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<nettime> about no logo (naomi klein)

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Interview with Activist Naomi Klein on her new book No Logo


Branding is taking up more and more of our public space. Logos
are on billboards, televisions and computers. Even our bodies have
become the backdrop for corporate advertising. Naomi Klein sees a
backlash brewing to all this branding and she's written about it in
her new book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies.

No Logo: Solutions for a Sold Planet

Book by Naomi Klein

(Review in the Village Voice  December 1999  by Danielle Truscott)

If any notions of a warm and fuzzy global economy dishing out
equality and prosperity for all are still standing, Naomi Klein's No
Logo: Solutions for a Sold Planet deftly pulls the rug out from under
them and sends them sprawling. The 1990s have seen widespread
media coverage of the fallout from what Klein calls the ''global logo
web'':  multinational corporations' sweatshop scandals and
environmental mayhem, Silicon Valley's overwhelmingly temp-
laden labor force, the perverse economy of style in which ghetto
kids create cool-hunted images for brands they can't afford to own
(and sometimes kill to). Evidence is abundant and the public has
been alerted: The information age's global economy of groovy
Gaps, Starbucks, and Microsofts isn't as cool as it pledged to be.

Klein gathers all the evidence in No Logo, which is nothing short of
a complete, user-friendly handbook on the negative effects that
'90s überbrand marketing has had on culture, work, and consumer
choice. Likewise, she offers an encyclopedic compilation of the
decade's fringe and mainstream anticorporate actions and mind-
sets, proposing that they signal the approach of ''a vast wave of
opposition squarely targeting transnational corporations,
particularly those with very high name-brand recognition.'' Culture-
jamming adbusters turn Joe Camel into Joe Chemo on billboards
and Web sites, while an expanding network of labor, environmental,
and human rights organizations stages protests at Niketowns,
Shell stations, and McDonald's outlets with campaigns that bring
''a brand's production secrets crashing into its marketing image.''
A high-tech savvy, Internet-armed youth culture has shifted its
politics away from identity issues and toward anticorporate
concerns, says Klein, creating a generation of potential rabble-
rousers poised to take on the multinational corporations' monolith
using its own technologies and marketing strategies.

Klein leaves no doubt that the public, and most notably the
younger public, is increasingly questioning whether the new world
order brings global village or global pillage. But her faith in a coming
tsunami of anticorporate sentiment and activism seems painfully
optimistic: If nothing else convinces you that tendrils of a tyrannical
logo-based economy have wound themselves nearly irretrievably
into every nook and cranny of our lives and consciousness, this
book certainly will. Still, by delivering its news in a voice and style
rich with language, references, and humor sure to reach a
generation of Most Likely to Be Future Activists, No Logo may
itself be one of the anticorporate movement's best hopes yet.

No Logo: Solutions for a Sold Planet

By Naomi Klein

Picador, 334 pp., $25

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