Thursday, 25 June 2009

Astroturfing: a technique to create the impression of grassroots support for a cause or product

Interesting report from The Guardian on Wednesday here who note the difficulty in trying to define the moral boundary between viral and stealth marketing, and between slick political organising and voter manipulation. An EU directive enacted in Britain last year made astroturfing illegal, and there have been similar moves in the US. But it is hard to police: lawmakers are swimming against a huge technological and commercial tide.

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.