Featured Articles

Widget by Blog Godown

Thursday

Youtube Undercover Buzz Agent Exposed

A pretty blonde woman nervously stares at the camera and begins speaking.

"I'm not a stalker, I'm not crazy," she says। She then earnestly tells
a story about meeting a guy in a cafe and chatting him up before he
took off - leaving his jacket behind. She then apparently decided to
use YouTube to help her track down her modern-day Prince Charming. A heartwarming story? Sure. Except for one problem: it was all a hoax.

This wasn't a hoax put on by the blonde girl herself (real name
Heidi Hardy). Although it would have been mildly interesting if she had
turned out to be some attention-starved faker, that was not the case.
Instead, Heidi was a model/actress hired for a campaign led by
marketing group Naked Communications. The product being slyly sold was menswear - just like the jacket she claimed belonged to her mystery man.






Going by the numbers, the campaign was a success. Within four days, more than 60,000 people had watched the video.
Today, the number of views is over 150,000. But did the hoax actually
help the company market their product? Or did it just leave people with
a bad taste in their mouth after being taken in by the hoax?

Top 25 Censored Stories 2009

How to Read a Newspaper

How to Read a Newspaper for National and International News

To take command of the way the mass media influence your thinking about the world, you must learn how to see through their biases and appreciate dissenting as well as mainstream points of view. Only then can you come to well-reasoned conclusions using a balanced approach. At present, few people have developed the skills to do this.

  • interpret events from the perspective of multiple views
  • find multiple sources of thought and information, not simply those of the mass media
  • identify the viewpoints embedded in news stories
  • mentally re-write (reconstruct) news stories through awareness of how stories are told from multiple perspectives
  • assess news stories for their clarity, accuracy, relevance, depth, breadth, and significance
  • identify contradictions and inconsistencies in the news (often in the same story)
  • identify the agenda and interests served by a story
  • identify the facts covered and the facts ignored in a news story
  • identify the points of view systematically presented in a favorable light and those presented in an unfavorable light

Wednesday

New practice: murketing

murketing

n.
A form or marketing where the product or service is not mentioned or shown. [Blend of murky and marketing.]

murketer n.

"I, unlike the DMA and 21st Century MUrketing [sic], realize that
mutual consent is a requirement for economic transactions in a free
society regardless of attempts to characterize those transactions as
speech."

—Joe Moore, "MEDIA: Rebuttal from 21st Century Marketing in DMNews.com," news.admin.net-abuse.email, December 7, 1999

Monday

Six “Weapons of Influence” check list

Ad Creep Hits the Bike Lanes

bastards

from treehugger:

"We have complained before about ad creep, how the public
realm is being taken over by private marketers. I don’t know if I
should be happy or sad that the Egg Farmers of Canada have determined
that there are enough cyclists in London, Ontario that they want to pay
to advertise to them by painting ads onto bike lanes."

Tuesday

Dude, Where’s My Advertising? 10 Disturbing Trends in Subliminal Persuasion

Some of the biggest advertisers are taking their advertising away from full page ads and television spots and spending up on hidden persuasion. You won't find these secret messages in ice-cubes or flickering film footage like they were in the sixties. Subliminal advertising has gone mainstream - fake news, mind control scripts, propaganda and stealth voicemail are in wide use by corporations, government bodies, and industry groups. Have you spotted any of these?


We know what you want - the book
1. Point of Sale Mind Control Scripts

Clothing store staff and car salesmen use them to close the deal - carefully planned questions and subverbal cues to get you to sign. If you’ve ever walked out of a store, after spending twice as much as you wanted to, chances are you’ve fallen victim to one of these scripts. The GAPACT is used by Gap staff to upsell you. Other salesmen use word techniques to make you buy, even when you don’t have the money - because they make more by selling you 'easy' finance. When a car salesmen takes you on a test drive and asks you “Is this the type of vehicle you would like to own?”, he is using a subtle mental framing trick - it can create an embarrassing distraction while you drive. The technique is called disassociation - which is the ideal state for mental manipulation.



2. Doctor-Patient Drug Kick-backs

When a doctor recommends a certain heart medication or an antidepressant, chances are he has been paid a cash bonuses and perks by the manufacturer, making it difficult to give objective advice. Some pharmaceutical firms have gone so far as to invent and promote a new syndrome in order to create a market for a new drug! Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) was devised in 1998 and publicised by planting fifty press stories and quizzes such as: “Do you have social anxiety disorder?”. Soon after, Smithkline Beecham released Paxil - the 'cure' for SAD.



3. In-Store Sensory Manipulation

Scientifically tested visual displays, Muzak tapes, and even mind altering scents combine to maximize impulse spending. Specially designed music loops can keep shoppers in the supermarket for 18% longer. One study into use of airborne aromas, pumped into a Canadian mall, resulted in an increase of over $50 per customer that week. In supermarkets, scientifically generated Planograms create the ideal shelf arrangement for certain products, skewing the shopper's eyes towards high value items. Companies pay slotting allowances for favoured placement. Aisle layout are change regularly - which prevents systematic shopping - forcing extra trips past the impulse item displays.



4. Renting Conversations

Positive buzz can be triggered artificially for a price. Marketers now recruit secret 'buzz agents' to promote to their friends and family. One buzz agency claims to have an army of agents in every major US city. Their job is to mention or display certain products as they go about their day, using their relationships as marketing channels. Music labels, book sellers, entertainment venues, and fashion outlets are using this method to establish new brands. Today’s billion dollar 12-16 year olds are so immune to traditional advertising, mass media is no longer a reliable persuasive device - so the alternative is a 'synthetic grapevine’!



5. Neuromarketing

Corporations are going to enormous lengths to probe the minds of consumers - literally tapping into their brains. The Brighthouse Institute for Thought Sciences, in Atlanta, is one lab that is scanning people's brains with MRIs, in an effort to decode and record our subconscious thoughts and devise more seductive advertising. The process is being called neuromarketing. They are hoping to determine specific biological triggers that can be used by language engineers to stimulate purchases. This is the hi-tech fulfilment of pioneer psychologists Freud and Jung who established the connection between language and behaviour.

We know what you want - the book

6. Chatbots and Stealth Voicemail

Personal phone messages from businesses or political campaigners can turn up in your morning voicemail, having been delivered late the previous night. Voicemail broadcasters like DialAmerica uses massive computer installations to deliver identical copies of spoken messages to millions of householder simultaneously. On the internet, chat room 'bots' masquerading as personal real buddies are actually distributed simultaneously by powerful computers 24 hours a day. Virtual word-of-mouth communication is replacing other promotional technologies because of its speed and price.



7. Real-time Bugging of Personal Data

Your browser is probably revealing more than you might want: your location, the software and hardware you are using, details of other links you clicked on and your browsing habits. Many third party dataminers use 'cookies' to track your path across the web. Extensive realtime information is processed to target you. Larger databases harvest your personal medical and financial records to be bought and sold by interested companies and government departments. Datamining is a fuzzy science that filters you personal information for links about your personal behaviour and finances. These details are used in turn to create elaborate marketing campaigns to sell you more stuff.



