Macron challenger Valérie Pécresse has used the Kärcher brand name for political purposes. The cleaning and gardening tool manufacturer is fighting back.

The German company Kärcher provides, among other things pressure washers.

The K’rcher brand is fighting for its good reputation against French politicians

The French politician Valérie Pécresse has now announced that she will “die suburbs with the Kärcher wanted to clean.

 The K’rcher brand is fighting for its good reputation against French politicians

Kärcher is opposed to the use of its name for political purposes.

That's the point

  • The French presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse wants to «clean the suburbs with the Kärcher».

  • The Kärcher brand is now resisting the use of the name for political purposes.

  • The brand name should not be associated with a misanthropic image.

  • The incident shows that the Kärcher brand has become the symbol for all pressure washers.

The French presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse wants to “clean the suburbs with the Kärcher”. Your statement is not only met with political resistance: the German cleaning and gardening equipment manufacturer Kärcher is opposed to the use of its name for political purposes.

“The Kärcher brand is not the flagship of a party, but the exclusive property of the Kärcher companies,” writes the company in a statement. The inappropriate use of the brand name is “all the more harmful” as it makes connections to “violence and insecurity”. In France, the high-pressure cleaner is considered a symbol of the fight against crime in social hotspots.

Sarkozy has already annoyed Kärcher

Pécresse is not the first politician using the name Kärcher in a political statement. In 2005, the later French President Nicolas Sarkozy said during a visit to a Parisian suburb that he wanted to “remove the scum with the Kärcher”.

Even then, Kärcher complained, as the “Süddeutsche” writes. In 2017, the company then wrote a letter to all presidential candidates to prevent terms such as “karchériser” or “karchérisation”, derived from “kärchern”, from entering political usage.

Company distances itself professionally

Last year, the company also placed large advertisements: “Kärcher wants to cleanse its name from politics”. It was of no use. That is why Kärcher has now spoken up again in a letter. The company did the right thing, says Sarah Seyr, marketing expert from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

«The brand name is used in a context that paints a misanthropic image. It is clear that the company wants to distance itself from this.” With the written request, Kärcher chose the professional path.

The company could also have launched a counter-campaign with posters and the like directed against the politicians. According to Seyr, that would be a dangerous approach: «Something like this can quickly backfire and lead to a shitstorm.»

Brand is a symbol image for high-pressure cleaners

The Kärcher brand has not yet suffered any damage to its image as a result of the statements made by French politicians. The connection between the political message and the brand is too loose for that. “It is important that the brand name is not used in such contexts for a long time,” explains Seyr.

But the incident has one good thing: it shows how strong the brand already is. “Kärcher has become a symbol for high-pressure cleaners,” says Seyr. That is the goal of every brand. Just like Tempo stands for all handkerchiefs or OB represents tampons.

This is Kärcher:

Kärcher is a manufacturer of cleaning devices and systems. The company's headquarters are in Winnenden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The family business was founded in 1935 by Alfred Kärcher in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. Today, Kärcher operates 130 companies in 73 countries and employs 13,500 people. In 2020, the company generated 2.721 billion euros.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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