The Death of A Thousand Cuts: Corporate Campaigns and the Attack on the Corporation / Edition 1

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A corporate campaign is an organized assault on the reputation of a company that has offended some interest group. Although corporate campaigns often involve political, economic, and legal tactics, they are centered around the media, where protagonists attempt to redefine the image—and undermine the reputation—of the target company. It is a strategy most frequently employed by unions but is also employed by special interests, such as environmental or human rights groups. Sometimes it is even employed by one corporation against another. It is a rapidly growing phenomenon that is still unknown to the general public, to most academics and journalists, and is rarely understood by the corporations that find themselves on the firing line.

The Death of a Thousand Cuts argues and demonstrates that corporate campaigns are a distinctive phenomenon whose manifestations are today ubiquitous in both the marketplace and the media. This volume examines, in considerable detail, the history, strategy, tactics, effects, consequences, and likely future directions of the corporate campaign and of its nonlabor-based cousin, the anticorporate campaign. The book is based on ample sources and methods, among them an extensive review and analysis of media coverage, news releases, previous scholarship, union publications, campaign materials, interviews and conversations with individuals who have experienced corporate campaigns, public presentations by labor leaders and others, correspondence, Internet postings, case law summaries, documents, videotapes, and other materials. Through original data and interpretation, this book adds context and integration to these materials thus giving them new meaning.
Key features of this outstanding new book include:

• A thorough and clear explanation of what a corporate campaign is and how it differs from other more mundane "public relations" campaigns.

• A detailed examination of strategies and tactics that includes their historical development. Some of the more high profile target companies in recent years include Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Caterpillar, Campbell's Soup, Federal Express, General Dynamics, Home Depot, International Paper, K-Mart, Nike, Texaco, Walmart, Starbucks, and UPS.

• Hundreds of examples that help explain such contemporary events as the anti-sweatshop movement on college campuses, the living wage movement, and the protests against the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank.

• A lengthy appendix contains abbreviated descriptions of nearly 200 corporate campaigns waged by labor unions and various advocacy groups since the idea of the corporate campaign was first developed in the 1960's.

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Editorial Reviews

For Manheim (media and public affairs and political science, George Washington U.) a corporate campaign is not a barrage of advertising, an army of corporate-paid specialists advising a government agency, or a legal suit to silence dissenters, but organized opposition against a corporation by a labor union or advocacy group it has offended or by a competing corporation. He looks at the history, the strategies and tactics, and the effects on company reputations. Among his example targets are Caterpillar, Home Depot, Nike, Starbucks, and Texaco. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805838312
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Introduction. From Ann Arbor, With Love. The State of the Unions. The Learning Curve. The Corporate Campaign Comes of Age. Nonlabor-Based Anticorporate Campaigns. Look for the Union Label. Attack of the "Tree-Huggers." Campaigning by the Book. The Codes of the West. Money Talks.... ...and the Customers Walk. The Tools of Capitalism. The Campaign Branches Out. Telling the Public What It Thinks. Weaving a Web, Worldwide. Back to the Future. Appendices: Union-Initiated and Other Labor-Based Corporate Campaigns, 1974-1999. Anticorporate Campaigns Launched by Nonlabor Entities, 1989-1999.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2005

    The Definitive Book on The Corporate Campaign

    I thought about writing about the phenomenon that has come to be known as The Corporate Campaign. No need. The definitive book has already been written, and this is it. My only criticism is that parts of it are somewhat dry in style, but the substance is so meaty, and the topic is covered in such depth, that you just get by that aspect of the writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2001

    A Well-Researched Look At The Corporate Campaign And Attack...

    A compelling book analyzing one of the least understood and written about subjects of business, the attack on the corporation. The author has assembled a credible definition and analysis of the corporate attack as well as provided a set of case studies. This is a must read for persons interested in the corporation from an organizational behavior and managerial perspective. It offers insight into how a coporate attack might be initiated and how a reaction might be understood. This book isn't one of theoretical concepts, it is one of business analysis and real-world examples. The book, while complex and for a more selective audience, is a must read and highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    Attacking Corporations

    The best review of this book is direct from dust jacket by Michael R. Walker, CEO of Genesis Health Care: '...normal crisis communincation skills/tactics cannot help a corporation under attack [in anti-corporate campaign]...'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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