American Brands Feel Chill of Britons’ Anti-US Sentiment

21 December 2001

Havas-owned global advertising network Euro RSCG Worldwide, headquartered in New York, this week published research showing that Britons have become more distrustful of overtly American brands – although support for the war in Afghanistan remains high.

Two-thirds of British consumers, the study reports, are concerned the world is becoming too Americanised. Seventy-two per cent agreed with the statement: “Multinational corporations have grown too powerful”.

Comments Euro RSCG global director of strategy and planning Marian Salzman: “For many years after the second world war, there was a willingness to indulge America - our cars could be twice as big as yours but you'd still love us because we shared the same values.

“But Americans’ desire to be all-powerful has begun to backfire and support for all things American is beginning to run out. That has major consequences for advertisers,” Salzman warned.

The answer, she believes, lies in the growing trend for what the agency calls “glocal” brands - global companies that succeed in portraying their brands as locally relevant.

Salzman claims that non-glocal brands such as “Gap and Starbuck's suffer because they market themselves as very American”, contrasting this with the success enjoyed by Heinz and Kellogg’s in forging locally relevant brands.

She also cites McDonald's, which has adapted itself so successfully to foreign markets that consumers outside the US often believe it is a domestic company.

News source: