Murdoch asks Bush not to read New York Times

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (UNI) In a spirited defence of actions and standing of the United States in the world, News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch has urged President George Bush not to read The New York Times.

Dismissing the title of the debate "Rebuilding Brand America: Five Suggestions for the Future President" as a "false presumption," MR Murdoch claimed that the US has a great image around the world.

Asked what advice he would give to the US President, he replied: "I would advise not to read The New York Times." Speaking on the issue at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland, Sir Martin Sorrel of United Kingdom, however, said: "The US brand still has significant leadership, but there has been a significant decline in the perception of the brand over the past few years." Sir Sorrell said market research carried out by his company WPP before WEF's annual meeting looked at the US as both a political and a corporate brand. "The report card for brand manager [President George W.] Bush is 'could do better',"he said, adding:"The relationship with the rest of the world has deteriorated." WPP is leading marketing communication company in the world.

Mr Murdoch, on the other hand, said the US provides more international aid and assistance than any other country and has a tradition of philanthropy that is simply unmatched elsewhere.

"The generosity of the Americans is amazing and most people know this," he affirmed. But what everybody needs to understand is that the world changed for the US on 9/11.

Publicis head Maurice Levy and Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Economic Development Board of Bahrain, who also participated in the panel discussion held last evening, stressed the need for the United States to be seen to be applying its traditional values.

"It should try as much as possible to apply its values universally. It will make us all play the game better," said the Crown Prince, who praised the US in guaranteeing the security of his country over the past 50 years. But nevertheless, the US role in West Asia has probably "led to some negative perception".

Levy said: "They(Americans) have lost something very important.

They have a glorious past, coloured by some decisions in recent years," adding that the turning point was Iraq. To remedy the situation, world's leading advertising agency head suggested the United States to engage more with other countries on issues such as global warming, be a "little less lonely" when making foreign policy decisions, and perhaps be more ready to accept advice from others.

Sir Sorrell said even though his market research shows that the US corporate brand is "not well liked", US companies still account for 50 per cent of the top 10 brands in China in terms of market recognition and loyalty, and in Italy the figure is only slightly lower. UNI SAA SB KP1752 .

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