Tracking the hidden techniques that influence what you buy, think and believe - in government, corporations and society.

Sensory Manipulation at the Supermarket?
Do you ever wonder why things are so hard to find in the Supermarket? The longer you walk around, the more likely you are to make extra unplanned purchases. Visual layout tricks and scientifically tested muzak are incredibly successful at extracting more money from your wallet.

Propaganda in a Democracy
When it's time to launch a war or cover up an environmental catastrophe, the government's first phone call is to their public relations firm. These opinion engineers are paid to "manage" public perception of inconvenient facts, and turn them around for better. Using fear, patriotism, and simplistic slogans, these high flying spin doctors are paid to sway the population.

Data Mines: Predicting your next purchase.
Your medical records, political profile and spending habits can zip around the country two million times before you've had breakfast. The information about you that is available for sale might surprise you - it can attract unwanted attention from marketers, and if you're unlucky, you could get treated as a security threat at the airport.

Trend: Planted News Stories
The best way to catch ad avoiders is to plant the promotion in a news story. Take the latest 'miracle drug' story on last nights news - was it genuine news or was it just a carefully packaged VNR. TV newsrooms love these free news items that are circulated around the networks, it saves them time and money. But it pushes out community news and genuine investigative reporting.

Secret buzz agents can stalk you on the street and in your home.
People can get paid to become local undercover agents for the latest soft drink, magazine or gadget. It works like this: they promise to secretly promote a product to their friends or family without them finding out. The more people they tell, the more they get paid. Others are paid to drive around a new car and park it where everyone can see it. Some pretend to be tourists, or stage elaborate pranks in public places, to draw attention to the product they are advertising.

Would you fall for a crazy cult?
If you think you wouldn't, you would make at ideal recruit. Those most vulnerable are the ones who think that they could never be tricked into adopting a bizarre belief. By using simple mind control techniques, cult leaders create a magnetic appeal for curious seeker. Modern cults cruise universities and personal columns for new followers and are growing rapidly.

"...filled with engaging graphics and provocative but easy-to-follow guidelines for maintaining autonomy in a world made of marketing."
Douglas Rushkoff

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