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Journal Article

"The Hidden Persuaders": Then and Now

Michelle R. Nelson
Journal of Advertising
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring, 2008), pp. 113-126
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20460832
Page Count: 14
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"The Hidden Persuaders": Then and Now
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Abstract

It has been 50 years since Vance Packard wrote about psychoanalytical techniques employed by the advertising industry in "The Hidden Persuaders." This book, published in the post--World War II consumer boom, exposed a mass audience to motivational research at a time when advertisers used new techniques and a new medium. Yet "The Hidden Persuaders" was highly criticized and became a scapegoat for purportedly promoting subliminal techniques. Nonetheless, the book helped shape public opinion, advertising regulation, and advertising research and practice. This paper provides a historical approach to Packard's contribution and ideas in the context of recent theoretical insights into psychological processing and new persuasion practices.

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