Led by conservatives, Americans overwhelmingly see Mexico as a source of problems for the U.S.
Results offer context for meeting next week between Obama and Mexico's President-elect
Nov. 20, 2012
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A first-of-its-kind study, the results of which were released today, underscores the troubled state of the Mexico brand in the U.S. and points to drug violence as the overwhelming driver of those impressions.
The national survey, conducted last month among 1,000 U.S. adults via YouGov and jointly released today by strategy consultancy Vianovo and leading advertising agency GSD&M, reveals that half of all Americans have an unfavorable opinion of
, only 17% view its economy as modern, and more than 7 in 10 believe it is unsafe for travel.
The negative views of
appear to be almost exclusively driven by drug-related violence, with 72% citing it as the main reason for their opinion. Asked to give three words that come to mind when they think about
, almost half of respondents mentioned "drugs" as one of their top-of-mind associations. The resulting word cloud is a dramatic illustration of how the drug war has affected Americans' attitudes toward
Enrique Pena Nieto
whose image has been battered by the drug violence," said
, founding partner at Vianovo. "But with a growing middle class and strong GDP growth,
has an opportunity to expand the focus of the relationship beyond security to include immigration, trade and economic issues —to the benefit of both nations."
Given these results, it's not surprising that 59% of Americans see
more as a source of problems for the U.S., compared to only 14% who say the country is a good partner and neighbor. This result is especially lopsided among self-identified conservatives, with almost 80% seeing
as a source of problems.
"Despite these survey results, there's great opportunity to build the Mexico brand in the U.S.," said
, GSD&M's CEO. "
has many positive economic and cultural stories to tell, but changing perceptions will take a concerted effort in both the U.S. and
Enrique Pena Nieto
will meet next week with U.S. President Barack Obama, a vital next step in the U.S.-
See the full survey
Vianovo is a boutique strategy consultancy that specializes in high-stakes brand, policy and crisis issues. Vianovo helps companies and causes position their brands, move public opinion, win advocacy battles and access new markets. The firm has offices in
and Mexico City. For more information, visit
GSD&M is an advertising agency headquartered in
. With a restless culture and
as a guiding force, GSD&M builds brands with an integrated creative and media approach. GSD&M is part of Omnicom Group, Inc. (NYSE:OMC). For more information, go to
SOURCE Vianovo, L.P.