8. Sidewalk Stalkers

The public space of streets, neighborhoods and communities is being mapped and targeted by viral marketers and fake grassroots organizations. In some cases the campaigns are overt but, increasingly, street 'agents' are making unannounced social approaches. Fake tourists flash around the latest camera-phone to passing crowds. 'Product seeders' circulate at sports events to find influential young players to wear their gear. Others wander the street wearing colored corporate tattoos. Personal space is the last frontier for commerce. As citizens attempt to retreat from the deluge of media advertising they can now be stalked when they step out the door.



9. Planted News Stories

Industry front groups, public relations firms and government departments are planting news stories on TV, radio, newspapers and the web. Those 'miracle drug' stories or research reports are often Video News Release (VNRs). TV newsrooms love these prepackaged news items that are distributed across the networks. It saves them time and money but it is killing community news and genuine investigative reporting. Real news items are being replaced by slick corporate promotions and political messages. According to one Nielsen Media Research Survey, about 80 percent of U.S. news directors air VNRs several times a month, and all American television newsrooms now use VNRs in their newscasts.



10. Government Propaganda

When it's time to launch a war or promote an unpopular policy, the government needs special help to sell the idea through the media. Opinion engineers are paid to "manage" public perception of inconvenient facts, and turn them around for better. Using the universal tools fear, patriotism, and phrase repitition, these high flying spin doctors can easily sway the population. The most successful public relations campaigns aim to change public perception without our awareness of the campaign. They are typically launched by governments, institutions and countries who need to change their public image, restore their reputation or manipulate public opinion. There are PR firms today who advise dictatorships, dishonest politicians and corrupt industries to cover up environmental catastrophes and human rights violations.




We know what you want - the book
Martin Howard is a media researcher and author of We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind - an illustrated consumer guide for today's citizens. It is the first attempt to catalog the hundreds of methods used to control and persuade us. Chapters cover cult tactics, rogue computer programs, undercover sales agents and data mining. The hybrid book uses colourful diagrams, cartoons and quizes to engage the interest of younger readers and average consumers. It outlines hundreds of examples and offers pointers to resources for further research.

www.howtheychangeyourmind.com

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (FULL TEXT)

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (1928): "THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. "



(Via Metafilter.)

Thursday

Why you might soon think you're hearing things

Why you might soon think you're hearing things: "A technology that beams sound directly into people's ears has advertisers salivating, but as Vito Pilieci writes, critics fear yet another invasion of privacy. After more than a decade of development, technology that directs a beam of sound straight into a person's eardrums is ready for primetime. The technology works by beaming waves of hypersonic sound at a pitch that is undetectable by the human ear. The waves continue until they smash into an object such as a person's body. The waves then slow, mix and re-create the original audio broadcast. If the person steps out of the waves, they are no longer obstructed and are rendered inaudible."



(Via CANADA.COM)

Wednesday

Media's Military Analysts in Propaganda Drive

Media's Military Analysts Involved in "Psyops on Steroids" | Center for Media and Democracy: "In early 2002, as 'detailed planning for a possible Iraq invasion' began, then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke launched the Pentagon military analyst program as 'the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war,' reports David Barstow. The gist of the program was the recruitment of 'key influentials' to help sell a wary public on the war. The former Hill & Knowlton executive and her senior aide, Brent Krueger, signed up more than 75 retired military officers, who appeared on television and radio news shows as military analysts, and/or penned newspaper op/ed columns."



(Via .)

US Military Propaganda on the News

Embedding Military Propagandists into the News Media | Center for Media and Democracy: "David Barstow of the New York Times has written the first installment in what is already a stunning exposé of the Bush Administration's most powerful propaganda weapon used to sell and manage the war on Iraq: the embedding of military propagandists directly into the TV networks as on-air commentators. We and others have long criticized the widespread TV network practice of hiring former military officials to serve as analysts, but even in our most cynical moments we did not anticipate how bad it was. As Barstow has painstakingly documented, these analysts, most of them military industry consultants and lobbyists, were directly chosen, managed, coordinated and given their talking points by the Pentagon's ministers of propaganda. "



(Via .)

Friday

Neuromarketing: the ad-man's ultimate tool

Neuromarketing: the ad-man's ultimate tool: "Neuroscience and marketing had a love child a few years back. Its name - big surprise - is neuromarketing, and the ugly little fellow is growing up. Corporate pitchmen have always wanted to get inside our skulls. The more accurately they can predict how we'll react to stimuli in the marketplace, from prices to packages to adverts, the more money they can pull from our pockets and transfer to their employers' coffers."



Wednesday

Media's Geographical Bias - Interactive Map

Media's Geographical Bias - Interactive Map: ""


These maps allow you to grasp several media trends at a glance. First, traditional newspapers are highly selective in their coverage of world news. Looking at the three British dailies, editors favour countries that are bigger and more populous, but also closer to home and better developed. They also give more room to the countries of origin of British immigrants, especially if they are white (look at the size of Australia and New-Zealand). Hardly surprising, but still disheartening, especially when you consider that the only brand that does not advocate objectivity, The Economist, covers the world more equally.

(Via .)

Tuesday

Web Is Keeping Closer Eye on You

To Aim Ads, Web Is Keeping Closer Eye on You - New York Times: "A new analysis of online consumer data shows that large Web companies are learning more about people than ever from what they search for and do on the Internet, gathering clues about the tastes and preferences of a typical user several hundred times a month.

These companies use that information to predict what content and advertisements people most likely want to see. They can charge steep prices for carefully tailored ads because of their high response rates.

The analysis, conducted for The New York Times by the research firm comScore, provides what advertising executives say is the first broad estimate of the amount of consumer data that is transmitted to Internet companies."



(Via NYT .)

Undisclosed ads that look like personal blogs

This Course Brought to You By.... :: Inside Higher Ed :: Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education: ""


Heidi, of course, isn’t any more real than the characters in television advertising. But while a television viewer is aware that he or she is watching advertising, those viewing the blog or her posters at Hunter thought they were learning about the experiences of a real student — not a class project crafted by an industry association (that was sufficiently proud to boast about it).

Saturday

Nielsen Making Brain Waves %u2014 Commercial Alert

Nielsen Making Brain Waves - Commercial Alert: "The Nielsen Co. is to announce today a strategic investment in and alliance with NeuroFocus, which specializes in the practice of measuring brain waves to determine consumers responses to marketing messages. As part of the deal, Nielsen will be the exclusive provider of NeuroFocus research, which also covers eye-tracking and skin-conductivity measurements, to film studios and TV networks to monitor audience responses to content as well as promos, trailers and other marketing materials."



(Via .)

Friday

Showroom Mind Trick Uncovered by Research

Science Sensei: "As the researchers wrote in the December issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, 'Salespersons may increase the likelihood of making a sale by inducing customers to consider which of several products they prefer while at the same time distracting them from making a decision of whether they really want to buy anything at all.'"



(Via www.sciencentral.com.)

