Tag Archives: reputation

Trump gets rock-bottom ratings in international survey

A new multi-nation survey finds that confidence in Donald Trump’s ability to manage foreign policy should be become U.S. president is rock-bottom in a host of countries in Europe and Asia.

In seven of 15 countries outside of the U.S. polled by Pew Research Center, Trump’s ratings are in the single digits. Large majorities in 11 of the countries have little or no confidence in the prospective Republican presidential nominee ability to manage international affairs. That includes 92 percent of Swedes, 89 percent of Germans and 82 percent of Japanese.

He polls best in China, where there is a split between 40 percent who have no confidence in Trump and 39 percent who do not offer an opinion. Trump, who has advocated trade protectionism and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States, records his highest ratings in Europe among supporters of political parties that are anti-immigration or oppose European integration. But even among those poll respondents, his confidence ratings remains below one-third.

The survey, which examines international attitudes toward the U.S., gauged opinions from 20,132 people in Canada, the United States, 10 nations in Europe and four in the Asia-Pacific between April 4 and May 29.

Hillary Clinton fares much better. A median of 59 percent in Europe have confidence in the Democratic contender — compared with just 9 percent for Trump. She also gets positive marks in Canada, Australia and Japan, although views are mixed in China, where 37 percent say they have confidence in Clinton and 35 percent say they do not.

Pew said that in many of the countries where polling trends were available, views of former secretary of state have improved significantly since 2008 when she was running for the Democratic nomination against Barack Obama. She shows double-digit increases in Japan, Britain, Germany and China.

But her ratings today are still lower than Obama’s. In all countries surveyed other than Greece, half or more of those polled express confidence in the U.S. president. That includes more than 80 percent in Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Australia.

The survey found that the standing of the United States as the world’s leading economic power has recovered since the 2008 global financial crisis. As China’s once-astronomical growth rates have slowed, the percentage of Europeans naming China as the leading economic power have declined.

China’s favorability ratings have also declined since last year in six of the 11 nations where trends are available, Pew said.

The countries surveyed were Canada, the U.S., Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, France, Britain, Spain, Greece, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Australia, Japan, China and India. The margin of error varies among the countries, but ranges between 3.2 and 4.7 percentage points.

Celebrity-store partnerships run risks

When big-name celebrities pair up with big businesses, customers often believe the adage: You are the company you keep.

Rap artist Jay-Z is learning that firsthand. He has complained recently that he was unfairly “demonized” for not backing out of his collaboration with Barneys New York after the luxury retailer was accused of racially profiling two black customers.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has said he’s waiting to hear all the facts. Meanwhile, Barneys said in late October that its initial investigation showed no employees were at fault in the two incidents in which customers complained that they were detained by police after making expensive purchases.

The controversy illustrates the problems that can arise when celebrities and companies team up. 

The deals are lucrative: Companies like having big names on their roster and celebrities are always looking to expand their brand. Revenue in North America from celebrity merchandise lines, excluding products linked to athletes, was a $7.8 billion business last year, according to figures available from trade publication Licensing Letter.

But when either side is accused of wrongdoing, the negative publicity can cause damage to the other’s reputation.

“It literally shows you how vulnerable the celebrity business is on both sides of the equation,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at The NPD Group, a market research group.

More often, it’s the celebrities — not the stores — who are accused of bad behavior. 

Late last year, for instance, Macy’s was pressured by some customers to dump real estate mogul Donald Trump’s line of $65 power ties after the billionaire verbally attacked President Barack Obama on social media following his re-election. One customer collected close to 700,000 signatures on a petition website signon.org. Macy’s stood by Trump.

Another example: home maven Martha Stewart. After being convicted on federal criminal charges of lying to prosecutors about a stock sale, she served a five-month prison sentence that ended in 2005. Kmart, which sold her towels and kitchen accessories until 2009, continued to carry her line.

But experts say that the subject of race can stir up even more emotions, so there’s less tolerance for slip-ups.

“Everybody wants to be fair minded and not make generalizations about a group,” said Marty Brochstein of the Licensing Industry Merchandising Association, a trade group.

Celebrity chef Paula Deen’s empire, which spanned from pots to TV shows, began to unravel in June, within days of the public disclosure of a legal deposition in she admitted under oath to having used the N-word to describe black employees.

In addition to losing TV shows and book deals, Deen lost valuable partnerships when Target and other retailers said they’d no longer sell her products. 

Until now, Michael Stone, CEO of brand licensing agency Beanstalk, says it’s been the norm for personalities to have moral clauses in contracts that let merchants back out.

But Stone, who has reviewed 100 celebrity contracts, says he hasn’t seen it the other way.

For Jay-Z’s part, in late October he was facing significant pressure from an online petition and Twitter messages from fans to cut his ties to Barneys. 

Barneys is starting to selling items this month by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity. Jay-Z is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.