public relation

Impact of PR & Consumer Culture

Online Class 2

OC2 Instructions

Follow Steps 1 & 2:

First, review the PowerPoint and watch the two linked videos: 

The documentary, called No Logo, is about ethics and the global impact of persuasion/influence/campaigns. It presents an interesting argument (which you may either agree or disagree with…) – but it strikes me as talking about a very Bernays world.

The second video is a segment from the Netflix show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj on the brand Supreme. It’s a humorous examination of our obsession with brands and the PR/Marketing tactic of creating buzz and controlling supply to ramp up demand.

As you watch the videos, think about and answer the following questions in the discussion:

1] What is Edward Bernays’ legacy in terms of how he influenced Ad & PR (particularly lifestyle branding and consumer culture)? Is it a good thing or a bad thing (or a bit of both)?

2] If you could teach a friend or family member on how to understand the tactics that PR folks use, how would you explain it (i.e. how can we help people become more PR literate)?

Second, reply to two of your classmate’s posts. (At least 50 words each and be substantive.)

Video 1: A Rebuttal to Consumer Culture

Video 2: The Cult of Supreme

Impact of PR & Consumer Culture

In response to a backlash of the dark side of consumer culture and mass persuasion, we see two concepts emerging:

Corporate Social Responsibility

PR Literacy

Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR is the concerted, planned, and actively engaged effort to internally regulate business legal and ethical standards and activities.

CSR is an attempt to:

Instill a culture of ethical conduct

Establish a code of ethics, code of conduct

Build goodwill with the community

Fall in line with global environmental, health, and human rights concerns and standards

Develop and maintain a reputation for being a good corporate citizen

PR Literacy

The ability to identify when public relations is being utilized, being aware that PR impacts society and individuals, possessing frameworks for analyzing PR, and applying critical thinking skills to this evaluation.

Parallels media literacy in its advocacy of encouraging people to be critical consumers of content.

Video Links

No Logo – available in two forms



Patriot Act “Supreme”


Also on Netflix if you have that


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