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Product Seeding Campaign at Silicon Valley

Third Parties in the Valley
For years, marketers have known that 'sociable, influential early adopters,' or connectors, can drive sales. In California this month, '100 of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, bloggers and promoters will begin receiving cool new stuff for free. ... These movers and shakers promise to sample the products and offer feedback to their manufacturers. The companies hope that, if the mood strikes, the Silicon Valley 100 will chat up, blog on, or just plain recommend the products to friends and colleagues, generating that most invaluable of currencies:

Front Group begins persuasion campaign

A Less Kind, Less Gentle Environmentalism

What do the Committee on the Present Danger and the Natural Resources Defense Council have in common? They both endorse Set America Free, an 'energy security' plan put forward by the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and other conservative think tanks.
Slate, January 25, 2005

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

Fake Fans Preying on Chat Forums

Message Forum Spam: "Not only is pop star Ashlee Simpson lip syncing and manufactured, but so are some of her fans:

'I just read about Ashlee in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks.' -- mandyc19

Welcome to the world of message forum viral marketing, 'street team' advertising, and corporate shills. That 'fan' posting in forums about Court TV, The Smoking Gun, or shows on Fox isn't a fan at all -- just another type of spammer -- only this time employed by giant media corporations."

(Via MetaFilter.)


British Propaganda Push for EU

Afraid of Being an Island Unto Itself
The British government 'is using taxpayers' money to hire a PR agency to extol the virtues of (European Union) membership and explain why the European constitution is a 'success for Britain.'' The London-based firm Geronimo PR received a £40,000 ($US74,900) contract to mount an 'extensive communications campaign,' prior to a public referendum on the constitution, likely in 2006.
Main source:Financial Times, January 19, 2005
(Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)


Chef's Secret Deal with Heinz Exposed

Beans means cash

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has admitted accepting £15,000 ($US28,000) from Heinz as part of a product placement deal in which he agreed to include an up-market version of baked beans on toast on the menu at his restaurant. 'I should have been brighter,' Oliver told The Independent. The Independent (UK) January 14, 2005.


How to Deceive Consumers: Management Journal Explains

Exposing stealth marketing
A respected management journal recommends lying and cheating as a marketing tactic.
Stealth Marketing: How to Reach Consumers Surreptitiously,' published by The California Management Review from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, recommends reaching new customers via deceptive, covert marketing.Authors Andrew M. Kaikati, a consultant with Accenture, and Jack G. Kaikati, Emeritus Professor of Marketing at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
(Via Church of the Customer.)


Fake News Items Circulated By White House

Karen Ryan, Meet Mike Morris
For the second time, the Government Accountability Office 'scolded the Bush administration for distributing phony prepackaged news reports,' or video news releases. The VNRs were produced by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, featured former reporter Mike Morris, and were aired, at least in part, on 300 news shows.Main source:

Washington Post, January 7, 2005 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54651-2005Jan6.html(Via PR Watch Other Feed.)


Double Agent 'Advocates' for Consumers and Industry

A Front Group Affront

An American Prospect article on Rick Berman of the front group Center for Consumer Freedom notes, 'Berman's strategy turns on a simple rhetorical gimmick: By employing the language of consumer freedom, he protects his client industries by demonizing (and, hopefully, discrediting) their critics.' Berman 'stands out, if only for the sheer, unparalleled audacity with which he's straddled his dual roles as consumer 'advocate' and industry lobbyist.

The American Prospect, January 3, 2005
(Via PR Watch's Spin of the Day.)

Food Ads Exploiting Children

Responding to an explosion in ads for food that targets children, a consumer group Wednesday proposed nutrition-based limits on marketing aimed at kids that would halt ads for sugary snacks and fatty foods.