AAAA: You Can Run Ads—But You Can’t Hide

The leading advertising trade group, AAAA, is worried about the industry’s image. According to Advertising Age, it has hired “one of the country’s largest PR firms to conduct a public-image campaign on behalf of the business.” Ad industry leaders hope to “stave off negative headlines” by using the same flackery shop which represents McDonalds.

The announcement by the American Association of Advertising Agencies coincides with what’s known as “Advertising Week.” There are dozens of events and conferences in New York City this week, as marketers and advertisers engage in a love fest about the power—and future of marketing. The new AAA PR campaign led by Golin-Harris plans to proactively place positive stories with reporters. No doubt they will have an impact, given that most news outlets have embraced many of the same problematic and disturbing digital marketing tactics. Make no mistake—AAAA members and their brand-focused clients are largely determining the future of broadband media.

But the ad industry can’t hide the fact that their plans not only threaten our privacy, but also undermine our quality of life. Using the power of the new media to get all of us, individually, to consume more cars, fast-food, drugs, etc. will help bring us a world further out of whack.

In the opinion of this blogster—the Ad industry won’t have an easy PR ride.

[Source: “Just Make it Stop: 4A’s Hires PR Help. Matthew Creamer. Ad Age. Sept. 25, 2006]

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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