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 research, published in as the report, Cracking the Codeconcluded that: The baby food industry, for example, has proclaimed its wholehearted support for the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes — and then insinuated that the International Code is not intended to be universal in its coverage. Because newspapers are dependent on cheap sourcing of editorial content and on advertising, and because ownership of the media and other industries is increasingly interlinked, it is easier for pre-packaged industry PR to make it into the headlines than for critical accounts of industry practices.

Announcements of new, voluntary corporate codes of ethics or conduct are one way of preventing, or at least delaying, tougher regulation of corporate activities.

For instance, activists should ask journalists and others interviewing conxent about their funding sources and request to see copies of their publications before giving interviews. One of the major challenges facing citizen groups campaigning to prevent, minimise, limit or regulate socially-irresponsible or environmentally-degrading practices of transnational corporations TNCs is how to deal with the corporations’ increasing calls for ‘dialogue’ and ‘cooperation’.

Trying to limit opportunities for industry to gather information on activist plans. Engineering Of Consent by Edward L. One benchmark tends to hold true in assessing whether a PR campaign is attempting open, honest and straightforward communication or is using more manipulative strategies: The key [is] defining the issues before they 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.

The Engineering of Consent

This may also give critics the illusion that they are participating in the decision-making process. Promotional letters sent to business organisations, however, described the International Barometer somewhat differently: The Charter does not mention that most existing national laws are weaker than the International Code.

Revaluing the role of conflict in the political process A WHO scientist has pointed out that industry pressure and the report North-South: Its aim is to encourage ‘safe and adequate 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’.


John rated it really liked it Jun 10, This page was last edited on 16 Julyat Clarifying and strengthening resolutions have been passed by the WHO every two years since The Indian Academy of Paediatrics, for instance, passed a resolution in rejecting baby food manufacturers’ funding. Health Action International, for example, is currently co-organising a campaign for public access to information underlying decisions giving market approval for new medicinal drugs in Europe.

Trying not to be used to enhance the image of an industry To prevent, or at least limit, being used to enhance a corporate image, professional associations and actions groups should continue discussing all these issues among themselves and establish clear policies on funding. Reversing the decline in breastfeeding could save 1. Expert Database Find experts with knowledge in: Today, it comprises more than groups in over 90 countries.

Many ‘middlemen’ — and women — may be unaware that they are being used primarily as part of a PR strategy to deflect criticism. It also presents a practical problem: Published December by Univ of Oklahoma Pr first published New coalitions are needed to work for national Freedom of Information Acts, and against structural censorship in the media. Their dispassionate approach and methods may be likened to those of the engineering professions which stem from the physical sciences.

The Engineering of Consent – Wikipedia

PR Laundering Box 3: Thus conflict and controversy should once again take their rightful place in the political process. The Century of the Self.

Misuse of dried milk has almost certainly resulted in a similar number of deaths to those killed in all the wars since Most are unaware that sponsorship and dialogues can be used for ‘image transfer’ — the transfer of the good reputation of the sponsored or invited group, organisation or person to the sponsor or organiser of the meeting.

Experience so far with industry-initiated ‘dialogues’ indicates that they bias democratic decision-making.

Engineering of Consent | The Corner House

See also Richter, J. Well-argued, clearly-ascribed, differing positions developed in public, transparent debates or ‘interest negotiations’ are no less constructive — and moreover allow citizens to develop their own informed opinion on a contested issue. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

The groups and networks were offered a free subscription to the International Barometer in exchange for background information on their organisation, egnineering name and telephone number of a contact person, and any future public and media information. Putting the spotlight on this least examined — because best hidden — source of corporate power may increase the transparency of public debates on critical issues and allow citizens to recover spaces for democratic decision-making.


For other business strategies to ‘censor’ publications, see Stauber, J. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Since the end of the Cold War, discrediting social critics by stereotyping them as Marxists or communists has given way conset labels such as ‘anti-industry’, ‘anti-technology’, ‘anti-progress’, ‘irrational’, ’emotional’ and ‘unprofessional’. If they do enter into discussions with industry, they should try to avoid giving away strategic information about their financial and human resources and action plans; they should, however, loudly and clearly voice their berjays about what they regard as the public issue.

Jonathan Chambers rated it it was amazing Jun 15, He later recounted in his autobiography:. Eager to do their best for “our common future”, they claim to be keen to listen to their critics.

A Programme for Survival from the Brandt Commission have fostered the idea that there is “no contradiction between working for social equity and [working] for an expanding market”.

Engineering Of Consent

The key ‘issues’ which need to be managed, according to corporate thinking, are “environmentalism, consumerism, unionism, feminism, energy, health and safety, human resources [and] productivity”. Towards Transparent, Democratic, Public Debates To be in a better position to resist corporate attempts to manipulate 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 industry views although manipulation is key to both kinds of activities.

As a result of such information gathering, public relations professionals have developed data banks on activist and other relevant groups and organisations over the past ten to 15 years.

Delay; Depoliticise; Divert; and Fudge. Corporations were told that reading this “ready reference source about activists’ funding, affiliations, operations and goals The page document, the “Shell US South Africa Strategy”, provided detailed recommendations on how to engage Shell’s critics “in post-apartheid planning” so bernsys to “deflect their attention away from boycott and disinvestment efforts”.