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Via the Nation, Wal-Mart strikes back against its critics in a mind-bending new advertising campaign:

As activists continue to organize demonstrations at McDonalds, Walmart and other low-wage firms, big protests are planned against retailers for mistreating their workers this Black Friday. In response, consultants are ramping up efforts to marginalize them.

Last night Worker Center Watch, a new website dedicated to attacking labor-affiliated activist groups, began sponsoring advertisements on Twitter to promote smears against the protests planned for Black Friday. “This Black Friday, just buy your gifts, not their lies,” instructs the narrator.

Parquet Public Affairs, a Florida-based government relations and crisis management firm for retailers and fast food companies, registered the Worker Center Watch website. The firm is led by Joseph Kefauver, formerly the president of public affairs for Walmart.



Buzzfeed has a collection of magazine advertising from the 1950s through 1970s run by the American Sugar Association’s PR division, Sugar Information. For decades sugar was aggressively advertised to consumers (specifically women)…


Some things just can’t be said on TV. The Age writes:

Australia’s commercial TV networks have banned an advertisement that criticises the anti-Labor coverage of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers.

Channels Seven and Ten refused to air the ad commissioned by GetUp, while Nine screened it over four days in Brisbane – then cancelled it after blaming a “coding error”.

GetUp says it will report all three networks to the competition watchdog for alleged “misuse of market power”. The group has accused the broadcasters of censorship to avoid displeasing Murdoch and his company, News Corp. It intends to lodge a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, claiming the networks have breached rules by refusing to supply their services.


Corporations seem to be all about irreverent ads, yet get surprisingly sensitive when the joke is on them. Via the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

In the wake of a major pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, Exxon has launched a campaign to prevent Little Rock television stations from running a political ad titled, “Exxon Hates Your Children.” To try to keep it off the air, Exxon is circulating a memo to television stations claiming that the commercial is “defamatory toward ExxonMobil’s employees.”

The ads, which were paid for through crowdfunding, were scheduled to run on local ABC, NBC, and Fox stations this week, but were taken off the schedule when the stations got the memo. In February, Exxon pulled the same stunt when Comcast was set to air the ad during the president’s State of the Union address.


If you want to understand our culture, watch our commercials. Via Salon, Michael Shaw writes:

With the West in an endless struggle in the Middle East not just for resources but mindshare, we see the Coke bottle — the symbol of globalization and American commercialism — sitting there in the hot sand, the object of desire for, first of all, a hapless Gulf prince/camel jockey. Resonating with [the looming] immigration debate, we then have a Hispanic desperado evoking the desert as if the province of thirsty Mexicans looking north.

It’s funny but not-so-funny when you consider that what America has to offer is, in fact, a mirage. What the ad people realize I’m sure is that, after more than a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of “quenching” — no matter how much you “put down” the Arabs and Islamists — couldn’t be more ironic.






The Hunger Games? Nope, this year’s hottest dramatic depiction of our nightmarish future is Rick Santorum’s ‘Obamaville’, a look at a ‘small American town two years from now if Obama is reelected’. What will 2014 under Obama be like? The playgrounds are empty, rusted, and littered with children’s abandoned shoes, signs are painted in blood, the numbers on clocks are printed in Soviet-font, and the sun rarely shines. No joke, a campaign spokesperson said this teaser is the kickoff an eight-part miniseries: