Probably because it appeals to the cynic in me but Piaras mentioned that Lindsay Lohan might be getting a bit of cash to endorse a nicotine chewing gum and being one of the most photographed people on earth at the moment, it’s a nice way of building awareness of a brand. It appeals to me because I have to see multiple motivations for every action and event.
I’m reminded of the strong rumours that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were paid to frequent Starbucks. Being the most photographed couple last year or the year before, most rags had daily pics of them with Starbucks cups. It would make sense and a great way of plugging something. Both Starbucks and the couple denied it though.
Yet Starbucks got pants-down caught with rigging some fake Christmas cheer this year with their “cheer chain” idea which is where the person ahead of you in line is all nice and pays for your coffees too and you feel so gosh-darn special you do the same. In Ireland I’d think we’d start a fight and ask the person what the hell they’re up to.
This isn’t new at all though. I remember years back watching a TV show about Aristotle Onassis and how he got some female superstar in Argentina to smoke his pink cigarettes which made him his first fortune. Shame the only source for this damned information seems to be a summary of the TV show. From the NYTimes review of a TV movie on Aristotle Onassis:
First he seduces a diva (no, it’s not Maria Callas; she arrives later), and then he persuades her to smoke a pink cigarette in a ballroom. Everyone in the ballroom gasps; the men may be shocked, but the women tingle with emancipation. They cadge cigarettes from the men and light up, too. Pink cigarettes immediately sweep Argentina. Young Onassis, who imports them, becomes a rich man.
I’m reading a book at the moment called “Trust us we’re experts” and it really shouldn’t make me smile but it is. Some of the scams PR and Communication firms are pulling are fantastically evil. Shame this isn’t fiction.
Here’s an extract:
In 1993, a group called Mothers Opposing Pollution (MOP) appeared, calling itself “the largest women’s environmental group in Australia, with thousands of supporters across the country.” Their cause: A campaign against plastic milk bottles. It turned out that the group’s spokesperson, Alana Maloney, was in truth a woman named Janet Rundle, the business partner of a man who did P.R. for the Association of Liquidpaperboard Carton Manufacturers-the makers of paper milk cartons.
This documentary by Adam Curtis is an excellent analysis of how the field of freudian psychiatry was used to invent the PR industry, the overarching goal of which was to convince people to buy stuff they didn’t need.
One of the greatest tensions in our empire of capitalism is that the specialisms of PR and Marketing often overlap on the same business card. The wise learn how to discern and over time often conclude they are their own best experts. I trust no one to make my decisions and long ago disqualified talking heads or nattering bloggers from being fonts of wisdom.
[…] out Christmas day but it seems apt now. This is kind of a forked commentary from a blog post on how people mass-manipulate others. I’m in that webified generation that does not trust one source, that reads a story in a […]