New Perspectives on Political Advertising

By Lynda Lee Kaid; Dan Nimmo et al. | Go to book overview

NOTES

4. CORPORATE ADVOCACY ADVERTISING AS
POLITICAL COMMUNICATION
1.
The term "corporate advocacy" was selected because it has been applied previously to the phenomenon of corporate America's participation in the pub- lic market place of ideas (Heath, 1980; Crable & Vibbert, 1983). This paper does not attempt to draw a distiction between advocacy efforts by an individual "corporation," and advocacy efforts by an industry.
2.
The newspaper advertisements examined in this study were placed by the industry during the time period from the accident itself to the national elections in November of 1980.
3.
Several scholars have maintained that the ability to define a situation or event helps give one symbolic control (Gregg, 1971; Hall, 1982; p. 87; Bosma- jian, 1974; Bachrach & Baratz, 1962; Bachrach & Baratz, 1963; Lukes, 1981).
4.
The Committee for Energy Awareness was founded "immediately after" Three Mile Island (Burnham, 1979c, p. B11), "as part of the industry's new effort to combat bad publicity" ("Nuclear Industry versus Amory Lovins," 1980, p. 573). The C.E.A. was part of the Edison Electric Institute which is a trade association of utility companies. The C.E.A.'s main job was to "provide a focused industry response" to Three Mile Island, which "was acknowledged as a major setback to nuclear energy" (Burnham, 1979c, p. B11).
5.
Other examples of ads using this same theme include ConEdison's full- page ad in the New York Times on 6 August 1979, which began with the headline, "OPEC has raised your electric bill again. Are you ready to fight back?" (p. A18); and the July 26 advertisement from "the stockholders of New York State's investor-owned electric utilities," which offered atomic power as "A Way to help Free New York State From OPEC" (p. A20). "America's Rural Electric Systems" placed two ads of this type. The first opened with the unhappy prospect, "If you like the gasoline shortages of the 70s, you'll love the electrical power shortages of the 80s and 90s" (1979, p. E19); and the second with the warning, "You can't stockpile kilowatts for lean years" (1979, p. E21). Also

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