Thursday, January 24, 2019

Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations/Lobbying (Ongoing Archive)





Amer, Karim, Emma Briant and Brittany Kaiser. "The Weaponization of Data: Cambridge Analytica, Information Warfare & the 2016 Election of Trump." Democracy Now (January 10, 2020) ["We continue our conversation with the directors of “The Great Hack,” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, as well as former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser and propaganda researcher Emma Briant, about Cambridge Analytica’s parent company SCL Group’s history as a defense contractor. “We’re in a state of global information warfare now,” Briant says. “How do we know if our militaries develop technologies and the data that it has gathered on people, for instance, across the Middle East … how do we know when that is turning up in Yemen or when that is being utilized by an authoritarian regime against the human rights of its people or against us? How do we know that it’s not being manipulated by Russia, by Iran, by anybody who’s an enemy, by Saudi Arabia, for example, who SCL were also working with? We have no way of knowing, unless we open up this industry and hold these people properly accountable for what they’re doing.”"]

Armiak, David. "New Study Undercuts Trump FCC Chair's Justification for Rolling Back Net Neutrality." Exposed (July 6, 2017)

Benton, Michael Dean. "Astroturf and Front Group Research: The Center for Union Facts." Dialogic Cinephilia (January 20, 2014)

---. "Monsanto (Multinational Agricultural Biotechnology Corporation): Peace and Conflict Studies Archive." Dialogic Cinephilia (November 20, 2014: Ongoing Archive)

Bernays, Edward L. "Manipulating Public Opinion." American Journal of Sociology 33.6 (May 1928): 958-971.

---. Propaganda. NY: Horace Liveright, 1928.

Bius, Joel R. "What Cigarettes Tell Us About the Military-Industrial Complex." War College (February 2, 2019) ["Drugs and the battlefield go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Third Reich’s soldier ran on methamphetamine and American soldiers smoked like chimneys. The picture of the US GI with a burning cigarette pressed between their lips is so iconic that few people question it...or realize how young the image really is. Joel R. Bius, assistant professor of national security studies at the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College, is here to help us dispel the myth of the great American military cigarette and walk us through the fascinating history of how cigarettes ended up in the US military kit, and how they left. It’s the subject of his new book, Smoke Em If You Got Em: The Rise and Fall of the Military Cigarette Ration."]

The Brussels Business (Belgium/Austria/USA/France/Switzerland/Indonesia/UK: Matthieu Lietaert and Friedrich Moser, 2012: 85 mins) ["Brussels, the capital and largest city of Belgium, has a long history of hosting the institutions of the European Union within its European Quarter; while the Union itself claims it has no capital and no plans to declare one—despite the fact that Brussels hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament. In any event, it is here—in this centre of smoke and mirrors—that exists one of the largest concentrations of lobbyist power in the world. The Brussels Business scratches the surface of this extensive world hidden-from-view by looking at the direct influence of lobbyists and the complete lack of transparency in the decision-making processes. Speaking with lobbyists and activists themselves, The Brussels Business reveals the beginnings of a vast landscape of PR conglomerates, front companies, think-tanks and their closely-interlinking networks of power and ties to political and economic elites. The questions then become: Who actually runs the European Union? How? And why?]
Cheney-Lippold, John. "Introduction." We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves. New York University Press, 2017: 3-36.

Claverie, Ezra. "From off-brand to franchise: Watchmen as advertisement." Jump Cut #58 (Spring 2018)

Dahl, Melissa. "It Seems the Cigarette Industry Helped Create the Type-A Personality." The Cut (August 22, 2016)

