In a single stroke all the individual group companies, which had for so long operated under their own distinct identities, were now brought under the P&O flag. Only BI retained its original livery for the specific purpose of educational cruising.
In 1975 a comprehensive rebrand was devised placing the P&O flag at the heart of the Company’s identity. Between and within operating divisions there were visual distinctions. P&O Bulk Shipping adopted the livery of a black hull, blue funnel and white logo; for the newly-named dry cargo fleet, P&O ‘Strath’ Services, hulls were corn coloured with a lighter blue funnel and white logo.
Where trading names were jointly or partly owned, these identities were preserved. But where possible a P&O name prevailed. Following the purchase of Coast Lines in 1971, ‘P&O Ferries’ appeared, in pale blue livery, for the first time between the islands of Orkney and Shetland and later on the Irish Sea.
By the end of the seventies, the P&O flag was a familiar sight throughout the world.