‘Brands are fiendishly complicated, elusive, slippery, half-real, half-virtual things. When CEOs try and think about brands, their heads hurt.’
Paris can induce such a severe state of shock in unwary visitors that they need to be hospitalized. In 2012 Paris was named the most desirable tourist destination, and the world's most visited city.1 Americans have been in love with Paris for centuries. Thomas Jefferson said: ‘A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.’ The Irish wit, Oscar Wilde, quipped: ‘When good Americans die they go to Paris.’ It doesn't always end so happily. So great is the reputation and expectation of Paris that the brash, bustling and often rude reality of modern Paris can induce a nervous breakdown. ‘When the idea they have of the country meets the reality of what they discover it can provoke a crisis,’ Hervé Benhamou, a psychologist, told Le Journal du Dimanche.2
Every year around 20 Japanese tourists suffer from this strange form of psychiatric shock. It was first diagnosed in 1986 by Professor Hiroaki Ota, a Japanese psychiatrist working in France. So regular has this become, that the condition has been given a name, ‘Paris Syndrome’.3 The immediate symptoms are described as giddiness and shortness of breath. Thereafter the sufferer falls into a deep depression for which the only cure appears to be repatriation to Japan. The cause according to Mario Renoux, the ...