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  World is "turning back" on Brand America
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Make Politics Boring Again
exnaderite
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« on: August 02, 2005, 11:16:55 pm »

Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2005 by the Financial Times/UK 
World Turning Its Back on Brand America 
by Kevin Allison in New York 
 
The US is increasingly viewed as a "culture-free zone" inhabited by arrogant and unfriendly people, according to study of 25 countries' brand reputations.

The findings, published online today, will add to concerns that anti-Americanism is hurting companies whose products are considered to be distinctly "American".

The Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index found that although US foreign policy remained a key driver of hostility, dissatisfaction with the world's sole superpower might run deeper.

"The US is still recognized as a leading place to do business, the home of desirable brands and popular culture," said Simon Anholt, author of the survey. "But its governance, its cultural heritage and its people are no longer widely respected or admired by the world."

Keith Reinhard, president of Business for Diplomatic Action, a group of business leaders dedicated to improving the US's image overseas, said help from the private sector was needed to repair Brand America.

"Right now the US government is not a credible messenger," said Mr Reinhard, chairman of DDB Worldwide, the advertising group. "We must work to build bridges of understanding and co-operation and respect through business-to-business activities."

Such initiatives could include lobbying for less stringent visa requirements for foreign students entering the US, increased cultural exchanges between US businesses and their foreign counterparts, and courses in diplomacy and foreign languages at business schools.

The US ranked 11th in the Brands Index, which asks people around the world to rate 25 countries according to their cultural, political and investment potential and other criteria. Australia received the highest overall score, with respondents expressing "an almost universal admiration of its people, landscapes and living and working environment", according to the report.

Although the US received high marks for its popular culture, it ranked last in cultural heritage, a measure of a country's "wisdom, intelligence, and integrity", according to Mr Anholt.

That the world takes a dim view of the US people will surprise most Americans themselves: the study's American respondents consistently placed the US at the top of all six categories polled.

© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2005
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Speed of Sound
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2005, 11:25:40 pm »

Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2005 by the Financial Times/UK 
World Turning Its Back on Brand America 
by Kevin Allison in New York 
 
The US is increasingly viewed as arrogant and unfriendly according to study of 25 countries.

[sarcasm]What a surprise! Shocked Shocked Shocked[/sarcasm]
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Platypus
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2005, 02:05:10 am »

whilst i'm glad to see Australia on top, i'm not overly surprised. I am, however, surprised to see the USA is as high as 11th-there must've been some seriously troublesome countries on that list. If even countries like Australia are turning against the US, and i'm afraid to say we are, you guys are doing something wrong. I know most opf you will say the USA is doing everything right and it's the fault of the rest of the world, but Australia has a similar 'evil westerner' society, we're part of the anglosphere, and we were one of only three nations involved from day 1 in the Iraq war, as well. Sure, other factors are important in this survey, but the main cause for the US's slide from popularity in the rest of the world is not a problem of your abundant natural beauty-it's your government. Your version of democracy isn't exactly looked up to by the west anymore, either.
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Gabu
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2005, 03:18:21 am »

For anyone wanting to see the full report on the rankings, it can be found here.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2005, 03:22:43 am »

...and then they all go out and buy American products anyway... Roll Eyes

The sheer amount of hypocrisy towards the U.S in a lot of other countries is just... strange... mind you the whole anti-globalisation "movement" is founded on hypocrisy... Roll Eyes
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Platypus
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2005, 03:57:36 am »

very interesting report, actually.
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ATFFL
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2005, 09:37:02 am »

For people who do not like our culture and heritage, they sure do watch an awful lot of our TV and movies. 
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MissCatholic
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2005, 10:00:49 am »

China, India and the development of other democracies that we helped established are competing on the same level now.

Its not Anti-Americanism as why are tourist figures still high?
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Platypus
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2005, 12:56:52 am »

the world strongly dislikes your government, and likes your culture...to a point.

