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14 May 2011
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The father of PR, Edward Bernays
  THE CENTURY OF THE SELF
Monday 29 April - Thursday 2 May 2002 7pm-8pm
 


Episodes: One | Two | Three | Four

One: Happiness Machines
Monday 29 April 7pm-8pm

The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.

Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.

His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.

It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today's world.

Episodes: One | Two | Three | Four

 
CENTURY OF THE SELF
More background info on the series
  Sigmund Freud
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1933 poster "You're NOT just one of the crowd." Poster from 1933.


External Links

Freud Museum, London
Biographical info, photos and written archives

Sigmund Freud and the Freud Archives
Links and archive photos and manuscripts

Public Relations Museum: Edward Bernays
Superb overview of the PR founder and his various marketing ploys

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