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Patriotism questions.

It s usually great for retailers to communicate their involvement and their positions. But for the first time in our memory, a significant number of mainstream consumers are raising questions about expressions of patriotism. Several told us they didn t feel right flying flags. One told us that her family doesn t expect to celebrate July 4th this year -- another that they feel ashamed of America right now. A mother of 9- and 10-year-olds said: America s attack on Iraq looks like the kids video games and makes it hard to help them separate the thou shalt not kill commandment from America on the march.

The mix of strong feelings about this war should alert marketers to consider toning down their usual hoopla. Almost all Americans want to support our troops but a large minority feel offended by our arrogance and will be turned off by expressions of patriotism-as-usual. A full-page ShopRite ad triggered an email from a Consumer Network shopper who wrote: I can t believe they did that or that all their employees support The President s war. I thought you d want to know that I was planning to go this morning but was so turned off by their full page support for Bush s war that I m going to Acme instead.
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Publication:The Shopper Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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