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.

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    Subscribers get unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing and world-renowned columnists, alongside carefully curated reports and briefings from Econsultancy. Find out more.

    If you are an existing print subscriber find out how you can get access here.

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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

    Subscribers get unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing and world-renowned columnists, alongside carefully curated reports and briefings from Econsultancy. Find out more.

    If you are an existing print subscriber find out how you can get access here.

    Subscribe now