Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, coined the term “public relations” when propaganda started to become a negative term. His specialty was using psychological know-how to manipulate the masses and orchestrate cultural shifts in his clients’ favor (clients like Standard Oil, the American Tobacco Company, and General Motors). A few decades later, W. Howard Chase built onto that foundation with the idea of issues management—predicting an industry’s potential issues, and manipulating political, social, and cultural forces to neutralize them. Chase is responsible for one of the best-known examples of greenwashing, the so-called “crying Indian ad,” which introduced the idea of “litter bugs” and individual responsibility for pollution.
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