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No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies

No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies

Written by Naomi Klein

Narrated by Nicola Barber


No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies

Written by Naomi Klein

Narrated by Nicola Barber

ratings:
4/5 (23 ratings)
Length:
18 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 13, 2011
ISBN:
9781427222671
Format:
Audiobook

Description

With a new Afterword to the 2002 edition. No Logo employs journalistic savvy and personal testament to detail the insidious practices and far-reaching effects of corporate marketing—and the powerful potential of a growing activist sect that will surely alter the course of the 21st century. First published before the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, this is an infuriating, inspiring, and altogether pioneering work of cultural criticism that investigates money, marketing, and the anti-corporate movement.

As global corporations compete for the hearts and wallets of consumers who not only buy their products but willingly advertise them from head to toe—witness today's schoolbooks, superstores, sporting arenas, and brand-name synergy—a new generation has begun to battle consumerism with its own best weapons. In this provocative, well-written study, a front-line report on that battle, we learn how the Nike swoosh has changed from an athletic status-symbol to a metaphor for sweatshop labor, how teenaged McDonald's workers are risking their jobs to join the Teamsters, and how "culture jammers" utilize spray paint, computer-hacking acumen, and anti-propagandist wordplay to undercut the slogans and meanings of billboard ads (as in "Joe Chemo" for "Joe Camel").

No Logo will challenge and enlighten students of sociology, economics, popular culture, international affairs, and marketing.

"This book is not another account of the power of the select group of corporate Goliaths that have gathered to form our de facto global government. Rather, it is an attempt to analyze and document the forces opposing corporate rule, and to lay out the particular set of cultural and economic conditions that made the emergence of that opposition inevitable."—Naomi Klein, from her Introduction

A Macmillan Audio production.

Publisher:
Released:
Dec 13, 2011
ISBN:
9781427222671
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, columnist, and author of the New York Times and international bestsellers The Shock Doctrine, No Logo, This Changes Everything, and No Is Not Enough. A Senior Correspondent for The Intercept, reporter for Rolling Stone, and contributor for both The Nation and The Guardian, Klein is the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. She is cofounder of the climate justice organization The Leap.


