Wars and Boycotts, Both Fade Away

So says branding guru Jan Lindemann, who rejects suggestions that the Iraq war will spark a global backlash against U.S. products

In Quito, Ecuador, a torched Ronald McDonald statue becomes the latest victim of rage over the U.S. invasion of Iraq. All over the world, iconic American companies and brands -- Gap (GPS ), Starbucks (SBUX ), and Levi's, to name just a few -- are feeling the heat as they become the objects of anti-U.S., antiwar boycotts, and protests. In southwestern France, protestors staged a "die-in" at a supermarket, where they daubed their clothes with red paint to represent blood and laid down next to a Coca-Cola (KO ) display. Ten restaurants in Hamburg, Germany, are banning Coke, Marlboro, bourbon, and other American goods. In South India, activist groups are calling for boycotts of American tobacco, beverages, and cosmetics. Such moves are being echoed all over the world.

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