declaring his candidacy. “We buy Bloomberg2020.org, we build a quick website, and we put a T-shirt on that website and we also do a logo for the campaign,” said Pere, who pointed to his years of work with HBO, including on shows like Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm. “We know how to do logos.”
The internet didn’t quite agree. Weeks after it launched, Pere’s design—with its “Owning It Together” slogan and perhaps one too many “2020”s—quickly became a meme after Bloomberg filed paperwork on November 8 for Alabama’s Democratic primary. In the absence of any official campaign site or materials, traffic to Bloomberg2020.org spiked and the logo went viral, as many people assumed that it was the real thing. Faced with an escalating dunkfest, Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson took to quote-tweeting some of the most prominent participants, including the National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke, New York’s Rebecca Traister, and The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo, with the same unwavering message: “Not our website. Not our logo. Not affiliated in any way.”