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4.0
23 ratings / 20 Reviews
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  • (1/5)
    Here's a good commentary on "No Logo" and Naomi Klein from "The Rebel Sell" by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter;"Many people who are, in their own minds, opposed to consumerism nevertheless actively participate in the sort of behaviour that drives it. Consider Naomi Klein. She starts out No Logo by decrying the recent conversion of factory buildings in her Toronto neighbourhood into “loft living" condominiums. She makes it absolutely clear to the reader that her place is the real deal, a genuine factory loft, steeped in working-class authenticity, yet throbbing with urban street culture and a “rock-video aesthetic." Now of course anyone who has a feel for how social class in this country works knows that, at the time Klein was writing, a genuine factory loft in the King-Spadina area was possibly the single most exclusive and desirable piece of real estate in Canada. Unlike merely expensive neighbourhoods in Toronto, like Rosedale and Forest Hill, where it is possible to buy your way in, genuine lofts could only be acquired by people with superior social connections. This is because they contravened zoning regulations and could not be bought on the open market. Only the most exclusive segment of the cultural elite could get access to them. Unfortunately for Klein, zoning changes in Toronto (changes that were part of a very enlightened and successful strategy to slow urban sprawl) allowed yuppies to buy their way into her neighbourhood. This led to an erosion of her social status. Her complaints about commercialization are nothing but an expression of this loss of distinction. What she fails to observe is that this distinction is precisely what drives the real estate market, what creates the value in these dwellings. People buy these lofts because they want a piece of Klein’s social status. Naturally, she is not amused. They are, after all, her inferiors—an inferiority that they demonstrate through their willingness to accept mass-produced, commercialized facsimiles of the “genuine" article. Klein claims these newcomers bring “a painful new self-consciousness" to the neighbourhood. But as the rest of her introduction demonstrates, she is also conscious—painfully so—of her surroundings. Her neighbourhood is one where “in the twenties and thirties Russian and Polish immigrants darted back and forth on these streets, ducking into delis to argue about Trotsky and the leadership of the international ladies’ garment workers’ union." Emma Goldman, we are told, “the famed anarchist and labour organizer", lived on her street! How exciting for Klein! What a tremendous source of distinction that must be. Klein suggests that she may be forced to move out of her loft when the landlord decides to convert the building to condominiums. But wait a minute. If that happens, why doesn’t she just buy her loft? The problem, of course, is that a loft-living condominium doesn’t have quite the cachet of a “genuine" loft. It becomes, as Klein puts it, merely an apartment with “exceptionally high ceilings". It is not her landlord, but her fear of losing social status that threatens to drive Klein from her neighbourhood. Here we can see the forces driving competitive consumption in their purest and most unadulterated form."Well, yes, I agree. Klein is a highly sensitive to her own brand status.Also, what would her anti-business (centrally planned?) anti-trade (national socialist?) anti-brand (dictatorship?) look like. No information about this.
  • (5/5)
    Modern corporate avarice takes many different forms and all are brought into the light of day in No Logo. Naomi Klein illustrates how corporate entities have ceased to be factories that make things and have instead transformed themselves into brands they slap on outsourced materials. Klein gives many examples of the way in which advertisers condition people to respond favorably to brand labels by associating those labels with positive stimuli, such as music, concerts, sports events, and sports venues. This results in the brands themselves becoming cherished symbols of delight, worn on clothing, transforming people themselves into advertising media. She gives many examples of how corporations have shut factories in North America and opened vastly lower-paying sweatshops in impoverished countries. She shows how companies have increasingly ceased paying anything close to a full-time living wage, forcing people to give up searching for work or accepting low-paying part-time work. She also covers grass-roots movements that have risen up to challenge these forms of corporate exploitation. No Logo is now 18 years but remains an eye-opening catalog of what has gone wrong in corporate America and how to begin to solve these problems.
  • (4/5)
    "No Logo" is a phenomenally-impressive first work from Naomi Klein. Written in the '90s about the rise of brands which sold ideas as opposed to corporations selling products, it could not be more relevant today.Hipsterism, millennials (although they weren't called that yet), irony, terrible jobs, organizing. These are some of the themes that run throughout the book.Klein highlights some fascinating intersections between art and activism. For example, have you heard of Reclaim the Streets? Started in London, they organized massive parties on public streets.Although you think you may have heard the story, getting into the hardship of working conditions in third-world countries is worth revising. Nike sells shoes for hundreds of dollars that it pay workers to manufacture for pennies. The inequity is stunning and humbling.
  • (4/5)
    Modern History. A populist-academic examination of brands and globalisation and their effects on worldwide labour. Quite a good insight into systemic corporate greed and the brewing backlash against it. Later chapters remind me of my own 'Control, Change and the Internet' in their vague attempt to grasp global culture.
  • (5/5)
