Posted by Anne Landman on September 10, 2010

XRayPinupGirlThe EIZO Company of Japan is a relatively obscure manufacturer of x-ray monitors and medical imaging displays, but thanks to the work of the Butter Advertising Agency in Berlin/Duesseldorf, Germany, the company is grabbing attention with a new promotional pinup calendar that shows everything -- and we mean everything. X-ray images of nude models posted on the Internet caused a viral storm of commenting and link-sharing.

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Posted by Sheldon Rampton on November 13, 2008

Audie Murphy

Viral emails have emerged as a form of stealth propaganda recently, most noticeably in the recent U.S. presidential campaign, when Barack Obama was dogged with false claims that he was a Muslim, that he was refused to salute the American flag, that he was not a U.S. citizen and so forth. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Danielle Allen, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, attempted to trace the chain of one of those emails and found what the Washington Post called "valuable insight into the way political information circulates, mutates and sometimes devastates in the digital age." She noted that the anonymous nature of viral emails, combined with the word-of-mouth way that they spread, makes them hard to counter. "This kind of misinformation campaign short-circuits judgment," she said. "It also aggressively disregards the fundamental principle of free societies that one be able to debate one's accusers."

Posted by Judith Siers-Poisson on August 28, 2008

iPhone 3GThere were long lines of people in Poland to buy the new iPhone 3G, just like in the U.S. But in Poland, those lined up were paid actors. The Polish subsidiary of the French firm France Telecom (Orange) admitted that they had staged the popular demand for the new device. "It was a marketing stunt," said Wojciech Jabczynski, the spokesperson for the French company.

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Posted by Diane Farsetta on June 23, 2008

The Corn Refiners Association launched an 18-month, $20 to $30 million public relations and advertising campaign "to convince consumers that HFCS [high-fructose corn syrup] isn't the evil it has been made out to be." The industry group is running ads in major newspapers -- under the banner "time for a little food for thought" -- that say HFCS has the "same natural sweeteners as table sugar and honey." The campaign, which was created by the

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Posted by Anne Landman on June 04, 2008

If producers anticipated that the new movie "Sex and the City" might be a marketing bonanza, it did not disappoint. Vanity Fair magazine sent two reporters to view the movie and count the number of promotional products that appeared on-screen, including any blatantly-mentioned brand names.

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Posted by Sheldon Rampton on January 27, 2008

The Hotrodders.com website has launched a satirical spinoff, SpankMyMarketer.com, aimed at exposing "illegal stealth marketing" on behalf of companies including General Motors, Holley, Comp Cams and Dynomax, which they say has been posted on theirs and other auto-related websites.

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Posted by Diane Farsetta on November 15, 2007

MouthSpending on word-of-mouth marketing "has increased from $76 million in 2001 to $981 million in 2006 and is expected to grow to approximately $3.7 billion by 2011," according to a report by PQ Media.

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Posted by Diane Farsetta on June 14, 2007

PR Week has more on McDonald's "moms' quality correspondence" PR campaign. The fast food giant met with the six mothers in early June, "at the company's global headquarters in Oak Brook, IL. Future interactions will include a visit to a beef supplier in August and a 'farm field' and produce supplier in September. ...

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Posted by Diane Farsetta on June 11, 2007

In an attempt to deflect criticism that its fast food makes children fat, McDonald's is recruiting mothers as "quality correspondents" to observe and report on its operations.

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