American Brands Take A Beating In Pakistan

From AP:

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.

mcdonalds.jpg citibank.jpg KFC.jpg
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?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Great post, Dan.
    Should American companies be more reticent to expand overseas?
    I think if anyone needs to ask this question of themselves it’s MicroGooglehoo.
    KFC and McD’s are easy targets via there powerful and ubiquitous symbolism. But what the portals are up to in China, for instance, seems much murkier.

  2. Think Again...! says:

    I think…not the American companies but American Govenment should be more reticent to expand overseas”