Corporate Campaigns

UnitedHealth Presses its Employees to Oppose Public Option

The country's largest private health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, is urging its 75,000 employees to phone their senators and write letters-to-the-editor to protest the inclusion of a public health insurance option in health reform legislation.

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$50 Million to Polish Cars?

Kelmenson, Davis & Associates (KDA), a marketing advisory firm with ties to the automobile industry, is trying to raise $50 million a year to spend on fixing the image of Detroit's Big Three auto companies "via public relations and a cable TV documentary," plus "an informational magazine and website called 'American Drive,'" reports Jean Halliday.

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The Hidden War: Big Tobacco and the GOP Team up Against Southern Democrats

When the major American tobacco companies signed the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with the 46 states who sued to recover the costs of treating sick smokers, the companies agreed to nominal advertising restrictions and massive yearly payouts to the states.

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Pinkwashing: Can Shopping Cure Breast Cancer?

pink ribbon magnetYou've heard the term "greenwashing." It refers to corporations that try to appear "green" without reducing their negative impact on the environment.

Since 2002, the group Breast Cancer Action has promoted its "Think Before You Pink" campaign. It's fighting "pinkwashing," which is when corporations try to boost sales by associating their products with the fight against breast cancer. Pinkwashing is a form of slacktivism -- a campaign that makes people feel like they're helping solve a problem, while they're actually doing more to boost corporate profits. Pinkwashing has been around for a while, but is now reaching almost unbelievable levels.

Product Placement in the City

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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Corporate-Sponsored "Slacktivism": Bigger and More Dangerous than the Urban Dictionary Realizes

Recently while browsing the Web I came across UrbanDictionary.com, which is sort of a wiki of contemporary slang. I found some of the newer words listed there amusing, like "hobosexual" (the opposite of metrosexual; someone who cares little about their looks), "consumerican," ("a particularly American brand of consumerism"), and "wikidemia" ("an academic work passed off as scholarly yet researched entirely on Wikipedia").

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