Just a view on Donald Trump. Brand Scotland is sold around the world, with lots of financial support by Visit Scotland et al, as mountains, lochs, dolphins in the sea, wildlife, pure water cascading off hillsides and into the distilleries of our famous product etc. On top of this you have the Scottish Government's plans for sustainable energy production, a non nuclear Scotland, both in energy and weapons.
That is the brand identity, that is what brings the tourists, fills the hotels. That is what generates investment and the image that sells our exports. In the ecologically aware world of 2007 and beyond that is what drives development. A perfect global image, perfect branding.
If my memory is correct the week of the 2007 G8 in Germany, where the main theme again was climate change and environmental protection,. the image the Scottish media flashed around the world was of a private airliner landing at Aberdeen airport with the word Trump emblazoned along the side. The despair of the inappropriateness.
What is the media message? American billionaire lands in Scotland in private plane wanting to build on unspoilt coastline, which is site of special scientific interest, probably also one of the views of brand Scotland.
If Scotland was a fashion house, a cosmetics company or a luxury car manufacturer there would be outrage, litigation and lawsuits. In modern commerce protection of brand integrity is paramount. Scotland is £ multi billion per year brand perfectly positioned to maximise on the shift in global trends.
Yet one foreign businessman is being allowed to potentially risk the entire integrity of brand Scotland. A potential short term financial gain is one small part of the country has the ability to drag the rest of Scotland down. Scotland could haemorrhage tourism revenues and investment. What is bad for Scotland, is bad for Perthshire, is bad for Blairgowrie.
Hopefully the tourist boards and associations, the Scottish Government and anyone who has aspirations for the future of Scotland will consider the real damage Trump could do to brand Scotland. That’s a $ 1 billion piece of advice to Blairgowrie for free.