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Marketing and the Metrics of Fear

Today’s New York Sun features an interesting article by Ken Magill about the mad cow marketing battle. Citing several marketing campaigns launched by food-lobby groups, the piece considers the he said/she said efforts to “fan emotions” about the safety of beef.

Two of the more major players in the attempt to sway public opinion is the Center for Consumer Freedom, a pro-food-industry organization and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

In a back-page ad in this week’s U.S. News & World Report, the CCF aims to dispel supposed myths propagated by people and organizations such as PETA concerned about mad cow disease. Regardless of the growing fight for public opinion, a recent NDP Group survey found that 72% of respondents were concerned about mad cow disease (downside) — while 70% believe food bought at supermarkets is safe (upside).

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