Wednesday

Burson-Marsteller To Help Blackwater

Burson-Marsteller To Help Blackwater out of Hot Water | Center for Media and Democracy: "Blackwater USA has hired the PR firm Burson-Marsteller (B-M) for crisis management, following a September 16 incident in which the company killed 17 Iraqi civilians, according to the Iraqi government's investigation. 'The State Department, which pays Blackwater hundreds of millions of dollars to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq, has stringent rules barring the private security contractor from discussing with the media the details of its work,' reports AP. These constraints make it 'difficult to repair a corporate image.' B-M's Robert Tappan is working on the firm's Blackwater account. Tappan manages B-M's lobbying subsidiary, BKSH & Associates, and is a former State Department official. BKSH helped Blackwater founder and head Erik Prince prepare for his October 2 testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Public relations executives had conflicting advice for Blackwater. 'They need to help people understand that as you attack Blackwater, you're really attacking soldiers,' suggested Beau Phillips. But Richard Levick of Levick Strategic Communications warned that 'figuratively wrapping your company in the American flag' doesn't work so well when an unpopular war is involved.

"



(Via PR Watch.)

Nueromarketing becoming widespread

This Is Your Brain on Advertising: "This Is Your Brain on Advertising
Neuromarketers use sophisticated brain-imaging technology to test consumer response and help clients fine-tune their strategies. Do you ever get the creepy feeling that advertisers know how to put a lump in your throat, inspire subconscious brand loyalty, or make your mouth water? Just wait: It could get worse. An emerging technique called neuromarketing that uses brain scans to measure human response to promotional messages is starting to catch on in Europe—and soon ads may become even more effective at prompting you to pull out your wallet. "



(Via Agenda Inc.)

Tuesday

VNR Penalty: Comcast fined for non-disclosure

Free Press : FCC's VNR Fine: More to Come?: "FCC’s VNR Fine: More to Come? The FCC’s proposed $4,000 fine last week against Comcast for airing an unidentified video news release on one of its local cable news—a hardly noticed item—could be the tip of an iceberg waiting ahead for nearly 100 TV stations and a handful of cable outlets. The fine was being billed by at least one commissioner as the first ever for violating the FCC’s sponsorship identification rules, though Comcast, for one, was still disputing that the FCC had any jurisdiction over the cable news channel’s programming."



(Via freepress.net.)

Callers sign up for Bugged conversations

Pudding Media eavesdrops on internet calls, displays relevant ads - Engadget: "Pudding Media, a California-based startup, is opening up a beta test of its internet calling service, and while calls are said to be completely free, there's most definitely a catch. Users making the call will be presented with advertisements that actually relate to the conversation taking place, as the company's speech recognition software picks out key words and beams in ads based on what you're yappin' about. Notably, the company actually seems quite interested in licensing its technology out rather than becoming 'an independent provider of ad-financed internet phone calls,' and while we're sure hordes of privacy advocates will be none too pleased with the setup, those without issue can head on over and give it a try today."



(Via engadget.)

Thursday

The Shock Doctrine

Reviews of The Shock Doctrine | Naomi Klein: "Naomi Klein's new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, tells the history of how the American version of 'free market' capitalism has spread in moments of crisis and catastrophe, when societies are too traumatized and disoriented to challenge the introduction of radical economic policies that go against their own interests."



Formula for Deceiving Mothers Online

The Formula for Deceiving Mothers Online | Center for Media and Democracy: "Source: Mothering Magazine, September/October 2007

Peggy O'Mara, the editor of Mothering Magazine, reports that 'in addition to the inaccurate information on breastfeeding' by the media, the 'marketing practices of the formula companies continue to undermine breastfeeding.' She notes the existence of several 'stealth' websites 'that appear to be grassroots advocacy sites, but are actually mouthpieces for the formula industry.' One of the websites, MomsFeedingFreedom.com, is campaigning against proposed restrictions on the free bags of infant formula being given to new parents by hospitals. The website, which was registered by the web-based marketing company ENilsson LLC, is funded by the International Formula Council and run by Kate Kahn. 'A sister site, Babyfeedingchoice.org, is licensed to Kellen Communications, a public relations firm whose clients include the International Formula Council,' O'Mara writes. BantheBags, which supports a ban on free samples, argues that the 'sites use classic formula company strategies, paying lip service to benefits of breastfeeding even as they promote formula.'

"



(Via PR WATCH.)

Tuesday

Upselling you - Cheat Sheet Leaked

LEAKS: Enterprise Store's Insurance Upsell Cheat Sheet - Consumerist: "At least one Enterprise rental place has a cheat sheet for manipulating buyers into buying what is sometimes unnecessary car insurance. Here's a transcript of the document one of our readers snagged from an Enterprise in Fort Lee, NJ .

I. Initial Sales Pitches
A. 'I assume you want us to protect you bumper to bumper on the car, right?' (assumption makes the customer feel like everyone takes it)
B. 'You've rented from us before?' (if yes) 'Then, I'm sure you took our coverage last time, right?' (customer will feel silly for having not taken it)
C. 'How long do you need the car?' -three days- 'Three days? That's only $60 and protects you the full value of the car!' '...it's only $19.99/day and protects you of the full value of the car!!!' (make sure the customer feels your excitement)"



(Via Consumerist.)

Recruiting smell for the hard sell

Recruiting smell for the hard sell - New Scientist: "THE AIR in Samsung's flagship electronics store on the upper west side of Manhattan smells like honeydew melon. It is barely perceptible but, together with the soft, constantly morphing light scheme, the scent gives the store a blissfully relaxed, tropical feel. The fragrance I'm sniffing is the company's signature scent and is being pumped out from hidden devices in the ceiling. Consumers roam the showroom unaware that they are being seduced not just via their eyes and ears but also by their noses.

"



(Via Mind Hacks.)

Friday

Global ID a step closer

Asset Protection BLOG - Mark Nestmann: What's Worse than a National ID? How About a Global One?: " the infrastructure for a global identification system is being put in place by a consortium of commercial entities, and government agencies, and non-profit organizations... A nearly-invisible organization called the Federation for Identity and Cross-Credentialing Systems (http://www.fixs.org) has created what it calls the first "worldwide, interoperable identity and cross-credentialing network." Now installed at numerous U.S. military installations and government offices, the FIXS network is now ready for global deployment."



(Via nestmannblog.sovereignsociety.com.)

Tuesday

How Propaganda Works in the West

Chomsky: How Propaganda Works in the West: "The American approach to social control is so much more sophisticated and pervasive... It's not so much the control of what we think, but the control of what we think about Remember, children. Propaganda works because we don't know we're being propagandized How could anyone suggest that in this beacon of 'freedom and democracy', the magnificent United States of Amnesia, that we are programmed to to follow an ideology?
"

(Via edstrong.blog-city.com.)

Sideline Photographers To Wear "Advertising" Vests

Ad Creep: NFL Says Sideline Photographers Will Have To Wear "Advertising" Vests - Consumerist: "The NFL says that sideline photographers will have to wear branded vests with Canon and Reebok logos this year, according to Editor and Publisher.

