Bush overrules ‘war on terror’ rebranding

When we read in The New Yorker this week that the phrase “war on terror” was being sidelined by the Bush administration in favor of the “global struggle against violent extremism,” it didn’t sound promising, branding-wise. The impetus for the change was surely sincere—a desire to shift the focus of the language from tactics to an ideology, to frame the conflict in less military terms, etc. But ditching that four-syllable phrase, and the equity it’s earned over four years, for a 13-syllable clunker? Whatever the merits, it didn’t seem like Bush’s style. It would be like changing “Got milk?” to “Do you have any dairy products?” And sure enough, it isn’t Bush’s style. We read in The New York Times this morning that the president has overruled his advisers and is continuing with the phrase “war on terror.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd