Poland - a cold country of vodka and John Paul II

By bne IntelliNews February 8, 2012

bne -

Poland's failure to promote itself as a young and thriving democracy and market economy is saddling it with an international image in which it is known only for being a "cold country in Eastern Europe," populated by vodka, cheap food and clothes, Warsaw and Pope John Paul II, a new report says.

Warsaw-based think-tank Best Place - the European Place Marketing Institute finds in a new report that Poland's image abroad is "bland and full of stereotypes," reports thenews.pl. These images are out of step with the reality of a Poland that has developed a modern market economy and a young and thriving democracy, according to the repor titled "Eye on Poland", released on February 6.

At the end of November and December, the think-tank conducted a survey of international marketing experts on the image and promotion of Poland around the world. "John Paul II, Warsaw and vodka are the strongest associations connected with our country," it reported back. The survey also revealed that the respondents "identif[y] Poland as a 'cold country in Eastern Europe', which consists of two main cities - Warsaw and Krakow."

However, even that is probably better than the fully one-third of respondents to the survey who said they make no associations at all with the country, "which means that the promotion of our country's image abroad is still weak," the report continues.

On Poland's attempts to be associated with high-quality products, the report notes that "hallmarks of [Poland's] branding are 'cheapness' in construction materials, food and clothing."

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