The National Press Photographer's Association is having none of it:

After receiving the NFL letter, NPPA Executive Director Jim Straight said, 'We reaffirm our dissension on the vest's logos based on our ethical standards, and we hope that our members - with the consultation of their employers - seek out professional and responsible ways to avoid endorsing a corporate product while acting in a journalistic manner.'

"



Thursday

CNN makes war easy to spin

Amazon.com: War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death: Books: Norman Solomon: "Media critic Solomon (Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You) looks at the pro-war propaganda generated by the U.S. government during military interventions, emphasizing the influence of the media upon public opinion. He begins in 1965, when President Johnson crafted public messages as he sent troops to the Dominican Republic. Solomon claims that LBJ's handling of this invasion established the prototype for a media agenda employed by subsequent presidents to create public approval for their actions. He finds several formulaic messages that help persuade the public to support military intervention."



Fake News Daily: Broadcast News in Decline

Library Chronicles: "Here are some excerpts from The Decline of Broadcast News a report issued by the Writers' Guild of America. Most of you will find things you probably already know. Corporate media consolidation and cost-cutting labor practices have led to a gross mismanagement of your 'public airwaves.' I encourage everyone to read the report anyway."



Sunday

Microsoft buys cred from bloggers

How corporations still control the marketing conversation: "A group of prominent technology bloggers last month found themselves in hot water after they agreed to lend their words and names to Microsoft's 'People Ready' marketing campaign. The bloggers, all associated with the Federated Media advertising network, wrote brief statements describing how their own businesses became 'people ready'. The statements appeared in Microsoft ads on their blogs and were also collected on a site promoting the software company."



(Via .)

Wednesday

The Spin Doctor Will See You Now

The Spin Doctor Will See You Now: ""


"If I had to do it all over again, I don't think I would use the Ontario system," said Canadian cancer patient Lindsay McGreith. "I would get my wife to drive me to Buffalo, because I know in Buffalo you'd get looked after, whereas here you'd just sit for seven and a half hours. ... Our system is lousy." McGreith's comments are in a soundbite and B-roll video package (basically, an unassembled video news release) distributed by the PR firm MultiVu and funded by Health Care America, which is funded in part by pharmaceutical and hospital companies. It's part of an organized industry response to the Michael Moore movie "Sicko." Another MultiVu fake news video, which was funded by America's Health Insurance Plans, promotes a "public-private" health care system and decries Moore's single-payer proposal as an unpopular, "simplistic" and unrealistic "public takeover of the healthcare system."

(Via .)

Tuesday

Persuasive Casino Design

Ten things 2007 - a class with Michael Shanks about design: Analysis of Casino Design: "A prodigious amount of thought goes into the design and layout of a casino’s gambling floor. The layout of slot machines and card tables is carefully designed in order to maximize the casino’s profits and lure customers into the games. Casinos are generally designed so that patrons must walk through or at least around the periphery of several slot machine blocks to move around the casino, to maximize the customers’ exposure to the exciting sights and sounds of the slot machines, and especially of others winning on the machines.

"



Book: Product Placement Everywhere

Amazon.com: Branded Entertainment: Product Placement & Brand Strategy in the Entertainment Business: Books: Jean-Marc Lehu: "Branded Entertainment explains how product placement, a long-time phenomenon in films, has gone beyond this to now embrace all media. Citing examples from film, music videos, and computer games, the author explains the history and development of product placement, advantages of this form of brand advertising, and methods employed by different brands. Most importantly, Branded Entertainment discusses the future possibilities for using this form of promotion to recreate an emotional connection with customers and to spread the message across multimedia channels."



Monday

The hidden hybrid PR coup

The hidden hybrid PR coup - Agenda Inc. LiveFeed: "There's a reason you may be considering buying a gas-electric hybrid vehicle - besides wanting to help the environment or visit the gas station less frequently. Your hybrid awareness is a direct result of what is arguably the most audacious and impressive marketing/product-placement coup in memory.Toyota/Lexus has consistently, cleverly, and tirelessly spent an estimated $100,000,000 to make 'hybrid' a household word. The Japanese juggernaut (which just surpassed GM in global sales to grab the No. 1 spot) has a secret weapon: a small but powerful nonprofit organization, the Environmental Media Association.Based in Los Angeles, EMA is single-handedly responsible for getting droves of celebrities into Toyota hybrids. (FORTUNE)
"



(Via agendainc.com.)

Thursday

Concentration in media ownership continues

Concentration in media ownership continues: "Over the last few decades, the number of media companies dominating mainstream media has dwindled. This concentration in ownership has reduced the diversity of information and range of mainstream discourse. In some countries even though the number of media outlets may be high and varied, that ownership is still small. The internet shows signs of shaking up traditional media, but for the moment most people still get a lot of their news from television and other sources."
(Via Global Issues.)

Tuesday

Doctors Pushing Anemia Drugs

What Would Mother Say?: "In case you missed it this week, one of the biggest stories to surface on the ethics front (at least to my mind), is on payments made to doctors to push anemia drugs. According to the International Herald Tribune (May 9), Amgen and Johnson and Johnson have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to doctors to prescribe potentially harmful doses of these drugs to patients."

(Via ethicaloptimist.com Blog.)

Friday

PR Tricks for a Dictator


Putting Lipstick On A Dictator: "Putting Lipstick On A Dictator
News: Rogue states hire PR firms to change public perception and win audiences with American leaders. Whatever happened to old fashioned diplomacy?...last spring, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stood before a pack of reporters for a briefing, one of Africa's most notorious dictators at her side. ... The man with her—Teodoro Obiang, president of the tiny, oil-rich nation of Equatorial Guinea—seemed less comfortable. As the journalists peppered Rice with questions, he clenched his hands against his suit coat and stared at her with a tight, puzzled grin. During his two-decade reign of torture and terror, Obiang has never faced such meddlesome media; Equatoguinean radio has declared that Obiang has 'permanent contact with the Almighty' and therefore can 'kill anyone without being called to account.' Rice turned to Obiang. 'Thank you very much for your presence here,' she cooed. 'You are a good friend, and we welcome you.'"



(Via PR Watch.)

Book: The Chilling Truth About State Surveillance


Amazon.com: Who's Watching You?: The Chilling Truth About the State, Surveillance, and Personal Freedom (Conspiracy Books): Books: Mick Farren,John Gibb: "The threat of terrorism and the corresponding climate of fear encouraged by the government have together eroded our freedom to live our lives in peace and quiet away from the prying eyes of hidden cameras. The government is tightening its grip on us by watching and recording what we do. They are doing this because they know they can and because knowledge is power. But exactly who are 'they' and why do they want to know so much about us? This book includes chilling, accurate, and up-to-date descriptions of the methods the government (and private company proxies) use to watch us."



(Via Disinfo.)

Tuesday

Recruiting Young Smokers with Buzz Marketing

Quit Smoking Support > Tobacco Giant's 'School Of Cool' Recruits Young Smokers: "British American Tobacco executives gather to celebrate a 'good year' at their annual shareholders' meeting in London. But health charity Action on Smoking and Health believes the company is profiting from a new generation of young smokers, recruited by global use of radical 'buzz marketing' techniques... According to BAT's own publicists, BAT has promoted its 'Lucky Strike' brand through a strategy 'to re-launch and grow the brand by targeting the underground youth community – a community that is left of centre, which sets the trends rather than follows them.'"