Digital Disconnect (USA: Jeremy Earp and Robert McChesney, 2018: 63 mins) ["Tracing the Internet’s history as a publicly-funded government project in the 1960s, to its full-scale commercialisation today, Digital Disconnect shows how the Internet’s so-called “democratising potential” has been radically compromised by the logic of capitalism, and the unaccountable power of a handful of telecom and tech monopolies. Based on the acclaimed book by media scholar Robert McChesney, the film examines the ongoing attack on the concept of net neutrality by telecom monopolies such as Comcast and Verizon, explores how internet giants like Facebook and Google have amassed huge profits by surreptitiously collecting our personal data and selling it to advertisers, and shows how these monopolies have routinely colluded with the national security state to advance covert mass surveillance programs. We also see how the rise of social media as a leading information source is working to isolate people into ideological information bubbles and elevate propaganda at the expense of real journalism. But while most debates about the Internet focus on issues like the personal impact of Internet-addiction or the rampant data-mining practices of companies like Facebook, Digital Disconnectdigs deeper to show how capitalism itself turns the Internet against democracy. The result is an indispensable resource for helping viewers make sense of a technological revolution that has radically transformed virtually aspect of human communication."]

Dion, Dennis. "Priming the Pump of War: Toward a Post-Ethnic, Post-Racial Fascism." C-Theory (November 6, 2002)

Graves, Lisa and Zaid Jilani. "The Restaurant Industry Ran a Private Poll on the Minimum Wage. It Did Not Go Well For Them." The Intercept (April 17, 2018)

Hickey, Philip. "Rebranding Psychiatry." Mad in America (November 28, 2017)

Lyman, Stuart. "Consequences: In a Post-Truth World, Scientific Progress Goes Boink." Lymann BioPharma Consulting LLC (January 17, 2017) 

McGreal, Chris (read by Lucy Scott). "The Making of an Opioid Epidemic." Audio Long Reads (December 3, 2018) ["When high doses of painkillers led to widespread addiction, it was called one of the biggest mistakes in modern medicine. But this was no accident."]

Merchants of Doubt (USA: Kim Roberts and Robert Kenner, 2014: 93 mins) ["Merchants of Doubt looks at the well established Public Relations tactic of saturating the media with shills who present themselves as independent scientific authorities on issues in order to cast doubt in the public mind. The film looks at how this tactic, that was originally developed by the tobacco industry to obfuscate the health risks of smoking, has since come to cloud other issues such as the pervasiveness of toxic chemicals, flame retardants, asbestos, certain pharmaceutical drugs and now, climate change. Using the icon of a magician, Merchants of Doubt explores the analogy between these tactics and the methods used by magicians to distract their audiences from observing how illusions are performed. For example, with the tobacco industry, the shills successfully delayed government regulation until long after the health risks from smoking was unequivocally proven. Likewise with manufacturers of flame retardants, who worked to protect their sales after the toxic effects and pervasiveness of the chemicals were discovered. This is all made analogous to the ongoing use of these very same tactics to forestall governmental action in regards to global climate change today."]

Mull, Amanda. "The Art of Disastertising." On the Media (April 29, 2020) ["Want to do your part in this pandemic? Why don't you try becoming a Couch Potatotriot, someone who stays home to save lives, but also eats Burger King? It's part of the company's brand pivot — one of many that companies have performed in order to keep their goods and services relevant. Another trend? Lots of somber piano music.  Despite the fact that most people are stuck at home watching Netflix, advertisers are still vying for their bucks — promising that consumers can buy what they’re selling without winding up on a ventilator. This stark change in tone and approach is what Amanda Mull, staff writer at The Atlantic, dubbed "disaster-tising" in her recent piece, "How to Advertise In a Pandemic.""]

Nestle, Marion. "Food and Politics." Conversations with History (March 20, 2017) ["Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Marion Nestle Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition at New York University. Professor Nestle reflects on the evolution of her thinking on the interplay between nutrition studies and the politics of food. She discusses the environment of the food industry emphasizing its dilemma of producing too much food in an environment in which profits are paramount and the competition with other food producers is intense. She analyzes the arsenal of tools at its service—advertising and lobbying and talks about the role of food activism in creating a structure of choice in which health, the environment and social justice are determining factors in what is produced and what we eat. Finally, she identifies the role of government in entrenching the status quo and the possibilities of it assuming a different kind of role. Finally, she offers advice to students preparing for the future."]

