Synopses & Reviews
A writer and activist investigates corporate America's inroads into and alliances with the cultural underground.
"There's an industry around you that works, whether you agree with it or not." Alec Bourgeois, Dischord Records label manager
For years the do-it-yourself (DIY)/punk underground has worked against the logic of mass production and creative uniformity, disseminating radical ideas and directly making and trading goods and services. But what happens when the underground becomes just another market? What happens when the very tools that the artists and activists have used to build word of mouth are coopted by corporate America? What happens to cultural resistance when it becomes just another marketing platform?
Unmarketable examines the corrosive effects of corporate infiltration of the underground. Activist and author Anne Elizabeth Moore takes a critical look at the savvy advertising agencies, corporate marketing teams, and branding experts who use DIY techniques to reach a youth market and at members of the underground who have helped forward corporate agendas through their own artistic, and occasionally activist, projects.
Covering everything from Adbusters to Tylenol's indie-star-studded Ouch! campaign, Unmarketable is a lively, funny, and much-needed look at what's happening to the underground and what it means for activism, commerce, and integrity in a world dominated by corporations.
"Real-life examples pack a punch, as do her irreverent and occasionally salty language. Engaging to read, yet don't lose sight of her plea for integrity. Worth noting." Booklist
"[A] work of honesty and, yes, integrity." Kirkus Reviews
"[Moore] conducts Unmarketable
as an intelligent, funny, and frequently dispiriting study of the ways in which the mainstream has repeatedly pillaged the underground, repacking what they find before setting it afloat in the sea of mass consumption. The book is a clever roadmap of the techniques most habitually applied: brandalism ('vandalism that is committed as an advertising campaign'), graffadi ('graffiti that is advertising'), copyfighting ('activist projects that take on copyright and intellectual property issues'), and mocketing ('product placement that is integrated into parody-based entertainment media content')." Iris Blasi, Bitch Magazine
(read the entire Bitch Magazine review
Activist and author Moore takes a critical look at the savvy advertising agencies, corporate marketing teams, and branding experts and the techniques they use to reach a youth market.
About the Author
Anne Elizabeth Moore is the co-editor of Punk Planet, The Best American Comics series editor, and the author of Hey Kidz! Buy This Book: A Radical Primer on Corporate and Governmental Propaganda and Artistic Activism for Short People. She has written for Bitch, the Chicago Reader, In These Times, The Onion, The Progressive, and Chicago Public Radio WBEZ's radio program 848. She lives in Chicago.