(Via Agenda Inc.)

Monday

Focus: Concentration of Media Ownership

Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership - Global Issues: "The idea of corporate media itself may not be a bad thing, for it can foster healthy competition and provide a check against governments. However, the concern is when there is a concentration of ownership due to the risk of increased economic and political influence that can itself be unaccountable.
Table of contents for this page

This web page has the following sub-sections:

* Media Conglomerates, Mega Mergers, Concentration of Ownership
* Vertical Integration
* Interlocking Directorates
* Disney
* Concentration of ownership is where the problem largely lies
* The Quest for the Public Airwaves
* The Quest for the Internet?
* More Information on Ownership issue"



Sunday

The marketers have your ear - Agenda Inc. LiveFeed

The marketers have your ear - Agenda Inc. LiveFeed: "Advertisers have a new way to get into your head. Marketers around the world are using innovative audio technology that sends sound in a narrow beam, just like light, making it possible to direct messages right into consumers' ears while they shop or sit in waiting rooms. The audio spotlight device, created by Watertown firm Holosonic Research Labs Inc., has been used to hawk everything from cereals in supermarket aisles to glasses at doctor's offices. The messages are often quick and targeted -- and a little creepy to the uninitiated."



(Via Agenda Inc .)

Saturday

15 ways stores trick you into spending - MSN Money

15 ways stores trick you into spending - MSN Money: "Ever notice how you can go to a store to pick up just one thing and then, by the time you get to the check stand, you have five or six things in your cart and a bigger bill than you had anticipated?

This happens over and over because department stores use an array of techniques (grocery stores use many of the same tactics) to get you to pick up these items. By itself, each technique isn't very strong -- it's the use of them in combination that is powerful."



Wednesday

Army Propaganda Investigation Hearings

Army Propoganda Hearings: Threatening the Troops:

"The last soldier to see Army Ranger Pat Tillman alive, Spc. Bryan O'Neal, told lawmakers that he was warned by superiors not to divulge -- especially to the Tillman family -- that a fellow soldier killed Tillman... The military instead released a 'manufactured narrative' detailing how Pat Tillman died leading a courageous counterattack in an Afghan mountain pass, Kevin Tillman told the committee. (Watch Kevin Tillman accuse the military of lying Video)

Also Tuesday, former Pfc. Jessica Lynch told the House panel that the military lied about her capture... 'It was not true,' she said before gently chiding the military. 'The truth is always more heroic than the hype.'...Waxman, D-California, said the military 'invented' tales about Tillman and Lynch. (Watch Lynch describe her bond with the Tillman family Video)

"



Monday

A video about an Orwellian Shopping Mall

"The Catalogue" CHRIS OAKLEY - VIDEO ARTIST: "Crystallising a vision of ‘us seen by them’, The Catalogue explores the codification of humanity on behalf of corporate entities. Through the manipulation of footage captured from life in the retail environment, it places the viewer into the position of a remote and dispassionate agency, observing humanity as a series of units whose value is defined by their spending capacity and future needs."



"The Catalogue" .

YouTube - David Lynch on Product Placement

David Lynch on Product Placement:



(Via .)

Wednesday

Iraq: Why the media failed | Salon

Iraq: Why the media failed | Salon: "It's no secret that the period of time between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq represents one of the greatest collapses in the history of the American media. Every branch of the media failed, from daily newspapers, magazines and Web sites to television networks, cable channels and radio. "



(Via Salon.)

Video: "Augmented Cognition"

Augmented Cognition: "Applications of Augmented Cognition

The applications of Augmented Cognition research are numerous, and although initial investments in systems that explicitly monitor cognitive state have been sponsored by military and defense agencies, there is an interest from the commercial sector to develop augmented cognition systems for non-military applications. As mentioned earlier, closely related work on methods and architectures for detecting and reasoning about a user’s workload based on such information as activity with computing systems and gaze have been studied for non-military applications such as commercial notification systems [ie advertising] and communication. "



(watch the video here .)

Tuesday

U.S. News Organizations Failing: Global Issues Report

Media in the United States - Global Issues: "Media omissions, distortion, inaccuracy and bias in the US is something acknowledged by many outside the USA, and is slowly realized more and more inside the US. However, due to those very same omissions, distortion, inaccuracy and bias in the US mainstream media, it is difficult for the average American citizen to obtain an open, objective view of many of the issues that involve the United States (and since the United States is the largest economic and military power in the world, they are naturally involved in many issues!)."



(Via Global Issues .)

Wednesday

Commercial News Items Still Going Strong

The ongoing controversy over video news releases has not stopped television stations from airing the fake news segments without attribution. Over six months, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) documented 46 stations in 22 states airing at least one VNR in their newscast. Of the 54 total VNR broadcasts described in this report, 48 provided no disclosure of the nature or source of the sponsored video. In the six other cases, disclosure was fleeting and often ambiguous. Ten of the TV stations named in this study were also cited in CMD's April 2006 "Fake TV News" report, for undisclosed VNR broadcasts. These findings suggest that station and industry codes of conduct—not to mention an ongoing investigation by the Federal Communications Commission—are not sufficient to ensure the public's right to know who seeks to persuade them via television news, the most widely used information source in the United States. Read More

The report includes:

Thursday

Review: Paul Lappen "a first-rate gem of a book

We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind .: BookPleasures.com: "This is a first-rate gem of a book. It is really easy to read. While some mightconsider the information in this book common knowledge, it is still a rather spooky look at how well They have gotten inside our heads. It is very muchrecommended."

(Via Book Pleasures.)

Tuesday

Product placement you can't escape it

USATODAY.com - Product placement you can't escape it: "To hype the fall TV season, CBS plastered pictures of its shows' stars on postage stamps and across the insides of elevator doors. It laser-coated its eye logo on more than 35 million eggs, and carved the name of a new program, Jericho, into a 40-acre Kansas cornfield.
CBS (CBS) added those blips to the marketing storm sweeping the nation. Advertising is intruding on more previously untouched corners of life, including novels, hotel shower curtains, school buses and the bellies of pregnant women. Golfer Fred Couples is often followed around the course by a gaggle of woman paid to wear the name Bridgestone Golf, his sponsor.
It's advertising ad nauseam. And it's getting worse."



Saturday

KidScreen Magazine

KidScreen Magazine: "KidScreen is a monthly business magazine serving the information needs and interests of all those involved in reaching children through entertainment. What makes KidScreen unique is its cross-media and cross-disciplinary approach combined with its exclusive focus upon the kids%u2019 market. In a single publication, this gives readers top-line information about all aspects of the increasingly inter-related aspects of their industry."



Wednesday

Disease Mongering

Scary Evidence - Center for Media and Democracy: "British Columbia's Deputy Minister of Health, Gordon Macatee, ordered a lunchtime presentation on disease mongering cancelled until a drug industry speaker could be added. University of Victoria health researcher Alan Cassels was surprised that the ministry was so sensitive about a discussion on the book he co-authored, Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients."



