Corporations

Posted by Sheldon Rampton on June 20, 2003

The venerable Parent-Teachers Association has begun seeking corporate funding partnerships with companies including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Disney Interactive and Microsoft. "I know the PTA may need money, but when they accept money from whomever, it loses its independence," says parent Loretta Pleasant-Jones. "How can a PTA now turn and say, 'We want the Coke machines out of our schools?' "

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Posted by Laura Miller on June 19, 2003

"The Supreme Court should decide a case by the end of this month that seemingly pits multiple issues -- all dear to liberal hearts -- against each other: the First Amendment versus decent working conditions overseas and consumer protection," Lisa J. Danetz writes for TomPaine.com. The case, Nike v. Kasky, centers on whether or not Nike violated California's truth-in-advertising laws with its statements about the working conditions in its overseas factories.

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Posted by John Stauber on June 19, 2003

"What seemed to be a groundswell of protest materialized last week when WorldCom Inc. lawyers arrived at federal court for a hearing on whether the company's agreement to pay a $500 million fine was sufficient punishment for its mammoth fraud. ... Outside the courthouse, a small group of demonstrators rallied" including the Gray Panthers. "The outpouring, though, was hardly spontaneous. Several of the opponents, including protest organizers and petitioners, had ties to Issue Dynamics Inc.

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Posted by Laura Miller on June 19, 2003

The American Plastics Council recently launched a new marketing campaign that targets women and children. APC, through its ad agency Grey Worldwide, will spend $19 million on TV and print advertising, one of its lowest marketing budgets in the 11 year history of the trade association, MediaPost reports. "Because one of [APC's] targets is mothers of infants, Grey has gotten the American Plastics Council spots on The Newborn Channel.

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Posted by Laura Miller on June 11, 2003

Discussing whether the profit making side of the media industry had won out over content, former "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman (who was played by Al Pacino in the movie "The Insider") told Australia's Radio National, "It's a situation where the class differential between the people who present, so-called presenters, we call them talent when you work inside the network news organisations, between what they make for instance annually, and what the people who work in the industry make, who actually do most of the reporting and production and writing, is just phenomenal.

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Posted by Laura Miller on June 08, 2003

"Litigation public relations discussions involving lawyers and public relations professionals are protected under attorney-client privilege, according to a ruling last week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan," PR trade publication the Holmes Report writes. "The ruling was hailed by public relations professionals as conferring new credibility on their role and acknowledging a reality of today's legal work.

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Posted by Laura Miller on June 08, 2003

"America's big drug companies are intensifying their lobbying efforts to 'change the Canadian health-care system' and eliminate subsidized prescription drug prices enjoyed by Canadians," CanWest News Service reports. "A prescription drug industry spokesman in Washington confirmed to CanWest News Service that information contained in confidential industry documents is accurate and that $1 million US is being added to the already heavily funded drug lobby against the Canadian system."

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Posted by John Stauber on June 01, 2003

"[T]he Gray Panthers, a public interest group that defends the rights of senior citizens, took out full page ads in newspapers around the country calling on federal officials to stop awarding federal contracts to MCI WorldCom -- which committed one of the largest corporate frauds in history. ... At the bottom of the ads, in small type, is this: 'This ad was paid for by Gray Panthers.' In fact, the $200,000 spent by the Gray Panthers to place the newspaper ads was raised by Issue Dynamics Inc., a

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Posted by John Stauber on June 01, 2003

John Nichols writes in the Nation on-line that today's "3-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission to remove barriers to corporate consolidation of control over the media capped a process that ... bent the rules to serve the special interests. ... In addition to provoking passionate opposition ...

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Posted by Laura Miller on May 28, 2003

"The nation's top broadcasters have met behind
closed doors with Federal Communications Commission officials more than
70 times to discuss a sweeping set of proposals to relax media ownership
rules," the Center for Public Integrity writes. "The private sessions
included dozens of meetings between broadcasters and the agency's five
commissioners and their top advisors. A June 2 vote is scheduled on the
controversial proposals, which critics fear will touch off a major new
round of media consolidation. In contrast, FCC officials held five

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