Malek approached his long-time collaborator, Szu Hung Lee, then Creative Director of McCann Erikson (they won Malaysia's first gold Cannes Lion together almost a decade earlier with Malek's first entrepreneurial venture), with Business FM as a working brand. Szu was unimpressed. But what Szu proposed was much more playful, leave it simply as BFM, and let listeners decide for themselves what BFM meant to them. And so BFM, Business-Friendly Malaysia, Bribe-Free Malaysia, Bieber-Free Music, or whatever you make of it, was born.
Here's more in Malek's own words...
"Szu's first creative work was the tagline (The Business Station), and a simple, stark, black and white logo to go with it. But he then did something interesting with it - he started to play around with whimsical expressions to reinforce the letters, 'B', 'F' and 'M'. One of the earlier ones was Boyish Forty-Something Millionaires , and another was Big Fortune Movers, so you see where he was going with this.
So that was the birth of our somewhat whimsical branding campaign that play on the letters BFM. We've now put a business spin on it ('Bankers Flee Mortgages', 'Bernanke Funds Mergers', 'Bankrupt Fannie Mae'), a political spin ('Barack Foils McCain', [censored Malaysian version]), and a female perspective ('Behind Famous Men'). We also managed to incorporate the essence of BFM's brand ('Best For Money', 'Business, Finance and More') and even an anti-corruption message ('Bribe-Free Malaysian'). Then we added the various permutations on air, (and our first set was voiced by Szu himself). and they sounded good, and so, on the radio waves it went, together with visual reinforcements on the back of taxis (see pics above), polo-shirts and car stickers."