The political term “charm offensive” probably borrows from the earlier political term “peace offensive,” meaning an active movement (or “offensive") aimed at achieving peace. In 1952, an Illinois newspaper’s editorial declared, “The Russians apparently are attempting a charm offensive.” In 1956, U.S. General Alfred M. Gruenther said that after the “launching of the Russian charm offensive there is danger of the democracies relaxing their vigilance.”
The term “charm offensive” has grown past its cold war beginnings and is now often used to describe nations, politicians and companies who try a strategy that openly displays charm and friendliness.
Wiktionary: charm offensive
charm offensive (plural charm offensives)
1.a campaign of deliberately using charm and flattery in order to achieve some goal; especially in a political or diplomatic field
(Oxford English Dictionary)
peace offensive n. an active movement or campaign directed towards the achievement of peace.
1917 Times 30 Jan. 7/1 The unkind references to President Wilson in the above message‥seem to indicate that the next great peace offensive may be made through Madrid.
1952 Ann. Reg. 1951 321 China‥publicly supported the various manifestations of the Soviet ‘peace offensive’.
18 July 1952, Rockford (IL) Register-Republic, “Soviet Salve” (editorial), pg. 2B, col. 2:
The Russians apparently are attempting a charm offensive. They seem to want to create the impression that they “ain’t made at nobody”, and that good. wholesome fun is important to them.
The societs have entered the Olympic comeptition for the first time in history. Although they put a wire fence around the quarters oftheir athletes in Helsinki, they soon opened it up, and now the Russians seem to be friendly as can be toward the competitors from the non-red world.
19 September 1956, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “General Sees Critical Eye” (AP), pg. 2, col. 5:
Gruenther warned, though, that after the “launching of the Russian charm offensive there is danger of the democracies relaxing their vigilance.”
(General Alfred M. Gruenther—ed.)
5 December 1956, New York (NY) Times, pg. 7:
Back from a trip to Europe, William Randolph Hearst, Jr., editor-in-chief of the Hearst newspapers, said here yesterday that the Hungarian situation had apparently put an end to the Soviet “charm offensive” in Europe.
5 November 1968, New York (NY) Times, pg. 16:
A Western diplomat called the Viet Cong’s choice “part of their charm offensive.”
Google News Archive
17 November 1985, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), “On Language: Summitspeak: definitions critical” by Wiliam Safire, pg. 11E, col. 5:
What are our characterizations of their proposals? One-sided is a favorite, usually accompanied by taking unfair advantage, part of the charm offensive unless they are part of the general stonewalling; ...
New York (NY) Times
The Malta Summit: Notes on Malta; Presidents, Producers and Purveyors Converge in a Siege to End All Sieges
By MAUREEN DOWD, Special to The New York Times
Published: December 02, 1989
A White House official also pointed out that Colonel Qaddafi has been ‘’engaged in a charm offensive to try to portray himself as a moderate.’’
OCLC WorldCat record
Time for a Charm Offensive
Author: J Simpson
Publication: SPECTATOR -LONDON- WEEKLY- 270, no. 8589, (1993): 18
Database: British Library Serials
OCLC WorldCat record
Charm offensive : how China’s soft power is transforming the world
Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©2007.
Edition/Format: Book : English
On a charm offensive, Romney speaks to reporters, offers cookies, shows pictures of grandson
Article by: PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press
Updated: May 18, 2012 - 2:31 PM
PALM BEACH, Fla. - Mitt Romney is on a charm offensive.
He took reporters’ questions after a campaign rally Thursday instead of keeping them at bay. He brought them warm chocolate chip cookies for the flight from Jacksonville to Palm Beach, Fla. After he got off the plane, he walked over to show reporters a picture of his 5-year-old grandson, Parker.
New York magazine
5/31/12 at 7:48 AM
Grading Goldman’s Charm Offensive
By Kevin Roose
Time was, Goldman Sachs didn’t care about being hated. The world’s most powerful investment firm didn’t need to be popular in Peoria, it reasoned, since ordinary people didn’t do business with it anyway. That’s all changing now with an image-rehab campaign run by Goldman PR boss and former Geithner spokesman Jake Siewert, building on work that began under his predecessor Lucas van Praag.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, June 02, 2012 • Permalink