Anti-British sentiment is now a viral contagion in the USA, thanks to BP and that liddle ol’blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
Obama has recently cooled the rhetoric, presumably after someone pointed out to him that half BP’s shareholders are American (must be a few US pensions in there as well). But that has not quelled the ardour of less sophisticated state governors with only one object in mind – re-election in November. Florida governor Charlie Crist (who is seeking election to the Senate, so the stakes are even higher) recently had to be put in his place, firmly but politely, when he came back for another sting, this time for $50m. Allegedly to support a tourism campaign in a state which has, as yet, barely suffered. BP had already coughed up $25m.
Hell, BP’s even responsible for letting convicted Lockerbie killer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi off the hook. Many American victims of the bombing believe, rightly or wrongly, that it was only due to some grubby oil deal struck by BP in Libya – and connived at by HMG – that Al Megrahi got his freedom.
It’s a toxic combination, and who better to exploit it than admen? Here’s Chrysler, courtesy of Wieden & Kennedy Portland, cashing in on the anti-Brit trend:
Yeeahs. For Brits in red coats, read Nazis (see my other post on the pioneering role played by James Mason as Rommel). While we’re there, I’m certain the Germans would have something to say about American car-building expertise. They’re less expert on the subject of freedom, though. See Pitch for more detail about the campaign.