Major brands avoid Trump even as he promotes them from the White House

The corporate reticence underscores the tense relationship between a polarizing president and top U.S. consumer brands. The companies behind some of the president’s favorite products, including Sharpies, Big Macs and Diet Cokes, have kept him at arm’s length, even as he has lavished them with public praise and highlighted their products in the White House.

“It used to be that brands would love to get an endorsement from the president,” said Tim Calkins, who teaches marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “Now, if anything, I think these companies probably squirm a bit.”…

When President Obama visited restaurants in Washington and abroad, the companies regularly highlighted the visits on social media and some still have menu items named after him.

“It was almost like winning a Michelin star,” Powills said of the presidential visits.