US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bush Administration Spent $1.6B on ‘Propaganda’ Efforts

Michelle Chen
The NewStandard, NY

Feb. 15 – The public-relations gloss that has long wrapped the Bush administration is fast becoming a blemish on the White House, according to lawmakers who have uncovered some $1.6 billion in federal funds spent on promoting various administration-sponsored programs.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s research and auditing body, tracks more than 340 contracts negotiated between several government departments and PR, advertising and media firms from 2003 through the first part of 2005.

The study, requested by the House of Representatives Democratic leadership, found that from 2003 to mid-2005, the administration racked up some $1.4 billion in contracts with advertising agencies to broadcast positive messages about its policies and initiatives. Another $200 million went to public-relations companies, and $15 million were spent building connections with media outlets. Individual members of the press received a total of $100,000 in promotional contracts.

According to a fact sheet issued in tandem with the GAO report, the top contractor hired by the White House was Leo Burnett USA, which received contracts worth $536 million over the study period. In addition to the government, Leo Burnett counts Philip Morris, Walt Disney, McDonald’s and Visa among its clients and controls advertising agencies in 82 countries. The company branded the "Army of One" ad campaign, though the Defense Department last December broke ties with the company by signing a deal with a new ad agency worth an estimated $1.35 billion over five years.


More work from Leo Burnett: ONDCP Ads.
Do ad agencies normally do Pro Bono (free) work for the same government agencies that award them contracts?

Here is the philosophy of this company that apparently promotes wars of all kinds:

"We believe the very best, most successful and enduring brands stand above their competitors because they have created legions of believers.

Disney, McDonald’s, Nintendo, Heinz and Kellogg’s are some of the world’s most valuable brands because people have gone well beyond merely buying them. These are brands people believe in.

When people believe, they buy more, pay more, stick with a brand more and advocate the brand to others. And so belief is the ultimate brand currency."

Speaking of Kellogg's, why does Tony Tiger sound like a Drill Instructor these days?

Compare the chant in Tony's "Earn Your Stripes" commercials:
Everywhere we go
People want to know
Who we are.
So we tell them.
We are tigers!
Mighty, mighty tigers!
We are tigers!
Mighty, mighty tigers!

To the "Everywhere We Go" military cadence. (mp3)


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