Bush Dumps Beers As America’s Overseas Propagandist

04 March 2003

Charlotte Beers (67) was sworn in as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs on October 2, 2001. Her task: presenting a favourable public image for the USA across the rest of the globe.

Few would argue that she has succeeded, least of all her colleagues at the State Department, and Beers will quit her high profile post in three weeks, purportedly on grounds of ill health.

Beers, a former chairman both of J Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, encountered a torrent of criticism for her Shared Beliefsad campaign promoting America’s credo to Muslim nations across the globe. Some, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, refused to air the ads (by McCann-Erickson).

Although nominally toeing the 'ill health' partyline, a State Department official implanted his boot with apparent enthusiasm. “She put all her eggs in this one basket and she wasn't able to come up with anything new and vibrant,” gloated the anonymous gofer. “Our standing in the global climate continues to decrease. There have been issues with the campaign all along.”

Some observers, however, believe that Beers is simply a convenient scapegoat, pointing out that she has done no worse in this respect than the entire Bush Administration Cabinet.

Data sourced from: AdWeek.com; additional content by WARC staff