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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 .)