Top brands 'squirm' when Trump endorses them: columnist
Donald Trump eating McDonald's fast food aboard his private jet (screengrab from the president's Instagram account)

A report from The Washington Post details how presidential endorsements have lost their prestige as brands seek not to be wrapped up in the Trump orbit.


"It used to be that brands would love to get an endorsement from the president,” Tim Calkins, a marketing teacher at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management told The Post. “Now, if anything, I think these companies probably squirm a bit.”

Calkins added, "The silence is deafening. Everybody is very nervous about how the administration might respond.”

Trump has routinely promoted his favorite American fast food brands and companies but they have been slow to engage back. The report noted that companies such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Chick-fil-a were silent once Trump promoted their food from the White House.

"The companies haven’t been quick to return the affection or attempt to cash in on the presidential product placement, with McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s all remaining silent about Trump’s endorsements," the report states.

Some brands have taken a strong stance against the president depending on their audience. Nike, for instance, saw a 10 percent sales increase in the first quarter once Trump knocked a Colin Kaepernick ad they produced.

“For companies whose consumers are more progressive, more Democratic, being called out by the president isn’t a bad thing,” Julie Hootkin, a partner at Global Strategy Group said. “It might be a really good thing.”

“It’s unfortunate that that’s what we’ve come to,” Nick Powills, CEO and chief brand strategist of Chicago-based No Limit Agency said. “No matter what, you’re at a celebration at the White House and it should be something you (promote). It’s too bad that silence is the answer.”

Read the full report below.