Given its owner is the nation of Venezuela, Citgo was no doubt bound to suffer some fallout from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s worldwide anti-Bush shtick. Chavez in recent years has won a lot of exposure for himself calling President Bush “the devil” and other endearments.
But the article quotes analysts as suggesting that while 7-Eleven may not want to associate itself with Chavez’s anti-Americanism or appear to condone it, the company also has good financial reasons for choosing to launch its own brand. In the minds of Red Sox fans, though, the gigantic, iconic Citgo sign that has loomed over the Green Monster for the past four decades probably has no connection at all to Venezuela, or at least they don’t care. At night, the thousands of neon tubes inside the sign flash on and off in a pattern as soothing as a lighthouse.
It’s like a beacon, which incidentally is not far off of Beacon Street. A local Boston city councilor is suggesting getting rid of the Citgo sign, so the city can show its disapproval of Chavez. But if fans were to be even a fraction as outraged about getting rid of the Citgo sign as they were at the thought entertained by former Red Sox owners a few years ago to tear down venerable (to some people, cramped) Fenway Park, no anti-Venezuela backlash is likely to extend to the Citgo sign.
As seen before and will no doubt be seen again, “brands” often have a life totally independent of the corporations or countries that own them.