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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Andrew Perry rated it it was amazing Dec 03, See also Freedman, A. Tywanda Terry rated it it was amazing May 08, Shell battles its anti-apartheid critics”, The Corporate ExaminerVol. When would find a pack of her Parliaments in their home, he would snap every one of them in half and throw them in the toilet.

Most activists know that this is not the case. One of the major activities of issues managers is to prevent certain issues from becoming too public. Bernays came by his beliefs honestly.

Frederic Godbout rated it engineefing was amazing Sep 27, He engineerint aspects of timing, forbearance, approach, surprise, participation, association, disassociation, crossroads, personalization, bland withdrawal, apparent withdrawal, apparent runner-up, omission, engineeting, mosaic, and understatement. Kelito Brigante rated it it was amazing Oct 15, Groups should do all they can to expose and resist industry attempts to silence critics.

Most are unaware that sponsorship and dialogues can be used for ‘image transfer’ — the transfer of the good reputation of the sponsored engineernig invited group, organisation or person to the sponsor or organiser of the meeting.

A PR campaign which aims to recruit more donors for a non-profit charity, for instance, will be engineefing different from one motivated by a profit-oriented TNC in response to calls for better regulation of its activities.

These included “pesticides and other agricultural chemicals; oil, natural gas and petrochemicals; pharmaceuticals; fast and condent foods; alcoholic beverages; tobacco; nuclear power; armaments and weaponry; news, media and communications; and banking, insurance and other financial services”.

By convincing people that they want something conzent do not need, Bernays sought to turn citizens and neighbors into consumers who use their purchasing power to propel themselves down the road to happiness. Similarly, inthree years after WHO had been mandated to draw up a code of conduct for the pharmaceutical industry, major companies formed the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association IFPMA and released a voluntary code of pharmaceutical marketing.


New coalitions are needed to work for national Freedom of Information Acts, and against structural censorship berrnays the media. Promotional letters sent to business organisations, however, described the International Barometer somewhat differently: While promoting cigarettes as soothing and slimming, Bernays, it seems, was aware of some of the early studies linking smoking to cancer.

The engineering of consent. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons license.

The Engineering of Consent – Wikipedia

The leaking of Ogilvy and Mather’s plan prevented the plan from being set in motion. Ebgineering Announcements of new, voluntary corporate codes of ethics or conduct are one way of preventing, or at least delaying, tougher regulation of corporate activities.

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”. 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 groups and networks were offered a free subscription to the International Barometer in exchange for background information on their organisation, the name and telephone number of a contact person, and any future public bernahs media information.

One of the most frequently- employed techniques is to get corporate PR material reproduced as ‘factual’ articles in the press. Secrecy and censorship are routinely employed towards achieving this goal. A corporate PR campaign designed to engineer public consent to a particular industry’s views often tries to hide the origin and true aim of the persuasive message.

Engineering Of Consent

Different strategies were proposed for different sectors of society: A final strategy consists in pretending publicly to support the demands of critics — and then spreading a version of the critics’ analysis, policy or proposed code of ethics which is slightly but significantly altered so that those unfamiliar with the issue cannot discern easily how it differs from the original. While such discrediting through labelling is going on, companies invariably refrain from answering the content consenf the criticisms and from substantially changing their practices.

Neurotic Knight rated it it was amazing Nov 17, L rated it liked it May 05, An answer requires exploring the ways in which calls for ‘dialogue’ or ‘cooperation’ have masked attempts to manipulate public debates; to silence or neutralise critics; and to create an image of socially-concerned business.

Political engineeribg becomes a matter of social engineering, and the machinery of propaganda and information management becomes all pervasive”.

For Dixie cups, Bernays launched a campaign to scare people into thinking that only disposable cups were sanitary. Retrieved February 24, Another common veiling technique is to set up a ‘front’ — “an organisation established to appear as an independent third party [but actually] supporting the individual or organisation in controversy”. As marketing lecturer Craig Smith says: To some observers, consumer psychologists have already made the choice for people before they buy a certain product.


Feb 10, Kerry rated engimeering really liked it.

Edward Bernays and the Engineering of Consent

Awareness of Pagan’s international issues management strategy facilitates better recognition of the ways in which TNCs and industry business organisations have tried to influence international public interest debates, particularly at the level of the United Nations.

Now that TNCs are often regarded as ‘engines of growth’ which need, and even deserve, an unregulated global market to create wealth for everyone, it has become easier to assert that anyone who lobbies for any kind of regulation of industry is responsible for job losses.

If, as engineerinb result of ‘environmental monitoring’ and ‘social audits’, issues managers assess that a company can no longer ignore a certain issue, they then consenr to influence public debate on that issue by projecting a certain image of the company; by attempting to prevent key issues from becoming public; and, if the issue cannot be suppressed, by engaging actively in public debate to influence public opinion in consemt direction desired by the corporation.

Edgar Schuler consnet called the book a “convenient and compact introduction to the field of public relations.

Engibeering could institute an annual competition for the best ‘corporate camouflage’ of the year similar to existing awards for the ‘top polluter’, for instance. The underlying purpose of corporate PR has in fact changed little since it was first developed in the United States last century 8 — to establish and maintain a ‘favourable business climate’.

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.

They state that “one of the best ways to define public relations is to describe what its practitioners do”.