Palmquist, Ben. "The 80 Year PR Campaign That Killed Universal Healthcare." Citations Needed #134 (April 21, 2021) ["Almost every wealthy country in the world has some type of universal healthcare system--except for the United States. With over 170 million of its citizens left to fend for themselves in a sprawling and complex maze of Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, tax credits, child care subsidies, co-pays, deductibles and cost-sharing, the U.S. has not only the largest uninsured population, but also the most expensive system on Earth per capita. Why America doesn’t have a universal healthcare system has historically been explained away with a reductionist mix of pathologizing and circular reasoning. "America hates big government," "we love choice," "Americans distrust anything that reeks of socialism." And while this is true in some limited sense, it avoids the bigger question of why has American so-called "democracy" rejected the numerous proposals to enact a single payer or other forms of universal healthcare? While there may be some innate Protestant work ethic or rugged individual mentality at work here, there’s also been a decades-long multimillion dollar campaign funded by big business, doctor, pharmaceutical and hospital industry interests, and the insurance industry to convince the public to reject universal public healthcare. Indeed, if Americans were somehow intractably opposed to the notion––if they were hardwired to reject socialized medicine––these forces would never have had to spend so much money in the first place. On this episode, we explore the 80-year long campaign by capital to convince you to not support universal health programs, how these campaigns have historically fear-mongered against Communists, immigrants and African Americans, who benefits from a precarious, employer-controlled healthcare insurance system, and how this propaganda war on the American mind is anything but over. Our guest is Ben Palmquist, Director of the Health Care and Economic Democracy Program at Partners for Dignity and Rights."]

Propaganda/Censorship/Misinformation. Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Archive)

PR Watch [“Every day, companies and their front groups are spending millions of dollars to benefit narrow corporate interests in ways that hurt the lives and livelihoods of people in every state – and they are trying to do this from the shadows. Our investigative work is focused on giving regular people a clear view into the deep-pocketed billionaires, pay-to-play groups and corporations that that are damaging our democratic institutions.” – Lisa Graves, Executive Director of CMD.]

Schor, Juliet B. "Born To Buy: The Commercialized Child And The New Consumer Culture." NPR (ND) ["The award-winning author of The Overworked American and The Overspent American examines advertising strategies that promote consumerism from the earliest ages, offering advice to parents and teachers on how to reverse the damaging effects of commercialism on developing children. 35,000 first printing."]

Subisatti, Andrea and Alexander Wes
Smith,Yves. "Wired: Self Driving Car Hype Crashes Into Harsh Realities." Naked Capitalism (December 30, 2017)

Sutherland, Rory. "Alchemy." EconTalk (November 11, 2019) ["Author and Advertising Executive Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy talks about his book Alchemy with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Sutherland makes the case for the magic (yes, magic!) of advertising and branding in helping markets work well. This is a wide-ranging conversation on consumer choice, public policy, travel, real estate, and corporate decision-making using insights from behavioral economics and decades of experience in the world of advertising."]

Theoharis, Jeanne. "A More Beautiful & Terrible History: The Whitewashing & Distortion of Rosa Parks and MLK’s Legacies." Democracy Now (February 6, 2018) ["On February 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “The Drum Major Instinct” sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, two months before his assassination. On Sunday, 50 years later, the words of his sermon were used to in a Dodge Ram truck advertisement at the Super Bowl. The ad sparked widespread criticism for the obvious distortion of Dr. King’s message. But other revisions to civil rights history are often more subtle. For more, we speak with the author of a new book showing how the legacy of the civil rights movement in the U.S. has been distorted and whitewashed for public consumption. Professor and historian Jeanne Theoharis’s new book is titled “A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History.” She is also the author of the award-winning book The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks."]

Tolentino, Jia. "The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death." The New Yorker (March 22, 2017)

Tompkins, Joseph. "Woke Hollywood? The Marketing of Black Panther." Counterpunch (March 30, 2018)





Cinemark theater screened this Disney World advertisement (you know opportunistic selling of images of disturbed veterans) right before Thor: Ragnarok last night (after a long series of militarized ads/promotions). It is not only rank propaganda, but it also perpetuating a repeatedly disabused cultural lie (across many cultures) - the myth of people spitting on returning veterans.

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