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Local Fake News

And Now, for the Local Fake News - Center for Media and DemocracyThe mayor and city council of Newark, New Jersey 'hired a fledging newspaper called Newark Weekly News to publish 'positive news' about the city - and will pay $100,000 over the next year for it.' The no-bid contract specifies that the paper will 'generate stories based on leads' from the mayor's spokesperson and city communications staff. A senior scholar at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies said, 'If you are publishing government propaganda in the guise of neutral, detached reporting, that's about as unethical as you can get.'

(Via PR Watch.)


Building a buzz on campus: "In an age when the col...

Building a buzz on campus: "In an age when the college demographic is no longer easily reached via television, radio, or newspapers -- as TiVo, satellite radio, iPods, and the Internet crowd out the traditional advertising venues -- a microindustry of campus marketing has emerged. Niche firms have sprung to act as recruiters of students, who then market products on campus for companies such as Microsoft, JetBlue Airways, The Cartoon Network, and Victoria's Secret.

By the estimate of leading youth marketing firms, tens of thousands of students work as campus ambassadors nationwide, with many in the college-rich Boston region. The students selected tend to be campus leaders with large social networks that can be tapped for marketing. Good looks and charm tend to follow. Many are specially trained, sometimes at corporate headquarters, Gossett said, as in the case with Microsoft. They are expected to devote about 10 to 15 hours a week talking up the products to friends, securing corporate sponsorship of campus events, and lobbying student newspaper reporters to mention products in articles. (THE BOSTON GLOBE)"

(Via Agenda Inc. Live Feed.)

Monsanto's Anti-Politics Machine

Monsanto's Anti-Politics Machine - Center for Media and Democracy: "'One large and important producer of genetically modified (GM) crops - Monsanto - has engineered public opinion to reduce critical scrutiny,' writes a group of South African, Mexican and American academic researchers. Monsanto has followed 'a tried-and-true set of PR tactics designed to tie GM crops to the question of hunger, to silence debate on the topic, and to challenge critics as technophobic. "

(Via PR Watch.)


Exploitation via Word of Mouth

Exploitation via Word of Mouth

Bob Garfield of Ad Age is pumped up about citizen marketing:

'If the conversation is dominated by consumers themselves, and they’re paying scant attention to the self-interested blather of the marketer, who needs ads -- offline, online or otherwise? This raises the question of what agencies are left to do. Maybe the answer is obvious: to manage, focus, exploit, maybe even co-opt the open conversation. The real question may be whether the agency world is culturally equipped for the task.'

(Via Church of the Customer.)


Review: Subliminal advertising book

AdPulp: June 2005 Archives: "Every so often, a marketing book comes along that captures precisely what's going on at the moment--the 'zeitgeist,' if you will...We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind by Martin Howard is a fascinating overview of all the marketing tactics that are working to influence consumers on a much subtler level than traditional advertising...I read a lot of marketing stuff, but this book has quite a few 'I can't believe someone's doing THAT' marketing ideas in here. It's well-done."

(Via Ad Pulp).)

"We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind :::
Solid primer about the ways your mind can be and is controlled by corporations looking to make you buy their stuff. This will freak you out." -LB"

(Via Quimby's).)


A Hidden Word from Our Sponsor

And Now, a Hidden Word from Our Sponsor

The Wall Street Journalreports that Subway Restaurants 'launched a new sandwich last night by having it written into the story line of NBC's 'Will & Grace'.' Such advertising is increasingly spreading beyond television and movies, and into magazines and newspapers. According to Website: Christian Science Monitor, September 29, 2005
More about Subliminal Persuasion

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged - Yahoo! News: "It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questionsPresident Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution... 'This is an important time,' Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. 'The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you."

More about Subliminal Persuasion


Fake Blogging

Fake Blogging and an Equally Fake Apology - Center for Media and Democracy: "Fake blogs—a form of viral marketing in which PR or advertising agencies attempt to generate interest in their client's product by creating a fictional character on the internet—are drawing criticism from real bloggers. The Cohn & Wolfe PR firm had to apologize recently after 'using a fictional character to leave a series of thinly veiled advertisements on blogs and other websites."

(Via PR Watch)