(Via PR Watch.)

Friday

Architecural Tricks To Control Users

Architecural Tricks To Control Users: "Ever wandered into a shop looking to buy a few things on your list, only to find yourself coming out with twice as much? You may not be aware, but the reason for this is not sheer chance, or that you were just feeling frivolous. The retail industry spends hard time and money into creating all sorts of devious little means to make you shop that bit extra. Every penny you spend in their shop is not being spent at their rivals, and in the high stakes of today%u2019s competitive market, every penny counts.... an A-Z of retail tricks that we have compiled to empower you before you go out shopping, so that you can buy what you need and collapse our economy!"



(Via Consumerist.)

Architectures of Control

Increasingly, many products are being designed with features that intentionally restrict the way the user can behave, or enforce certain modes of behaviour. The same intentions are also evident in the design of many systems and environments. This site aims—with readers’ input—to examine and analyse the ideas and techniques of these architectures of control in design, through examples and anecdotes, and by keeping up-to-date with relevant developments. Link.

Saturday

MediaCart Shopping-Cart Ad System

Advertising Age - Research Team Develops Shopping-Cart Ad System: " Each video screen is embedded with an RFID chip that interacts with chips installed on store shelves about every two feet. Without it, there would be no way to create point-of-decision advertising -- so a shopper strolling in the soda aisle would get an offer for Pepsi, for example -- a capability that could radically upend conventional in-store marketing practices... Beyond advertising, the system also promises to offer data insights long sought by consumer-product marketers. 'This will give you second-by-second data on shopping habits, dwell times, what aisles shoppers go down,' Mr. Kramer said. 'That's information that has never before been available.' "



(Via Ad Age.)

Tuesday

Product Placement in Superman Returns

Product Placement in Superman Returns: "As Superman returns from a five-year sabbatical to find himself, Metropolis is buzzing with Samsung devices. The consumer electronics brand reportedly provided the film with a record 274 digital products. From LCD television screens in the Daily Planet office to computer monitors and printers to cell phones to fax machines, it seems Samsung is the real conqueror of Metropolis. Even with all the products in the film, Samsung had a rather seamless integration. Logos weren%u2019t always apparent and in your face, although Budweiser stood out like crystals laced with radioactive kryptonite. Apparently, %u201Ctruth, justice and all that stuff%u201D doesn%u2019t include abstinence. After finding out that the love of his life, Lois, is engaged and has a 5-year-old son, %u201CThe Man of Steel%u201D heads to the local bar and gets tipsy from drinking a Budweiser. Other honorable brandcameo mentions: Belstaff jackets for the bad guys and Virgin Galactic premiering its aircraft in one of the crucial action scenes.
Featured Brands: Featured Brands: Audi, Avaya, Belstaff, Bose, Budweiser, Graco, Grey Goose, Mountain Dew, Nikon, Oakland A's, Plantronics, Samsung, Scrabble, Steinway & Sons, Virgin "



(Via Brand Cameo.)

Bloggers paid to push products.

Bloggers are getting paid to push products. : "Murphy is launching PayPerPost.com, which will automate such hookups between advertisers and bloggers and thus codify a new frontier of product placement. Advertisers pay to post details about their 'opportunity,' specifying, among other things, how they want bloggers to write about, say, a new shoe, if they want photos to be included, and whether they'll pay only for positive mentions. Bloggers who abide by the rules get paid; heavily trafficked blogs may command premium rates. Those seeking to subvert PayPerPost from within can't: No pornographic or 'illicit' content is accepted."



(Via PR Watch) .)

Saturday

Media Manipulation - Global Issues

Media Manipulation - Global Issues: "The media is manipulated in all manners, for example through professional public relations (PR), and covert and overt government propaganda which disseminates propaganda as news. What are often deemed as credible news sources can often knowingly or unknowingly be pushing political agendas and propaganda."

Street Level Product Placement

'Reality-based product placement' is here. The car maker Jaguar's new marketing strategy is to give 'its high-end cars to jet-setters' in major cities, for free. In Manhattan, Nico Bossi and his Jaguar XK 'show up at all the right places, such as ... hangouts in New York's trendy meatpacking district.' According to the Wall Street Journal, 'Many people ask about the car, but Mr. Bossi doesn't reveal his Jaguar deal. ... Sometimes, he takes people who are really interested for a spin.' The deal was brokered by the PR firm Brandman Agency. Firm owner Melanie Brandman said the arrangement 'makes the advertisements come to life.' Bossi gives the firm 'updates on where he goes each week.' In similar but smaller programs, General Motors 'chauffeured VIPs around the Super Bowl in Detroit earlier this year' and DaimlerChrysler 'lent out the new Mercedes-Benz R Class SUVs to selected consumers for a week.'

Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), June 29, 2006
(Link Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)

Friday

The Tangled Web of Doctors, Drug Companies and Charities

The Tangled Web of Doctors, Drug Companies and Charities: "

'Around the country, doctors in private practice have set up tax-exempt charities into which drug companies and medical device makers are, with little fanfare, pouring donations — money that adds up to millions of dollars a year,' Reed Abelson reports in the New York Times. Concern has been raised that the funding can bias medical decisions, create conflicts of interest which aren't disclosed to patients and potentially skew research results in favour of the funder. 'There's undoubtedly corruption in the system,' Dr. Cherf said. 'We need healthy relationships between physicians and industry. Both parties have been too aggressive.'

Website: New York Times, June 28, 2006
URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/28/business/28foundation.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1151553743-sljrvFovoMv7eiGnYP9hDw
"



(Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)

Thursday

White House News Forgeries Widespread

"White House News Forgeries Widespread": "To a viewer, each report looked like any other 90-second segment on the local news. In fact, the federal government produced all three. The report from Kansas City was made by the State Department. The 'reporter' covering airport safety was actually a public relations professional working under a false name for the Transportation Security Administration. The farming segment was done by the Agriculture Department's office of communications."



(Via truthout.org .)

Tuesday

Comic books the next frontier for product placement

Comic books the next frontier for product placement - AdJab: "Comic books the next frontier for product placementPosted Apr 19th 2006 9:19AM by Chris ThilkFiled under: Product PlacementBoth Marvel and DC, the two largest comic book
publishers, have signed deals that will integrate product placement in the issues of some of their titles. DC will have a new hero called The Rush drive a Pontiac that the publisher says is just as important to that character as the Aston Martin is to James Bond. Marvel is jumping in whole hog by putting the Nike swoosh logo in a variety of places such as car doors and character
t-shirts."

Bush 'planted fake news stories on American TV'

Independent Online Edition > Americas: "Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products."

