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We Don't Need No Thought Control: Marketers' Dirty Tricks

What should Doug Rushkoff drink?
photo: WGBH

Advertisers, strategists, and marketers are massaging media and manipulating the message: We're subject to commercials before movies, as well as ads on parking meters and cigarette receptacles. Citibank tells us to live richly and Bank of America preaches its higher standards. And the Sinclair Broadcast Group—which owns Sinclair Ventures Inc., which invests in Jadoo Power Systems, which was awarded a contract with the U.S. Special Operations Command—has ordered its 62 stations, reaching approximately 24 percent of American households, to air uninterrupted in prime time the anti-Kerry documentary Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, produced by Carlton Sherwood, former media consultant to Tom Ridge. The Museum of Television & Radio will preview The Persuaders, a PBS Frontline investigation on how media masterminds develop ways of planting their messages deeper into our lives through market research techniques and public relations. Persuaders' producer-director Rachel Dretzin and Frontline correspondent Doug Rushkoff (both of whom also did The Merchants of Cool, a report on how media market pop culture to teenagers); Public Relations Society of America CEO and president Del Galloway; and Archetype Discoveries Worldwide chairman G. Clotaire Rapaille will discuss how marketing shapes consumers' understanding of the world and themselves, and how these techniques have migrated to politics.


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