Putin and the brand of the authoritarian strongman

This week, politics took a turn for the surreal as US President Trump kowtowed before Russian President Putin in Helsinki.

What is the allure of Putin? And why are we witnessing the proliferation of authoritarian leaders around the world?

Looking behind the headlines, I saw unmistakable corollations between politicians like Putin, and powerful brands. Drawing this comparison enabled me to explain our irrational attraction to people who exude control and powerful decisiveness, even when we know that these politicians – like the brands of cigarettes, junk food and alcohol – are ultimately going to harm us.

I went on CFAX Radio the day of the Helsinki bombshell, and chatted about the connection between powerful brands and authoritarian strongmen. Enjoy!

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