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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.)


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.)