    Some political activists can over-sell their ideology: I would be surprised were Naomi Klein's sternest critics to accuse her of that. She sets out her case both rationally and without drama. This makes her findings all the more disturbing. In this, her first book, she takes on the big names of corporate branding. She explains how exploited workers in third world countries produce designer brands which are then sold, often to the poorer members of the richer countries populations, for exorbitant profits. Klein steers clear of making value judgements, but I defy the reader not to feel depressed. It doesn't matter whether you are a Communist, or a fully paid up capitalist; if you read, with as little prejudice as possible, you must surely come to the conclusion that this trend will not end well, for anyone. The third world poor are being paid less than a living wage, getting injured, or even killed, by dangerous practises and must be building animosity towards the west. The people of the west are being duped into paying over the odds for "designer" labels and losing their jobs to foreign workers and, even the 1% making vast profits at the moment, would see that their days are numbered. This is a bleak, but necessary read. Klein tries to put a brave face upon the situation, suggesting that change can and is coming. I, for one, remain to be convinced that we will make the amendments, so desperately needed, without bloodshed.
  • (5/5)
    Naomi Klein has improved greatly as an author (investigative journalist) - and that's a good thing. This book was a good look at the separation of 'brand' from 'product' and the devistation it has wrought both on the first and the 'third' worlds.
  • (5/5)
    As other reviewers have pointed out, parts of Klein’s original text can feel a bit dated. Many of the brands and products that had caché for Generation X-ers during the 1990s have since folded (Borders), faded (Channel One News), or survived even more scathing, regular media exposure of their practices than what appears in this book (McDonalds, Nike, Wal-Mart, big oil). Many of the forms of counter-corporate activism that she documents here also seem to have petered out since the book’s original publication, making her attempt to “analyze and document the forces opposing corporate rule” (xii) seem, at times, like more of a historical snapshot than an enduring cultural critique or manifesto. The final part of the book, “No Logo,” is the most saturated with details of late ‘90s corporate scandals and protests like those that took place during the 1999 World Trade Organization conference in Seattle, making it (for me, at least) the most difficult part to read as anything other than a snapshot of anti-corporate activism before September 11th, 2001.On the other hand, the first three parts of the book – “No Space,” “No Choice,” “No Jobs” – as well as Klein’s new introduction to the 2009 edition – describe practices that, if outrageous in the ‘90s, seem to have become disturbingly commonplace today. The disappearance of full-time jobs in favor of temporary and part-time positions, or corporations’ interventions in “public” spaces such as universities, arts organizations, and town centers actually seem quite mild in Klein’s account when compared with recent trends in employment or funding for the arts in the United States. In these chapters, Klein provides a convincing backstory for processes that seem only to have intensified during the last decade. It’s the first portion of the book that earns most of my stars, for crafting a compelling history of the ways in which these practices became touchstones for corporate strategy and public policy, well before the current crop of economic crises and anti-union sentiment in the U.S.
  • (4/5)
    I assumed that this book would mostly solidify inklings of ideas and opinions I already had, but it did a lot more than that. A very thorough and convincing portrait of a world headed for a new class crisis, coupled with a crisis for the freedom of expression, and perhaps democracy itself.
  • (4/5)
    A must read for those who think that the free market eventually trickles down.
  • (4/5)
    A shocking and lively book designed to stir both thought and emotion in the Western reader. It details all that is wrong with globalisation and corporate power, brings to life the tireless yet often unseen operations fighting back, and mercilessly sets out the dreadful treatment of workers being exploited by many of our most well-known brands.In terms of these corporations and global companies, Klein unapologetically explores the very darkest depths of their capitalist mentality. She names and shames several huge brands, including Nike, Nestle, Disney, Microsoft, Wal-mart, McDonalds and Gap, and frequently refers back to these examples to illustrate her points in a recognisable context.Another of her tactics, well-used to provoke reaction throughout the book, is to provide the reader with detailed case studies, and accompanying analysis, of some of the more heinous scandals linked to various companies over the years. From strikes by humiliated teenage workers at McDonalds to compulsory pregnancy testing and the sacking of pregnant workers in poor factories, this is really explicit and shocking material. One example that will never leave my mind is that of the death of many young female workers, mostly teenagers, in a poor foreign garment sweatshop. The girls were locked into the factory all day, with no comforts and no safety measures in place. When a bundle of flammable material caught fire, the whole factory went up. The workers had no escape route and died, some in the fire itself and some, tragically, by throwing themselves from the windows to avoid being slowly burned alive.Alongside these horrors, Klein explores the anti-globalisation politics in the world, as well as the pitiful, hypocritical means used by the brands to try and claw back their popular image. She visits worker unions and help centres trying to liberate sweatshop workers. She looks at boycotts and consumer power in changing the way brands conduct business. Movements such as ‘Reclaim the Streets’ – a disruptive street-blocking festival scene – and ‘Culture Jamming’ – the art of reworking and altering adverts on the streets in order to change their political meaning drastically – are also described in detail.Whilst it is terribly frustrating to read about the evasive tactics used by companies – moving factories, issuing ‘ethical’ ad campaigns and avoiding monitoring – the final message is one of hope, empowerment and a need for education. A brilliant and eye-opening book that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone who is feeling disillusioned with all-dominating brands and capitalist values in today’s turbulent and morally questionable society.
