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When satire is serious: how political cartoons impact a country's brand


Kirk Plangger, Simon Fraser University, Segal Graduate School of Business, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver, Canada.



This article examines the case of Italy's Mr. Berlusconi's indiscretions and the effect his scandals have played in the decline of the Italian national brand. National brands are the perceived added value that international consumers place on that country and its products and services. An analysis of recent political cartoons will provide insight into international attitudes regarding Mr. Berlusconi's political and social actions. From this investigation, the authors conclude that a country's political leader's negative image and reputation can have a large negative impact on national brand equity abroad. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.