Basically, you don't get Seventh Heaven in South Korea, but some of the action movies you will.

Parts of American culture are liked, including, as everyone keeps saying, tv and music. But in terms of the actual culture, not just the offshoots of it, America is increasingly seperating from the world-whether on it's own accord or because of the rest of the world.

60 years ago, Australia was just as religious as the USA, for example. Now, the USA is still reasonably similar with regards to religion, with the majotrity of Americans going to church etc., but Australia is totally different in that regard, with maybe 10% going to church/mosque/synagogue/whatever.

American culture is not TV and movies; it's the beliefs of the people, the heritage, and also the politics, etc. Death penalty, religion, gun ownership etc. are things the rest of the west has, by and large, moved on from, but the USA is not only keeping them, but being belligerent about it, and the rest of the world dislikes it.

I'm not saying your culture should change, although certain aspects might be improved, but I am saying that as long as your culture says the same or similar, and the rest of the west becomes more progressive, the rift will deepen.

As a side note, Australia is starting to slow down on it's progression as well, which is a little bit unfortunate I think. This may lead to closer ties with the US I suppose. Whoop.
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Jake
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2005, 01:47:36 am »

There is no reason America should jump off the bridge like everyone else. I'd rather be hated for my culture than loved for someone else's.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2005, 02:39:23 am »

the world strongly dislikes your government, and likes your culture...to a point.

More or less true, but the world doesn't know much about the former. At all.
America's biggest problem is it's failure to communicate effectivily enough really...

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Well America isn't actually a whole lot more religious than a lot of other western/industrialised countries; the difference is that the social pressure of attending church every sunday hasn't collapsed in America... one reason is actually the *lack* of state-church which has enabled the organisations of other churches to be impressivily strong.

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Yes; those things are cultural

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All of which are reasonably similer to those of the various countries that provided the immigrants to the US

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Er... no. The rest of the west rather obviously hasn't moved away from religion (not sure where you got that idea from). The death penalty has been abolished in most western countries, true, but the population in many of them wouldn't mind it being brought back and the culture of gun ownership isn't something the rest of the west has moved away from; it's something it never had.

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I don't think America has been trying to force anything like that down the rest of the west's collective throats at all... that a lot of people act is if it is says something about the sort of pathetic inferiority complex and/or jealousy towards America's power that's soooooooooo obvious with a lot of people nowadays

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Except that the rest of the west isn't especially progressive and certainly hasn't been getting more so recently. Note the %'s far right parties are polling in most western countries. In the "progressive" Netherlands the LPF ended up in Government for a while. Le Pen has the loyalties of a similer proportion of the "progressive" French electorate as the LibDems do of the British electorate. The "progressive" French population support viciously bigoted laws against minority groups (hey the Americans stopped doing that 40 odd years ago).
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WMS
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2005, 12:16:59 pm »

the world strongly dislikes your government, and likes your culture...to a point.

More or less true, but the world doesn't know much about the former. At all.
America's biggest problem is it's failure to communicate effectivily enough really...

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Well America isn't actually a whole lot more religious than a lot of other western/industrialised countries; the difference is that the social pressure of attending church every sunday hasn't collapsed in America... one reason is actually the *lack* of state-church which has enabled the organisations of other churches to be impressivily strong.

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Yes; those things are cultural

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All of which are reasonably similer to those of the various countries that provided the immigrants to the US

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Er... no. The rest of the west rather obviously hasn't moved away from religion (not sure where you got that idea from). The death penalty has been abolished in most western countries, true, but the population in many of them wouldn't mind it being brought back and the culture of gun ownership isn't something the rest of the west has moved away from; it's something it never had.

