Battling Big Business: Countering Greenwash, Front Groups and Other Forms of Corporate Deception

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Losing control in the media arena as a result of activist pressure has become a public relations nightmare for the modern multinational enterprise. Shell's Brent Spar fiasco is one well-known example. The Greenpeace campaign that opposed the sinking of this former oil drilling platform in the sea was a stunning success. Monsanto's gross underestimation of the European resistance against the introduction of genetically engineered products is another. As more companies shift to being all about brand meaning and image, the more vulnerable they are to attacks on that image. At the same time, corporations are becoming as powerful as governments. Battling Big Business reveals how corporate giants attempt to control their 'enemies' -- and how groups and individuals can fight back. Part One analyses a wide range of corporate counter-strategies, from relatively innocent PR measures to complete intelligence operations. Part Two offers tactical tools to recognise manipulative strategies, and how to counter them with creativity and new media tools. More than just an expose, Battling Big Business contains the tools to confront corporations by being what they fear most: original, playful, unexpected, small, fast, irresistible, but also decisive, clear -- and unstoppable!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567512243
  • Publisher: Common Courage Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 8
Foreword 8
Introduction 11
A Keeping Up Appearances
1 The Spread of Greenwash 19
2 bp: Beyond Petroleum? 26
3 Dialogue: Divide and Rule 33
4 The Sponsorship Scam 44
5 The Greens Get Eaten 53
B Behind the Facade
6 Krafting a Smokescreen 56
7 Joining Forces: Big Business Rallies after Seattle 64
8 Using Libel Laws to Silence Critics 78
C Undercover Operations
9 McSpying 86
10 Garbology: Activist Trash as Corporate Treasure 98
11 Private Spooks: Wackenhut vs. Whistleblowers 107
12 Cyber-surveillance 114
13 Corporate Intelligence 125
14 Investigating and Exposing 137
15 Digging Up Astroturf 147
16 Obstructing the Mainstream: Lessons from Seattle 155
17 Communication Guerrillas: Using the Language of Power 166
18 Virtual Sabotage 177
19 Net.activism 181
Afterword: The Pandora Project 193
Notes on contributors 195
References and Notes 198
Index 219
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