<\body> Stories in America: The Art of Spin

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Art of Spin

Each week, the Center for Media and Democracy compiles a list of news items about political spin and propaganda. It's called The Weekly Spin and it's a must read. Here are a few summaries from this week's list:

The PR firm Edelman "is working with the American Petroleum
Institute (API), the oil industry's primary lobbying group, on a
public issues campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the
industry is facing severe challenges, even as its members pull in
record quarterly profits," reports PR Week. Print ads designed by
Edelman's advertising unit, Blue Worldwide, "have run in major daily
newspapers across the nation, as well as in Roll Call and The Hill."
The print ads urge "consumers to adopt conservation measures this
winter" and push for the removal of "barriers on the production of
natural gas on federal lands." Blue Worldwide also launched "a new
TV campaign that will run during news and public affairs
programming, which started with NBC Nightly News" on November 10.
SOURCE: PR Week, November 11, 2005

As The Nation's Jeremy Scahill cautions that Stewart Simonson, the
U.S. official "responsible for coordinating the federal response to
a flu pandemic or bioterror attack could well be the next Michael
Brown," businesses are preparing marketing plans to avoid decreased
chicken or egg consumption due to avian flu. The PR firm Edelman "is
in the early stages of developing contingency programs." Edelman's
Mike Seymour said, "We're building on our experience with Severe
Acute Respiratory Syndrome SARS. ... The best thing to do is to have
a plan in place ahead of it." Kentucky Fried Chicken is planning TV
ads "to educate consumers that eating cooked chicken is perfectly
safe." The National Chicken Council launched a website,
avianinfluenzainfo.com. Perdue Farms and Tyson Foods "have prepared press releases ... trying to allay concerns." O'Dwyer's reports that the Egg Safety Center hired Aronow Communications "to get word out that a potential avian flu pandemic would not make eggs unsafe."
SOURCE: Advertising Age, November 7, 2005

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), which recently launched a
major chemical industry PR campaign called "essential2," is one of
the main groups claiming that the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a
public right-to-know program, is not so essential. Under TRI, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency annually reports on what
industries release into the air, water and land. The ACC "has urged
less frequent reporting since 1999." ACC's Michael Walls said, "Just
because we're used to doing something doesn't mean we should accept
the inherent high costs or burden of doing it." The Bush
administration supports changing the TRI so that fewer releases are
reported, less frequently. EPA officials say they will "likely spend
another year weighing the pros and cons" of the proposed changes,
after the public comment period ends on December 5. According to
federal records, the EPA "previously solicited comments from
industry groups."
SOURCE: Toledo Blade (Ohio), November 14, 2005


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