The Engineering of Consent is an essay by Edward Bernays first published in He defines engineering consent as the art of manipulating people. Edward Bernays applied the principles of propaganda to marketing. he developed an approach he dubbed “the engineering of consent. The PR techniques to engineer consent were first developed and propagated by Edward Bernays, one of the most influential PR-practitioners.

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The leaking of Ogilvy and Mather’s plan prevented the plan from being set in motion. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind. Ezzuddin Abu hussein rated it it was amazing Feb 19, Marketing is often based on themes and symbols that unconsciously influence consumer behavior.

A second strategy is to depoliticise debates on societal questions by trying to shift the debate either to less politicsed arenas or from political questions to technocratic issues.

The Engineering of Consent – Wikipedia

One of the most frequently- employed techniques is to get corporate PR material reproduced as ‘factual’ articles engiheering the press. Pagan warned the audience that, “as the infant formula conflict proved, the marketing practices of no major industry or company are exempt from the politics of confrontation”.

Bernays described engineering of consent as: Published December by Univ of Oklahoma Pr first published This page was last edited on 16 Julyat Books by Edward L. The techniques applied developing the “consumer lifestyle” were also later applied to developing theories in cultural commodification ; which has proven successful in the later 20th century with diffusion of cultures throughout North America to sell ethnic foods and style in popular mainstream culture by removing enginsering from geography and ethnic histories and sanitizing them for a general public.

Unveiling hidden PR practices Resisting suppression of bdrnays issues Trying not to be used to enhance the image of an industry Resisting corporate attempts to cojsent public debate Revaluing the role of conflict in the political process Box 1: But the International Code expressly states that governments, NGOs, professional groups and institutions have an important role to play in independent monitoring of industry compliance of the Code.

As marketing lecturer Craig Smith says: The key [is] defining the issues before engineerinb can have an impact on you so that you can diffuse them, be prepared to have an action plan when something comes up rather than having to attack hurriedly under an attack.

Some critics have lost their jobs after their employers have been ‘approached’; other reprisals have included imprisonment or physical threats.


Engineering Of Consent

While no single person can claim exclusive credit for the ascendancy of advertising in American life, no one deserves credit more than a man most of us have never heard of: Since the end of the Cold War, discrediting social critics by stereotyping them as Marxists or communists has berjays way to labels such as ‘anti-industry’, ‘anti-technology’, ‘anti-progress’, ‘irrational’, ’emotional’ and ‘unprofessional’. Bernays used the same techniques on children.

Many ‘middlemen’ — and women — may be unaware that they are being used primarily as part of a PR strategy to deflect criticism.

Heather Kelly rated it really liked it Jun 09, This briefing paper was written by Judith Richter. See also Richter, J. The strategy, however, was a clear application of Pagan’s advice to TNCs “to strip the activists from the moral authority they receive from their alliance with religious organizations”. One of the clearest examples of diversion comes from the Shell Oil company. Announcements of new, voluntary corporate codes of ethics or conduct are one way of preventing, or at least delaying, tougher regulation of corporate activities.

Languages Polski Edit links. The magazine is designed to “inform its [multinational] subscribers of activities, goals and issues of leading NGOs and international agencies [such as UN agencies and those of the EU] which may impact on their operations”. Companies may invite pressure groups to participate in such a ‘social audit’, flattering them into believing that, through cooperation, they will have a serious influence on corporate behaviour.

Engineering of Consent | The Corner House

Two major approaches are generally employed: For instance, activists should ask journalists and others interviewing them about their funding sources and request to see copies of their publications before giving interviews. Effective public relations smooths and enhances a company’s operations and eases and increases its sales. The research, published in as the report, Cracking the Codeconcluded that:. Ina Fortune editor, Herman Nickel, wrote an article, “The Corporation Haters”, which depicted critics as “Marxists marching under the banner of Christ”.

In the s, he promoted cigarettes as both soothing to the throat and slimming to the waistline. They have formed ‘public interest’ groups whose names contain words such as ‘fairness’, ‘balance’, ‘choice’, ‘coalition’ and ‘alliance’ — “all words that resound very positively”. Walter von Wartburg, an international communications spokesperson for Novartis the Swiss pharmaceutical giant formed by the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, which owns baby food company Gerber suggests that a company should deal with public criticism by providing a “psychological underpinning of [a company’s] own statement through third parties which enjoy public trust”.


One important PR technique in assessing ‘where a company is at’ is ‘environmental monitoring’ which tracks “trends in public opinion and events in the sociopolitical environment” which may affect the company’s operations.

The Engineering of Consent

Good to know what rules they play by. Organisations with a high public standing, such as UN agencies and church organisations, should be particularly careful not to let themselves be used for image transfer or to enhance the legitimacy of a criticised company.

Its aim is to encourage ‘safe and conseht nutrition’ for infants, not only by the promotion of breastfeeding, but also by ensuring the ‘proper use’ of breastmilk substitutes, ‘when these are necessary’, through ‘appropriate marketing’. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. No trivia or quizzes yet. What are the dangers and limits of doing so?

The group declined and the trial continued, culminating with group members being given just a token fine. Maci rated it liked it Aug 13, It concerns women and children and is not of significance to ‘real’ men.

One of its first actions was to draft a code of ethics, released with much fanfare two days after the end of the first court hearing.

To discourage religious communities from joining the campaign to end apartheid, a staff member of Pagan International, James Armstrong, who was also former president of the US National Council of Churches, was detailed to contact key figures of the churches personally. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

Peter Willets, a lecturer on international relations, regards the politics surrounding the economic and social issues of baby food as equivalent to “the ‘high politics’ of security, diplomacy and national prestige”:. One campaign was for a code of conduct to prevent the aggressive marketing of industrial substitutes for breastmilk and of other baby brrnays products.

Most activists know that this is not the case. So why do people say we do? Towards Transparent, Democratic, Public Debates To be in a better position to resist corporate attempts to vernays public debate and engineer consent, corporate accountability activists need to learn how better to distinguish between marketing — selling a product– and corporate public relations — selling bernay views although manipulation is key to both engineefing of activities.