Thursday, June 23, 2016

Big Brands Furious Over Propaganda Pitch

Big Brands Furious Over Propaganda Pitch

If you don’t live in the U.K., you may not be aware of a strong and concerted push by some to encourage Britain to exit the European Union. Some Brits don’t want to be taken down with what they see as a sinking ship, and they don’t want to be on the hook to help out some struggling countries, socially or economically.

The Debate on the Brexit

But now many international companies, including several based in the U.S., are saying the “Vote Leave” movement crossed a line in a recent advertising campaign. According to a letter forwarded to the home of the “Brexit” campaign, GE, Unilever, and Airbus among others sent a strongly worded letter to the campaign expressing frustration and disappointment to have found their brand names and logos listed on promotional materials distributed by the “Vote Leave” campaign.
CNN reports the letter left nothing to chance or misinterpretation: “We believe, for jobs and investment, Britain is better off in Europe…”
After that flat refusal to accept the “Vote Leave” premise, the companies demanded the Brexit group destroy any additional material with their brands represented on it, followed by a naked threat of legal action should the group hedge or delay.

Big Brands' Response to Brexit Propoganda

In separate actions, both Toyota and Nissan have demanded Brexit supporters cease using their logos in marketing materials. Toyota is considering legal action, while Nissan said their requests for removal were met with refusals.
The move may not happen fast enough to make a difference. The vote is coming on June 23, so even if the group removed the logos, Vote Leave might have all they need to help add credence to their cause, even if it’s a false support.
Even after four decades of involvement in the international agreement, Britain’s connection with other European nations has vocal critics both in and out of government. Much of the current strife is centered on immigration policy, which some believe is diluting and damaging British culture.

Brexit's Opposition Emphasize Catastrophic After Effects

Opponents of the Brexit say any move to leave the EU could create shockwaves across the British economy. Trade could suffer, as could the British pound. The arguments and assorted narratives on both sides have been spirited and constant, and those arguments could have long-term impact on British politics. While Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants the U.K. to remain part of the EU, many in his Conservative party are of the opposite opinion. While the divide may not be as sharp as the issues currently dividing American conservatives, the results could be as far-reaching.
Regardless of the decision, it’s not likely this issue is going away anytime soon. The PR battle for hearts and minds continues.
David Milberg is a seasoned financier in NYC.

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