In the News

The Next 18 Months Are Going to Be Politically Anti-Business; Here's What Brands Should Do



Yesterday, August 23, marked the first major national moment of the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Looking ahead, Stagwell’s Risk and Reputation Unit expects the next 18 months are going to be politically anti-business – compounded by a fraught calendar filled with potential flashpoints for brands. Ongoing reputational crises make it clear: you need to have your house in order, as your brand could be next on the attack list amongst a wide audience of engaged Americans.


Americans Don’t Believe Economic Reporting 

  • 59% say current economic conditions are being misrepresented due to the upcoming election cycle 
  • 53% say the media and news sources discuss the economy inaccurately 
  • 60% say the economy isn’t as good as the new sources make it to be 

(The Harris Poll, America This Week Wave 179) 

Past Election Cycle Suggests Future Risk Ahead 

  • Disney’s trended average political split between Republicans and Democrats went from a nominal 2.6 points in 2019 to highly polarized 19.3 points in 2023 during its legal battle with Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis
  • Nike’s political split went from 4.3 in 2019 to 16.3 in 2022 – the most divisive company that year – after the “Satan Shoes” controversy with their Lil Nas X partnership 
  • Twitter’s political split went from 13 points Democrat favor in 2022 to 11 points Republican favor in response to Musk’s takeover

(2023 Axios Harris Poll 100) 

Politics Create Brand Dissonance 

  • 82% of all Americans say companies are becoming more political than ever 
  • 71% aren’t interested in supporting companies that have become too political, regardless if they agree with their stances 
  • 78% wish their preferred brands would stay out of politics 

(The Harris Poll, July 2023) 


As featured this week in PRovoke, Stagwell’s Risk and Reputation Unit’s bipartisan team of political, financial, and public opinion specialists will prepare brands for the grueling ongoing political cycle and polarized society.

The Unit brings together experts from left-of-center strategic advisory SKDK, right-of-center digital-first agency Targeted Victory, financial communications firm Sloane & Company, insights and research firm The Harris Poll, and Stagwell’s corporate leadership.

This fall, we will host three in-person luncheon briefings for business leaders aimed at unpacking what the next 18 months hold and how brands should prepare themselves. Dates are as follows:

  • NEW YORK: September 13, 2023   
  • WASHINGTON, D.C.: September 20, 2023 
  • CHICAGO: September 27, 2023   

To request a seat at our events, receive a consultation about the risks your brand faces, or join the mailing list for future updates, please reach out to  



Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail
Post Thumbnail


Sign Up