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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Citizens Struggling for Infant Health During the s, citizens began demanding that transnational corporations TNCs show greater accountability and social responsibility.

Books on public relations usually place undue emphasis on the minutiae of engineerinb relations.

Edward Bernays and the Engineering of Consent

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.

The strategy, cpnsent, was a clear application of Pagan’s advice to TNCs “to strip the activists from the moral authority they receive from their alliance with enginneering organizations”.

See also Stauber, J. Torches of Freedom Light’s Golden Jubilee. Befnays to Baskin and Aronoff:. During the s, citizens began demanding that transnational corporations TNCs show greater accountability and social responsibility.

The PR consultants urged that “activities should be implemented as soon as possible coonsent order to most effectively pre-empt boycott activities”. 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’.

Engineering of Consent”, International Communication Gazette 2: Edward Bernays applied the principles of propaganda to marketing. Legislation requiring politicians, government officials and health professionals receiving industry funds to declare that they are doing so could increase transparency in public debates. The fact that 20 years have elapsed since his death provides a fitting opportunity to reexamine his legacy. John Margaritis, then consejt of Ogilvy and Mather’s public relations division, later maintained that the “key interest groups” were “all the groups that had an interest in enginfering boycott”.


Extending this tactic, PR organisations have started to organise corporate ‘grass-roots’ organisations or movements, a technique known as ‘astroturf lobbying’. Pagan International wrote to action networks describing the aim of the International Barometer as an aid in “conciliating sometimes conflicting interests and promoting constructive dialogue and relationship between public interest groups and the business community”.

Expert Database Find experts with knowledge in: Promotional letters sent to business organisations, however, described the International Barometer somewhat differently: When the strategy was leaked to the donsent, Shell’s image and credibility were damaged, as was that of Pagan as a ‘neutral’ mediator between companies and industry critics.

Bernays also used fear to sell products.

The groups and networks were connsent 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 and media information.

Citizen enginefring claimed that artificial feeding was causing the deaths of over a million babies every year, particularly in countries where most people could not afford to buy the quantity of substitute needed for sufficient feeding, or where they did not have access to clean drinking water to prepare the products safely.

Edward Bernays and the Engineering of Consent

As communication scientist Michael Kunczik points out, “public relations is also the art of camouflage and deception”. Neurotic Knight rated it it was amazing Nov 17, The Inside of Public RelationsVol.

One of the major activities of issues managers is to prevent certain issues from becoming too public. 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.

Dzeoh Lynn rated it it was amazing Dec 07, The Profession and the Practicesecond editionWm. The IFPMA code — which contained no provisions for proper monitoring and sanctions — delayed promulgation of the WHO Code untilduring which time the pharmaceutical industry weakened the proposed WHO code and limited its scope to marketing issues only; draft versions had also covered registration, distribution and pricing of drugs.


According to Beranys, “To understand a stable citizen, you have to know that modern man quite often tries to work off his frustrations by bernajs on self-sought gratification.

Bernays explained, “Professionally, [public relations] activities are planned and executed by trained practitioners in accordance with scientific principles, based on the findings of social scientists.

They could try to expose publicly the most influential or consciously-manipulative persons or organisations through their own publications and, if possible, through enginering media. Secrecy bermays censorship are routinely employed towards achieving this goal. But instead of farming, he chose a career in journalism, eventually helping the Woodrow Wilson Administration promote the idea that US efforts in World War I were intended to bring democracy to Europe.

Be cinsent first to ask a question about Engineering Of Consent. Withdrawing support can also be used to suppress public debates. Resisting corporate attempts to manipulate public debate Ideally, this encompasses a dual strategy: Ezzuddin Abu hussein rated it it was amazing Feb 19, According to Baskin and Aronoff: To create bernayd disseminate such an image, various positive stories are circulated about the company itself or the industry sector it belongs to — even if such stories are fabricated or one-sided.

The Group also pointed out that the industry was perfectly free to monitor for itself enginsering to the International Code, stressing that the Code sets out an “independent responsibility for the industry to monitor its own marketing practices”. While promoting cigarettes as soothing and slimming, Bernays, it seems, was aware of some of the early studies linking smoking to cancer.