Take Mark Hogarth, director of Harris Tweed Hebdides, for example. In an interview published in the Times today, he says the company has been forced to “de-Scottishify” its brand image.
“We are not going to promote ourselves as a Scottish company as we would previously have done,” he says. “From everyone we spoke to in the US, the feeling came back that a serious mistake had been made in releasing Megrahi.
"His release has caused a real problem. If he had not been released we would not have altered anything. We had hoped to increase the proportion of our US sales to double digits within a year and then see double-digit growth in the year after that, but that could be seriously affected. We are quite worried.”
Jim Walker, MD of Walkers Shortbread, is also concerned – especially after receiving emails and letters from American customers saying they will no longer be buying its products. “The whole situation hasn’t done Scotland’s image on the world stage much good,” he claims.