Cartoon crisis ‘will not damage Danes’

The furore over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper will do more damage to the country’s national brand than the individual companies currently facing boycotts, according to a leading brand consultant.

Chief operating officer at Interbrand John Allert believes the storm will blow over for the likes of Arla Foods and Lego, but that Denmark could see more serious damage to its reputation as a whole in the long term.

The cartoons were first published in Denmark’s biggest selling newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September and have since been reproduced in newspapers across Europe.

The crisis has cost Arla more than &£50m so far. The Middle East is a &£300m a year market for Arla but in some countries sales have fallen to zero and it had to send home 170 employees across Denmark last week due to the impact of the reduced sales.

Allert says: “Arla needs to batten down and wait for the crisis to blow over, which it will. I don’t think the damage to brands like Lurpak is likely to be sustained because it dominates the market [in the Middle East].

“But there are many sectors of the market that view countries as branded propositions. The Danish national brand will certainly be tarnished,” he adds.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here