Meghan and Prince Harry are carving out a following while they continue to build their brand in their post-royal life. But, in the process, they are alienating more than 40 percent potential fans by taking a stance on the US election as well as other topics that “don’t sit well with Americans who are Trump fans”, according to brand and reputation management expert Eric Schiffer.
The expert told Express.co.uk: “That is like asking for a war with a part of America at a time when they want to build their brand and create a level of interest as producers and as entertainment creators.
“There is no logic to create a partnership brand by in essence attacking the President and suggesting that people need to vote so that there is a reduction in hateful speech.
“That’s a dog whistle to anyone that says ‘get Republicans out’.
“So the liberals and moderates that don’t like the Trump Administration will take kindly to it.
“But Republicans will see Meghan and Harry as part of the out-of-touch celebrity elite or those actors that are suddenly primadonnas of Hollywood and now want to pontificate about politics.”
According to the updated average of 2020 presidential general election polls by FiveThirtyEight, Mr Trump is trailing behind Democrat candidate Vice President Joe Biden by 10.1 points.
This analysis shows the US President counts approximately 42 percent of US voters among his following.
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Mr Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, acknowledged the Sussexes’ decision to alienate part of the US voters may not be collateral damage but part of a strategy already embraced by other brands.
He said: “There is absolutely a movement among many brands to be principled to nature – so Meghan and Harry are emphasising they are following their principles and they are going to carve out a unique following devoted to them and they don’t care if they alienate a certain portion of people.”
Meghan and Harry have never openly backed US President Mr Trump or his Democrat opponent Mr Biden.
However, US and British commentators argued the couple did step into the political realm by speaking about voter registration and urging people to reject hate speech and misinformation ahead of the elections.
Meghan joined several virtual summits to highlight the importance to cast a ballot this year on November 3 and has called the upcoming election “the most important of our lifetime.”
The Duchess also spoke in no uncertain terms about Mr Trump ahead of his election in 2016, branding the tycoon “divisive” and “misogynistic” on TV.
The US President himself took on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s appearances focused on the upcoming vote.
Asked by a reporter during a press conference for his response after the Sussexes had “essentially encouraged people to vote for Joe Biden” in a clip recorded for the ABC’s Time 100 special, Mr Trump said: “I’m not a fan of hers.
“She probably has heard that.
“But I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it.”
A member of the House of Representatives took a stance against the Sussexes and asked the British Government to prevent the couple from “interfering” with US politics.
In a letter addressed to the British ambassador in Washington, Jason Smith, who represents Missouri’s 8th congressional district, wrote: “By allowing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to retain their titles, and these political comments to continue, the British Government is effectively condoning interference in the 2020 United States Presidential Election from officials at the highest level of the British establishment.”
He added: “As you know, the British Royal Family has long observed a policy of strict neutrality in regard to political matters.
“I am therefore concerned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent comments regarding the United States Presidential Election, especially given international conversations surrounding foreign interference in our election and the Duke’s status as a guest of the United States.
“These actions represent a serious breach of the British Royal Family’s policy of political neutrality and an inappropriate act of domestic interference by one of our closest allies.”