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I don't think America has been trying to force anything like that down the rest of the west's collective throats at all... that a lot of people act is if it is says something about the sort of pathetic inferiority complex and/or jealousy towards America's power that's soooooooooo obvious with a lot of people nowadays

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Except that the rest of the west isn't especially progressive and certainly hasn't been getting more so recently. Note the %'s far right parties are polling in most western countries. In the "progressive" Netherlands the LPF ended up in Government for a while. Le Pen has the loyalties of a similer proportion of the "progressive" French electorate as the LibDems do of the British electorate. The "progressive" French population support viciously bigoted laws against minority groups (hey the Americans stopped doing that 40 odd years ago).

Nice post Al. Smiley About the only thing I have to add is that on the issue of religion that most of the rest of the planet outside the west is closer to the American position than the 'progressive western' (read: secular) position. I may have to see if I can dig up a link to a fascinating bit Slate had on the graffiti in Iraq...one of the lines that struck me was one which indicated that at least some devout (but not fanatical) Muslims prefer a devout 'believer' (read: Person of the Book) such as George W. Bush to a secularist psuedo-Muslim such as Saddam Hussein. That's an angle that you don't hear about much...
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KillerPollo
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2005, 12:30:39 pm »
« Edited: August 04, 2005, 12:35:47 pm by Mexican StatesRights™ (AKA: KillerPollo) »

America is a continent, Foo!
It is a shame that a single country like the US takes credit for the whole continent. No wonder why all those nations dislike it. As for the "culture-free" zone thing, WTF is that? If it means to say "multicultural" they are right to dislike it. A homogenous society is always better than a melting pot! ask me!

and as for the ranks, We placed below Brasil??? that's IMPOSSIBLE! But hey. We're better than Russia, South Korea, or Poland! hehehe!!! 16th place. i'm surprised.
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WMS
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2005, 12:34:52 pm »

America is a continent, Foo!
It is a shame that a single country like the US takes credit for the whole continent. No wonder why all those nations dislike it. As for the "culture-free" zone thing, WTF is that? If it means to say "multicultural" they are right to dislike it. A homogenous society is always better than a melting pot! ask me!

We have 'America' in the official title for our country: United States of America. So we get to use 'American' to describe ourselves. Tongue
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ilikeverin
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2005, 12:40:32 pm »

I think that everyone on the panel who did this should join the Forum and meet some Real Actual Americans before they judge us Smiley

Especially me.  If I was the only American that people judged us on, EVERYONE WOULD LOVE US Grin
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KillerPollo
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2005, 12:47:47 pm »

I think that everyone on the panel who did this should join the Forum and meet some Real Actual Americans before they judge us Smiley

Especially me.  If I was the only American that people judged us on, EVERYONE WOULD LOVE US Grin

If i were the only Mexican ppl judge me on, THEY WOULD RESPECT US.
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David S
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2005, 12:49:40 pm »

the world strongly dislikes your government, and likes your culture...to a point.

Basically, you don't get Seventh Heaven in South Korea, but some of the action movies you will.

Parts of American culture are liked, including, as everyone keeps saying, tv and music. But in terms of the actual culture, not just the offshoots of it, America is increasingly seperating from the world-whether on it's own accord or because of the rest of the world.

60 years ago, Australia was just as religious as the USA, for example. Now, the USA is still reasonably similar with regards to religion, with the majotrity of Americans going to church etc., but Australia is totally different in that regard, with maybe 10% going to church/mosque/synagogue/whatever.

American culture is not TV and movies; it's the beliefs of the people, the heritage, and also the politics, etc. Death penalty, religion, gun ownership etc. are things the rest of the west has, by and large, moved on from, but the USA is not only keeping them, but being belligerent about it, and the rest of the world dislikes it.

It seems that the left is dedicated to accepting different cultures ...except American culture.
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Platypus
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2005, 11:18:09 pm »

David...you're not wrong.

Al-religion IS declining. Less people believe in god, not just less people go to church. Many people still call themselves Christians, for example, but don't actually follow a 'christian lifestyle' or, often, actually believe in god.

