Now, more than two years into his presidency, should we consider any Trump media content as an extended infomercial?
In the Mueller Report -- a Department of Justice special-counsel report looking at the 2016 presidential election -- President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said he worked on a possible real-estate deal in Moscow for the Trump Organization. Though he did add he didn't view the potential project “as anything relevant to a campaign.”
But Cohen does recall conversations with Trump in which the candidate suggested “his campaign would be a significant infomercial for Trump-branded properties.”
A crime? Maybe to some. We know this: The President and former presidential candidate always has media and marketing on his mind -- far more than other officeholders. Business, politics or a melding of both?
Going forward, the question isn’t about presidential campaign marketing spin, but the marketing value of his businesses -- real estate condos and hotel deals -- after he departs the Oval Office.
Two years into his administration, many believe the Trump brand value has hit a rough patch.
In December, the Associated Press reported Donald Trump’s golf resorts in Scotland posted millions of dollars in losses, with one of his hotels in Panama rebranding itself a Marriott. This followed the removal of Trump's name from some buildings in New York City.
“He can be very polarizing,” says Jeff Lotman, CEO of licensing firm Global Icons, according to the report. "The brand has been diminished." New York brand consultant Robert Passikoff says: “The Trump brand has lost its mojo.”
Early this year, the Trump Organization pulled the plugged on two new U.S. hotel chains because of the political climate for the Trump brand.
Though the Trump Organization is a private company, Trump's presidency has yielded much public scrutiny for the family business — and not only by federal and state investigations.
What will the brand's name value be two or four years from now for money-seeking investors and potential hotel customers?