Thousands rampaged through two cities Tuesday in Pakistan’s worst violence against Prophet Muhammad caricatures, burning buildings housing a hotel, banks and a KFC, vandalizing a Citibank and breaking windows at a Holiday Inn and a Pizza Hut.
At least two people were killed in Lahore, where intelligence officials suspected outlawed Islamic militant groups incited the violence to undermine President Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s U.S.-allied government.
These are very powerful images, and in today’s world of instantaneous communication, they’re hard to put into context. But as globalism becomes more prevalent, some powerful brands leave themselves vulnerable, particularly if they’re American. And that’s despite the fact that the original cartoons that upset Muslims were printed in Denmark. How did KFC, McDonalds, etc, become targets for protests? Is there such as thing as too much branding? Should American companies be more reticent to expand overseas?