Letter: Thanks to Europe

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The Independent Online
Phyllida Barstow is overly despondent about the "dead hand of the European Union".

EU-based firms have responded by drawing attention to the national provenance of their products or the brand name. Audi has a sensationally effective "this car is German" message ("Vorsprung durch Technik"). VW has made a virtue of Germanic obsession with detail, and advertising has taught us that Beck's beer is made by the "brewmen of Bremen, Germany".

Such marketing strategies have impact for the simple reason that most people in the EU still believe in the reality of national differences. Ask Nicole and her Papa.

Professor DAVID HEAD

Department of Modern Languages

University of Northumbria at Newcastle