  • (3/5)
    Very impressive and wide ranging book, can drag a bit but is well worth reading this now classic book. The world of brands will never be the same again. It also gets very scary when the advertising/sponsorship in schools was covered.
  • (4/5)
    Disturbing book in many ways. Although I do think that there are times when she exaggerates, and is a bit sloppy in casting blame, some of her major themes are very much in synch with concerns that I've been developing over a period of years. The loss of public space and the domination of cultural discourse on the part of global brands, resulting in a loss of choice, is one issue that has been increasingly painful for me to witness. You travel the world, and end up right where you left, in a homogenous, consumerized culture of global blandness. In exchange for the generation of brand loyalty, global corporations are forcing small business out of business, and taking jobs away from loyay employees. Ultimately, the extent to which sweat shop countries outgrow this phase is not something she is willing to deal with (consider the overall advances in economic well being made in South Korea). The book forshadows many of the themes from Dreher's "Crunchy Cons" book (which does not index Klein). She does quote from Kunstler.
  • (4/5)
    This book is way against our corporate masters. I'd say that one of Schlosser's books (Fast Food Nation or Reefer Madness) will give you the same moral: "If the market only strives for efficiency then humans somewhere will pay the price." With that said, I liked reading about struggles against Nike. It reminded me of being back in college.
  • (4/5)
    No logo is a textbook examination of the evolution of branding and logos into global marketing machines whose ultimate effect is to squeeze out competition by using the most outrageously exploitative labour and manufacturing practices. In addtion, these global corporations work to reduce choice for the consumer and result in unfair competition with smaller businesses.
  • (4/5)
    Since I work in marketing research I guess I shouldn't wish for the destruction of all brands. But I would definitely be more than happy to change careers if it meant I got to see Nike, Monsanto, Walmart and all the other destroyers of our (world) society topple.The only reason this book didn't get 5 stars is that it made me so angry and made me feel so helpless. Don't get me wrong, Ms. Klein also adds a healthy dose of optimism about how "the movement" has evolved and continuously found new ways to out companies for their misdeeds. It was also very enjoyable to see how corporate missteps caused them even more grief (and millions of dollars). McDonald's execs saying, "Coke is healthy, it has water in it." made me smile for days.So if you're a devout capitalist I would say this book's probably not for you. But if not, you'll get a good idea what's happening so that the richest 10% of the world can be super-consumers of cheap branded products. I'm motivated now to go to my (extremely liberal) church and give a presentation so that we can (collectively) give some of these corporations a little kick in the bottom line.
  • (3/5)
    I read this book in 2006 but should have read it earlier such as in 2001. It reads like something assigned in a Freshman level Sociology class and never really rises above that. Logos and companies are skewered in the hopes that the person reading it will come to better understanding of the current world of commercialism. The same tired drum is beaten throughout the book about how bad corporations are and how invasive they can be. How Klein manages to write about this for 430 odd pages is surprising, the fact that I stuck with it until the end is even more surprising to me.
  • (4/5)
    I probably should have read this book long ago, but I felt that I had a pretty good handle on its arguments from other sources. Stumbling across it in a Foozles, though, made picking it up a no-brainer, and last week’s Frontline (``The Persuaders’‘) made reading it seem apropos.
  • (4/5)
    Klein's book feels like the sort of book that should elicit the strongest emotions, but for me all I felt was tiredness. That isn't to say that the subject isn't moving, or isn't well-presented, or doesn't make a compelling argument against globalisation and the mega-bucks world of advertising. But it did make me feel tired.
  • (3/5)
    Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring this book is likely to age quickly. It probably already has, particularly working in a field where corporate revisionist influences are at work. Advertising seems to me the most insidious and anti-democratic force in our society; we are handing enormous power over to the unelected bosses of multinationals and you can't vote them out. Unfortunately advertising is also the most ubiquitous and by its very raison d'etre the most persuasive force. Being socialist in my leanings it seems clear to me that branding has the basest intentions at heart and devalues everything that is of value in the human sphere - compassion, mercy, truth, humility, moderation, forgiveness, tenderness, patience, empathy and generosity; these are not things you see touted around TV ads and billboards.There is a danger "No Logo" tells me what I want to hear so it is tempting to be non-critical. Often it is our enemies that benefit us most by making us stronger.
  • (4/5)
    This is powerful stuff, asking questions about the way we percieve brands and branding and the complacency with which people allow corporations to dictate the ways things work. I was at times disturbed by it and sometimes celebratory in the way she points out some of the good ways people have forced change.Being a person who really doesn't believe in Logo's (I have this profound distrust of doing other people's advertising for them!) I was comforted and disturbed by how easily some people have been manipulated by the media and the advertisers.It was also interesting to see how the job market has been manipulated by companies. Contributing as little as they get away with to a country's tax base and assuming that they will get away with it forever.I really wonder what is happening with the world and whether or not we will be ruled by ourselves in the future or by corporations that will regard us as numbers and not free people. You can see it creeping in where people are ruled by social security or job numbers and not by their names.