Also, whilst there is a counter-progressive right wing extreme, in most western countries, both major parties support 'socialised' healthcare, some form of governmental assistance in university education, ecological practices reform, etc.

The 'rest of the west' is either moving away from the USA, or the USA ius moving away from the rest of the west. I don't think either side can be 'blamed', but it's a fact. Issues like Iraq might cause public demonstrations, but the majority of people think differently to Americans in many respects. This trend has been exascerbated by irritation at the 'Americanization" of the world, etc., but it is a political and cultural shift.

I'll use Australia as an example again, as I know it best. It's to the right, generally, of Europe, and has many cultural ties with the US-almost all one way, admittedly. Whilst Americans still seem to love us (89% of Americans have a favourable opinion of Australia, IIRC) we are seeing an increasing number of people becoming, for lack of a better term, unAmerican. If you asked the average person on the street if America, the country not individual people, was fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, with only those choices, they'd say bad. I think you should try it in the UK, it'd be a very interesting result, I think.

I know i'm kind of waffling here, but it's hard to pinpoint why we on't like America all that much. Maybe it's their dominance in economic, military and cultural issues, maybe just the one? Maybe it's their religious exhibitionism and, as many Australians see it, crass nationalism (note-Australia is a bloody patriotic country, but we don't have the symbolism and terminology of the US). Maybe it's what some see as a lack of societal care within America and in a global sense. Whatever it is, if even countries like Australia, that is so heavily tied to America, has a similar heritage and probably forms the world's tightest alliance between itself and America, are turning against the 'land of the free', then something is going wrong.

I don't know if there is a remedy, of even if it should be remedied, but the fact is that the west and the USA are splitting apart. Whilst the US is finding some new friends, it's losing it's old ones-and they're the ones surveyed in this poll.
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Gabu
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2005, 11:21:31 pm »

If i were the only Mexican ppl judge me on, THEY WOULD RESPECT US.

No, I'm fairly sure that isn't true. Wink
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2005, 03:23:40 am »


Maybe in Australia, but not here; the decline has basically levelled off; the Census results suprised a lot of people; although they really shouldn't have been suprised.

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Compared to when? It's very hard to find out how many people believe in God; for most people it's a private matter after all. Even then, what is God? Different people have different views on that.
There's no accurate way of finding out how many people believe in God or not anywhere.

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Not really come across that much. Certainly no more common over here than in the US. O/c I don't know what you think a Christian lifestyle is.

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Never met a Christian Atheist before. I've met plenty of people with doubts, but that's always been the case and always will be the case. Even in America.

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...to an extent that's very hard for most Americans to even imagine...

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And if the American people ever got to decide, America would almost certainly have something similer; and like all the others it'd be very different to the others.

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You know the U.S Government does intervene in those areas? The problem is that funding has become a political football

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Not in a meaningful way from what I've noticed

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Not every American is George Bush

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If the world is "irritated" at "Americanization" how come the world watches their films and consumes their products with great enthusiam?
I think you seem to be confusing the liberal elites in many western countries with the bulk of the population.

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...while still consuming American products, watching American films...

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It's an absurd question though... and will be entierly influenced by recent media coverage

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I've no interested in asking people loaded questions

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Jealously is certainly the main factor

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Can't think of many people who'd be bothered about that

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No offense, but Australian nationalism can be much, much crasser than American nationalism at times... in fact every country can be extremely crass and offensive towards other countries when in nationalistic moods. Every country.

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So media misrepresentation then?

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Question; what news from America has the Australian media covered in a big way in the past... ooh... two months?

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I understand that the fashion nowadays is to claim that everything is polarised and breaking apart, but that's plain daft.
When people in the rest of the west stop watching American fims or consuming American goods then I'll take that claim (which has become pretty common among Academics) seriously.
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A18
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« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2005, 10:07:48 am »

There is no reason America should jump off the bridge like everyone else. I'd rather be hated for my culture than loved for someone else's.

^
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