Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Anti-Americanism is a business problem

Writing in the International Herald Tribune, Keith Reinhard and Tom Miller, two PR executives, outline some of the concerns American businesses should have about the rising tide of anti-Americanism around the world:

As anti-American sentiments gather force, the U.S. business community runs the risk of seeing decades of progress in building a vibrant, interconnected global economy wither away. And global public opinion about America, already highly unfavorable before the latest shocking revelations from Iraq, is now plummeting to new depths.

To date, most American business leaders have failed to make the connection between the growth in anti-Americanism and the impact on their companies. Some say their sales continue to grow in foreign markets, while others maintain their brands are perceived to be local in origin, not American. Still others assert that consumers around the world don't mix politics with products; they just buy whatever is best.

There is some truth in all of these perspectives, but when taken together they tend to encourage complacency and a myopic view about what's really going on in the global marketplace. This is precisely the wrong time for the U.S. business community to stick its collective head in the sand.
As I said before when similar sentiments arose, Bush is toast if he loses the support of the American business community. Articles like the above suggest this could eventually happen.