Sunday

Fake TV News Report Now in PDF Form

"Fake TV News" Report Now in PDF Form: "

With the U.S. Federal Communications Commission investigating the television stations that CMD documented airing corporate video news releases, you might want to read through the report that started it all. Luckily, 'Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed' is now available in PDF format! Download it from our website, print it out and take it along on your summer holiday. It's 114 pages long -- chock full of important information, harrowing tales of media deception, and some great puns. The URL to download the report is: www.prwatch.org/pdfs/NFNPDFExt6.pdf

Website: Center for Media and Democracy, May 26, 2006
URL: http://www.prwatch.org/pdfs/NFNPDFExt6.pdf
"

(Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)

I Sold It Through The Grapevine

I Sold It Through The Grapevine: "Not even small talk is sacred anymore. P&G has enlisted a stealth army of 600,000 moms who chat up its products... The program is a state-of-the-art method for reaching the most influential group of shoppers in America: moms. At a time when companies need to find creative ways to get their message across to consumers, it's likely to be widely studied. But Vocalpoint also raises a serious ethical issue: Should the person spreading the product message disclose her affiliation? P&G says it's up to such "connectors" to make that decision on their own. But this puts the company at odds with the recently formed Word of Mouth Marketing Assn. (WOMMA), which mandates full disclosure.



(Via Adrants.)

Wednesday

Astroturf site from telcos' PR company against Net Neutrality

Astroturf site from telcos' PR company against Net Neutrality: "Cory Doctorow:
Astroturf site from telcos' PR company against Net Neutrality: "Cory Doctorow:
Neil found a site called 'HandsOff.org' that seems to be a grass-roots campaign from 'a nationwide coalition of Internet users' against Internet regulation. On closer inspection, though: 'it's nothing more than a front for business interests that was set up by a PR company called the Mercury Group. If you've ever wondered why government seems so far removed from the will of the people, the existence of 'astroturf' campaigns like this go some way to explaining why.'

Friday

MaxedOutBuzz.com - Home

MaxedOutBuzz.com - Home:

"Maxed Out shows how the modern financial industry really works, explains the true definition of "preferred customer" and tells us why the poor are getting poorer and the rich getting richer. By turns hilarious and profoundly disturbing, Maxed Out paints a picture of a national nightmare which is all too real for most of us."



(Via www.maxedoutmovie.com .)

Tuesday

Covert Recruiting Video in Schools, on Planes and TV

Covert Recruiting Video in Schools, on Planes and TV: "

Today's Military screenshot
One Navy officer profiled in 'Today's Military,' who's a liaison to TV and movie studios
United Airlines' new in-flight video 'was produced and funded by the Department of Defense -- a fact passengers do not learn from watching it,' reports Jason George. The 13-minute segment, 'Today's Military,' profiles five 'military glamor jobs.' It shows only 'one soldier beyond U.S. borders,' who's 'doing humanitarian work in Thailand' -- a remarkable focus at a time of war. The Defense Department paid United $36,000 to run the video for one month. A United spokesperson said 'between 7 to 15 minutes' of their two-hour programming is sponsored video. The military video was excerpted from a 48-minute feature, produced by the Mullen firm, that's aired on at least two Illinois TV stations: Springfield's ABC and Peoria's UPN affiliates. The feature 'does not say who produced it until the final credits roll' and the Defense Human Resources Activity is listed. The goal is to educate 'influencers,' including parents and teachers. 'This fall, 40,000 copies' of the feature 'will be shipped to high school guidance counselors for distribution to students.'

Website: Chicago Tribune, May 6, 2006
URL: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0605060077may06,1,212661.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed
"



(Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)

Friday

Review by Mike Gange


An Island in the Media Stream:

"Most of these releases are aimed at adult readers, and while they contain ideas that may be useful in the classroom, they are more likely to end up as a library selection than a day-to-day classroom resource. We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind by Martin Howard would be one of the few surprising exceptions. Not only does it stand out from the others in the flood by proving to be enlightening for adults and students, it contains items that could be used alone or as part of a unit on media education... Part of the beauty of We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind is that it will teach both leaders and learners in the classroom and serve parents and kids in the home... Another appealing aspect of this book is the use of graphics that will help get the point across. Maybe the best part of the book, however, is its tone: it teaches us what to think about, without preaching to us about what to think. In that regard then, We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind is a stand out."

Wednesday

Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi

Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi: "The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."



(Via Washington Post.)

Pentagon fabricating Zarqawi Legend

Who is behind "Al Qaeda in Iraq"? Pentagon acknowledges fabricating a "Zarqawi Legend": "Pentagon PSYOP Zarqawi Program

In an unusual twist, the Washington Post in a recent article, has acknowledged that the role of Zarqawi had been deliberately "magnified" by the Pentagon with a view to galvanizing public support for the US-UK led "war on terrorism":


"The Zarqawi campaign is discussed in several of the internal military documents. "Villainize Zarqawi/leverage xenophobia response," one U.S. military briefing from 2004 stated. It listed three methods: "Media operations," "Special Ops (626)" (a reference to Task Force 626, an elite U.S. military unit assigned primarily to hunt in Iraq for senior officials in Hussein's government) and "PSYOP," the U.S. military term for propaganda work..." (WP. 10 April 2006)
"



(Via Global Research.)

Tuesday

Monitoring Health Care Journalism

Web Site Rates Health Care Journalism - Yahoo! News: "Newspaper and magazine health coverage will be reviewed online at a new Web site beginning Monday. Access to the site and its findings, http://www.HealthNewsReview.org, is free and open to consumers. It was created by University of Minnesota journalism professor Gary Schwitzer, who fashioned the site after similar efforts in Australia and Canada."

Thursday

Examples of actual VNRs

Video Downloads: Video News Releases Examples of actual VNRs. While these 36 examples represent less than one percent of VNRs offered to newsrooms each year, this report provides the most comprehensive survey of fake TV news to date."



(Via PR Watch.)

Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed - Center for Media and Democracy

Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed - Center for Media and Democracy: "Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed
A multimedia report on television newsrooms' use of material provided by PR firms on behalf of paying clients"


Over a ten-month period, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) documented television newsrooms' use of 36 video news releases (VNRs)—a small sample of the thousands produced each year. CMD identified 77 television stations, from those in the largest to the smallest markets, that aired these VNRs or related satellite media tours (SMTs) in 98 separate instances, without disclosure to viewers.

Saturday

Mass Media Cover-ups

Mass Media: "a 10-page summary of revealing accounts by 20 award-winning journalists from the book Into the Buzzsaw, compiled Kristina Borjesson. All of these courageous writers were prevented by corporate mass media ownership from reporting major news stories. Some were even fired or laid off. These journalists have won numerous awards, including several Emmys and a Pulitzer."


(Via Want To Know.)

On TV News, the Ads Never End (Part Two)

On TV News, the Ads Never End (Part Two): "

'With TV stations facing increased competition and pressure on advertising revenue ... product placement, media and branded entertainment agencies say they are increasingly being pitched opportunities from local stations to integrate their clients' products into news programing in exchange for buying commercial time or paying integration fees,' reports Gail Schiller. KRON-TV in San Francisco, KMEX-TV in Los Angeles, and KPTV-TV in Portland 'confirmed that they have integrated advertisers into their newscasts.' KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and Gannett NBC affiliates in Denver, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Cleveland 'are experimenting with integration into newsmagazine-type shows that they describe as entertainment rather than news.' Recently, ABC's 'Good Morning America' broadcast from a cruise ship. The cruise company 'did not pay integration fees,' but 'did foot the bill for airfare, room and board to send nearly 300 women,' who won an ABC contest, on the cruise. Radio-Television News Directors Association president Barbara Cochran warned, 'If viewers start thinking your news is for sale, then the credibility of your news is lost and your audience is lost.'

