Advertising bosses join US taskforce to help image abroad

Advertising heavyweights have joined a taskforce to help the US improve its image around the world. Members of the taskforce include: the DDB network chairman, Keith Reinhard, the Grey New York president, Steve Blamer, and Tim Love, the vice-chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide.

"America is a good brand, but a brand that is losing friends around the world. We believe that this is a business issue," Reinhard said.

Reinhard told the Association of National Advertisers conference that foreigners view Americans as arrogant and that they often fear that American brands are taking over from local ones.

He added that the war in Iraq had worsened tensions between the US and other countries.

The new group, using the working title of Taskforce to Mobilise American Business for Public Diplomacy, also includes marketing chiefs from leading American brands such as McDonald's, American Airlines and Warner Brothers.

The taskforce will focus on developing programmes to help change perceptions of America and stem the negative impact on business, rather than creating advertising.

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