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Barrett Brown

I am the founder of the distributed think-tank Project PM and a regular inactive to Vanity Fair and Skeptical Inquirer. My work has also appeared in The Onion, National Lampoon, New York Press, D Magazine, Skeptic, McSweeney's, American Atheist, and a couple of newspapers in the U.S. and Mexico as well as a few policy journals. I'm the author of two books and serve as a consultant to various political entities and private clients.

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25 Responses

  1. Avatar Teri says:

    do you do psa? I was thinking of getting you to work for our neighborhood association’s annual membership drive.Report

    • Avatar Barrett Brown in reply to Teri says:

      When I am done with your neighborhood association, it will have become the sixth permanent member of the UN Security Council. Together we will bring order where before there was only chaos. Would you be adverse to having the PSA written in the form of a dialog between Tiberius Caesar and Nerva on the Isle of Capri?Report

  2. Avatar Teri says:

    As long as we don’t start a non-proliferation treaty with the neighborhood across the river and are able to mandate reflective vests on all senior citizens who start their day at 4 bloody a.m. I would cheer in sumerianReport

  3. Avatar paul says:

    piqued

    i would ask you to advertise for my company, it’ll be a one man IT shop.
    It wont go-live until 01 jan 2011 thoughReport

    • Avatar Barrett Brown in reply to paul says:

      Certainly. I will even let you choose between the following formats:

      1. A series of Gore Vidal quotes taken from various interviews he has given over the past half-century and possibly from his two autobiographies and any further autobiographies he might choose to write between now and the launch of your IT operation, with certain terms and concepts such as “American empire” replaced with the name of your firm.

      2. A manifesto that will make clear all that was previously hidden in the affairs of man.

      3. A fictional quatrain that I will compose and attribute to Nostradamus on the internet in response to any of the stupid e-mail forwards I get from reactionaries. The quatrain will appear to have predicted the arrival of yourself on the world stage.Report

  4. Avatar Emma says:

    I’m declaring myself a Public Limited Company and will be trading myself on the London Stock Exchange. I’d like help advertising all of my securities to the British public.

    I’m simultaneously annointing myself a Limited Liability Partnership so that I am not responsible or liable for my own misconduct or negligence. I think this is important in order that I do not go to prison. Indeed I am trusting Heathridge Partners to ensure my corporate body has legal existence independent of its member. (me)

    I hope you can help. I have excellent references and bosoms.Report

  5. Avatar Emma says:

    Splendid. I am in the process of making an educational video. I will file it at Companies House.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I came up with an advertising campaign for a cafe/bakery I used to work for when I was working through college.

    Setting: Galilee. A crowd of Biblical types are all eating loaves and fishes and saying that the bread is really, really good. “Who made the bread?”, someone asks. Zoom over to the top of a hill where you see the French Chef who owned the place. “Hello!”, he’d say in his (exceptionally charming) accent. It’d then turn into a yelly commercial “THE TATTOOED RHINOCEROS CAFE AND BAKERY ON WHATEVER STREET COME DOWN AND EAT SOME BREAD”

    He shot the idea down.Report

  7. Avatar Sam M says:

    I have long been infatuated with the concept of advertising for entire industries rather than for an individual firm. Like, “Beef: It’s what’s for dinner.”

    I assume that as an individual, I am allowed to say whatever I want about uncopyrighted things like beef. So if I was really rich, I’d like to just buy ad time and advertise. Could anyone stop me from running a campaign like “Asparagus: Your mom probably didn’t like you very much,” or “Soup: Most countries are actually a lot better than America, or “Aspirin: Four out of five racists prefer it”?

    Or you could just really roll the dice for a company. I wonder what would happen to sales at GM if they were to run an ad campaign like “Chevy: You know what? Women really shouldn’t work.” I know some people who would probably buy a Chevy.Report

  8. Avatar James Hanley says:

    I have long been infatuated with the concept of advertising for entire industries rather than for an individual firm. Like, “Beef: It’s what’s for dinner.”

    Cartels. When it’s difficult to distinguish one producer’s product from another’s (“Honey this steak is great! Is it from Hank’s Big Texas Cattle Ranch or Bill’s Blue Sky Montana Cattle Ranch?”) cartels are often organized and producers required to contribute to advertising. That’s how we get the California Raisins, the “Real Dairy” campaign, and “Pork, the other white meat.” I suppose Idaho potatoes and Vidalia onions might follow a similar approach. An unusual case are the old diamonds commercials, which were paid for by the deBeers cartel, which was unusual in that it wasn’t a government organized cartel, but a private firm that controlled enough of the diamond market to make marketing the product in general worthwhile, even if minor firms also benefited.

    Of course sometimes producers go to great lengths to get you to believe their product is truly distinguished. Hence you can find magazine ads encouraging you to pay a premium price for steaks from Bill’s Big Sky Montana Cattle Ranch, on the dubious premise that their meat really does taste that much different/better than what you’ll find at your local butcher.

    I like Sam’s idea, though, and it would be a pretty easy laboratory study to see whether people respond positively to ads such as “Eggs. God bless America.”Report

    • Let’s also not forget that de Beers basically created the entire concept of a diamond engagement ring.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Christopher Carr says:

        Indeed–clever buggers aren’t they! The interesting thing about them is that for years they did their best to keep their name out of the public view. Only a relative handful of people really knew about their existence. Then some time back they changed tracks and began to advertise openly, and even set up their own stores with their names on them. Does anyone have any idea what led to that change in business philosophy?Report

  9. Avatar Matty says:

    I would consider engaging Heathridge Partners however I have some particular requirements of my marketing agency.

    1. You shall have no other clients before me, not on earth or in the skies over the earth or in the waters under the earth.
    2. In order to prove your loyalty you must divest yourself of all encumbrances including family, friends, clothing, religious or poltical affiliations and all property real or imaginary (I will however allow you to keep blogging).
    3. any payment shall be in unprocessed coca leaves at a rate to be determined by the government of Bolivia.Report

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