Website: Reuters, March 15, 2006
URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060316/tv_nm/newscasts_dc_1
"



(Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)

Wednesday

The Catalogue

The Catalogue: "This is great! This excellent independent video production looks like the not too distant future of tagged humans and a society without privacy.Requires Apple Quicktime… The Catalogue

(Via Freedom Is Slavery.)

Friday

Bush's State of Propaganda Speech

Bush's State of Propaganda Speech: "r. Bush threw out a dizzying array of misleading analogies, propaganda slogans and false choices. Congress authorized the president to spy on Americans and knew all about it ... 9/11 could have been prevented by warrantless spying ... you can't fight terrorism and also obey the law ... and Democrats are not just soft on national defense, they actually don't want to beat Al Qaeda. "(Via Propaganda&Media edstrong.)

Wednesday

Subservient Donald

MIT Brand Culture Convergence: Blog: "Writers Guild of America that pushes for limits on product placement has launched a Subservient Donald website as part of a larger campaign. The Donald dances, shows off pantyhose he's wearing, and sells paper towels."



(Via .)

Think Tanks Compassionate Conservativism



Think Tanks Compassionate Conservativism: "



As the toll mounts from U.S. political scandals, think tanks have provided new homes to some of the fallen. The Hudson Institute has appointed
I. Lewis Scooter Libby as 'a senior adviser'. In October 2005 Libby resigned from his position as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney after being indicted on five counts including obstruction of justice. 'Libby will focus on issues relating to the War on Terror and the future of Asia. He also will offer research guidance and will advise the institute in strategic planning,' the think tank stated. In mid-December Doug Bandow resigned from both his role at the Cato Institute and as syndicated columnist with Copley News Service after revelations that he had accepted payments from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. On January 1 Bandow started as vice president of policy at Citizen Outreach, a group that favours 'limited-government public policies'.




Website: Hudson Institute Media Release, January 6, 2006.


URL: http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=58926

"






(Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)

Sunday

Pentagon OK's Online Propaganda - Center for Media...



Pentagon OK's Online Propaganda - Center for Media and Democracy: "'U.S. military websites that pay journalists to write articles and commentary supporting military activities in Europe and Africa do not violate U.S. law or Pentagon policies,' concluded the Pentagon's inspector general. The websites, the Southeast European Times (launched in 1999 by President Clinton) and Magharebia (launched in 2004 by President Bush), often use 'freelance reporters hired by Anteon Corp.' The U.S. military's Pacific Command in Asia and Central Command in the Middle East are also developing 'regional information websites.' The Pentagon inspector general's report did not address the fact that U.S. audiences, which the government is forbidden from propagandizing, can access the websites. A related investigation into Pentagon-planted stories in Iraqi newspapers, headed by Navy Rear Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, is expected to be completed soon."


More about Subliminal Persuasion

Friday

Influence Peddlers Pass Out Billions in Washington...



Influence Peddlers Pass Out Billions in Washington: "Special interests and the lobbyists they employ have reported spending, since 1998, a total of almost $13 billion to influence Congress, the White House and more than 200 federal agencies."


Dvorak Uncensored

More about Subliminal Persuasion

Wednesday

The 2005 Falsies Awards

It Was a Very False Year: The 2005 Falsies Awards - Center for Media and Democracy: "Over the past twelve months, the ideal of accurate, accountable, civic-minded news media faced nearly constant attack. Fake news abounded, from Pentagon-planted stories in Iraqi newspapers to corporate- and government-funded video news releases aired by U.S. newsrooms. Enough payola pundits surfaced to constitute their own basketball team -- Doug Bandow, Peter Ferrara, Maggie Gallagher, Michael McManus and Armstrong Williams. (They could call themselves the 'Syndicated Shills.')"

More about Subliminal Persuasion

Sunday

NeuroPop's exclusive Neurosensory Algorithms

Neuropop Sound Design: "We can change your mind"
NeuroPop's exclusive Neurosensory Algorithms (NSA) are the heart of our sound design and musical composition technology. NSAs will lock your audience's attention, change their perceptions, alter their mood, or even make them dance by using patented NSA technology."

Download the PDF

"Adjust your audience’s perceptual, attentional or emotional state by employing Neurosensory Algorithms (NSAs). NSAs use specially designed sounds to excite parts of the brain involved in processing sensory localization, emotional reaction and memory formation."

More about Subliminal Persuasion

Wednesday

Buying Fox News: "'Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Tala...

Buying Fox News: "'Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal boasted in Dubai earlier this week about his ability to change the news content that viewers around the world see on television.
'In early September 2005, Bin Talal bought 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp. This made the Fifth richest man on the Forbes World's Richest People, the fourth largest voting shareholder in News Corp., the parent of Fox News. News Corp. is the world's leading newspaper publisher in English.
'Covering the riots in Paris last November, Fox ran a banner saying: 'Muslim riots.' Bin Talal was not happy. 'I picked up the phone and called Murdoch . . . (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty,' he said. 'Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots.'' (FrontPage Magazine article)."



(Via Disinformation.)

Giving Up the Ghostwriters

Giving Up the Ghostwriters - Center for Media and Democracy: "'Many of the articles that appear in scientific journals under the byline of prominent academics are actually written by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies.' Used by doctors 'to guide their care of patients,' these 'seemingly objective articles ... are often part of a marketing campaign.' The New England Journal of Medicine recently revealed that a 2000 article on Vioxx 'omitted information about heart attacks among patients taking the drug. ... The deletions were made by someone working from a Merck computer.'"



(Via PR Watch.)

Friday

Why do they keep running stories saying suits are back?

The Submarine: "'Suits make a corporate comeback,' says the New
York Times. Why does this sound familiar? Maybe because the suit was also back in February, September 2004, June 2004, March 2004, September 2003, November 2002, April 2002, and February 2002.


Why do the media keep running stories saying suits are back? Because
PR firms tell them to. One of the most surprising things I discovered
during my brief business career was the existence of the PR industry,
lurking like a huge, quiet submarine beneath the news. Of the
stories you read in traditional media that aren't about politics,
crimes, or disasters, more than half probably come from PR firms."

FROM www.maximumexposurepr.com

The Men's Apparel Alliance (MAA) - For the MAA, MaxPR developed a national publicity campaign to increase awareness about professional dress in the workplace. The program focused on linking the resurgence of business attire and its connection to increased business productivity.

(Via PR WATCH.)

Wednesday

Pentagon Funds Psyops

Pentagon Funds Psyops: "The Pentagon awarded three contracts this week, potentially worth up to $300 million over five years, to companies it hopes will inject more creativity into its psychological operations efforts to improve foreign public opinion about the United States, particularly the military."



(Via Washington Post.)