"U.S. Special Operations Command, whose antiterrorist missions are usually conducted in utmost secrecy, is in the market for an ad agency," reports the St. Petersburg Times. A spokesman said the group "is merely doing market research to determine what commercial firms might add to its psychological operations." Of particular interest are "slick multilingual audio, video, print and Web packages." Critics of the plan include the Center for Media and Democracy's Sheldon Rampton. "If someone in the military gives out false information, they're answerable to the public, at least in theory. But if it's a private firm, a lot of that becomes less clear," he said. Rampton gave the example of the Rendon Group, which "is advising top levels of our military and government about how to prosecute the war and taxpayer dollars are being spent, but no one knows what they're doing."
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