German Siemens With Its Shady Reputation Should NOT Be THE Major Sponsor Of Disney Epcot!

Click to ENLARGE. Use link at left for yesterday’s ‘overview’ post.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013...


Anura Guruge

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I don’t think I could be accused of being wrong if I assert that Disney World is an epitome of ‘Americanism‘ and that Disney World stands for all that is right, glorious and magical about being American.

Disney, quite rightly, goes to great lengths to promote its Americanism and twice during our sojourn through the Magic Kingdom I heard commentary, accurate at that, of Walt’s patriotism and his indelible love of American Life.

So, I was shocked to the core, saddened and distressed when we visited Disney World Epcot and found the the iconic Globe, ‘Spaceship Earth‘ that deals with the evolution of human communications and the Nighttime illumination cum fireworks spectacular, ‘IllumiNations’, is sponsored and FEATURES, German, scandal-ridden Siemens!

That is NOT right.

To me that was a resounding slap in the face.

Yes, I am sure that 93% of those visiting Epcot will not even notice because Siemens has little to NO name or brand recognition in the U.S.

Let me please throw some names at you: IBM, Intel, Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, GE, Honeywell. Now lets add Siemens to that mix. Does it even compare?


Click to read about the despicable, 12-year sponsorship deal with Epcot.

Click to read about the despicable, 12-year sponsorship deal with Epcot.

I take umbrage to this sponsorship deal on 4 points:

1. Siemens, at best, is a 2nd-tier ‘technology’ company; it is an engineering entity not known for innovation and is NOT in the same league as megastars like IBM, Cisco, Intel, Apple, Google …

2. Having been actively involved in ‘communications’ since 1974 I cringed going through the ‘Spaceship Earth’ exhibit BECAUSE Siemens was NEVER a big player in communications, and as such when we got to 1970s and the ‘modern era’ of electronic communications we had to endure generic displays of computers and networks because Siemens is NOT a player and never was.

3. Siemens is very much a German company known for its tight collaboration with the Nazis — even thought to be responsible for building gas ovens!

4. Siemens is plagued by corruption!

It is NOT a wholesome company, à la IBM or any of the U.S. biggies, that YOU want associated with Disney.

Here are some exhibits:


Wikipedia entry for Siemens DOMINATED by the CONTROVERSIES.


Click to access original … Google ‘Siemens and Nazi’ to be FLOORED!


Siemens is synonymous with BRIBERY and corruption. Click to access ‘New York Times’ coverage or Google ‘Siemens and bribery’ to be SHOCKED!

OF COURSE, there had to have been BRIBERY!
Siemens wouldn’t know how to conduct business otherwise.
So who was bribed at Disney?

I am calling upon the ‘Feds’ in the broadest terms to PLEASE investigate.

I would like a Congressional Hearing on this PLEASE.

This is not right.

Leaving Epcot, after the fireworks on Thursday night, I saw ‘Siemens’ projected on the Globe.
I nearly choked.
As far as I am concerned they might as well have projected a swastika!
This is WRONG. This is scandalous.
This is so Un-American. This is so Un-Disney.
I am sure Walt, in his frozen state, would still agree with me.

The Disney contract must have an ‘unwholesome’ clause.
Now that they have been convicted in 2008 …
use that clause to pull out of this despicable sponsorship. 

Please help me put this right.

I want Epcot to be sponsored by the likes of IBM, Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, eBay …

Is that unreasonable?

Click the IMAGES to ENLARGE.

1 thought on “German Siemens With Its Shady Reputation Should NOT Be THE Major Sponsor Of Disney Epcot!

  1. llamadojorge

    Hey Anura, although your post has been out here for a while I think you got a little carried away by patriotism and I wanted to answer to some of your issues with Siemens as a Sponsor of Disney World. Let me add a disclaimer first: I have never had anything to do with Siemens except being a user of their products here and there. My answer has nothing to do with patriotism on my part, either, although I am a German national. Patriotism is something most of my generation (born 1968) is deeply suspicious of in Germany, a lesson we learnt from our history I guess. My main motivation is that I think you weren’t quite fair in your post.

    For starters, Siemens is not a “second tier” engineering company. With 340.000 employees, 750 subsidiaries and associated companies and a turnover of 72 billion Euro (80 billion USD, 14 billion in the US alone, two more than in their native Germany!) it is the sixth biggest company in Germany and not even small by US standards. In fact, if it were on the Fortune 500 list, it would easily outrank your champions Cisco, Facebook, Google, Honeywell and Intel by revenues. And, regarding the share of revenues by country, except for the HQ being in Munich instead of Dallas or Chicago, Siemens today is more American than German.

    Secondly, you say the company is not known for innovation – yet the US Patent office has more than 56.000 patents on file for Siemens, which again outranks all of the above except Intel.

    The problem seems to be that you don’t (knowingly) interact with their products. Siemens’ electricity generators rotate in many power plants around the world, lots of energy switchboards and transmission technology comes from Siemens, the company produces trains and rail automation systems, if you’ve ever got a MRT chances are it was a Siemens machine, and if you look at buildings with lots of automated stuff going on – well, Siemens does that, too. Siemens has also been manufacturing ATMs, phones, telephone systems and computers. In fact, I’m writing these lines looking at a monitor with the brand name Fujitsu-Siemens (which does not belong to Siemens any more, but you get the jist). So, while maybe the company might not have been a big player in communications in the US (something I can’t judge), it certainly was in Europe. Your assertion that Siemens has “never” been involved in communications, computers and networking is demonstrably false.

    With regard to Siemens’ role in the Third Reich you are absolutely correct, though. They were complices in evil atrocities, all the while making lots of money. But you know what? So was IBM. Does that make Siemens better? Nope. It just puts one of your “megastars” into perspective.

    Regarding rampant corruption inside Siemens you are again right: apparently the company used a very elaborate system of secret accounts and illegal payments to decision makers the world over to secure business. Today, Siemens claims to have cleared up their act and several of the highest executives have been found guilty and sentenced to prison or hefty fines.

    But again: is Siemens the only company guilty of that? Take the case of IBM bribing officials at the argentine Banco Nación in the 1990s to secure an order to install new computers at the entity. Seven IBM employees in Argentina went to prison for that. Or the case of the SEC accusing General Electric of repeated bribery in the “oil-for-food” scandal with Iraq, later settled for a fine. Cisco has also been accused of bribery in India and Russia in the past four years. Even Disney apparently has bribed Chinese officials to get a bigger share of the limited number of foreign movies allowed to be aired in the country. And these are only a couple of cases I was able to bring up with a few searches on Google. I guess if you look closely, every big company has one or more skeletons in their closet. Even the bright, shiny American ones. That doesn’t make Siemens better. And I think every company should be held accountable.

    I probably won’t change your feelings about Siemens sponsoring Disney’s beloved dream land. But maybe I can raise a little doubt about the magic of Americanism and the star spangled awesomeness of its protagonists vs the evil that lurks abroad. The world clearly isn’t that easy.

    PD: If you are comfortable with contrasting your views with that of other’s, take a look at this Forbes arcticle.


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