In its Sept. 8, 2001 issue, The Economist magazine ran a cover story called "Pro Logo," a response to Naomi Klein's bestselling book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies.

The piece was disappointing, because it didn't tackle Klein's thesis: that by focusing only on developing their brands, large companies have become disconnected from both workers and consumers, and assorted evils have resulted. In Klein's view, brands are not bad in themselves; corporate behaviour resulting from brand fetishism is the problem.

The Economist's piece argued that branding ultimately makes corporations more accountable, because informed consumers know what they're getting, and what corporate behaviour they're supporting, when they buy a branded product. Klein probably wouldn't dispute this point. She just doesn't think there are enough informed consumers, so the "brand bullies" are getting away with a lot.

Klein and The Economist seem to agree, in fact, that anti-corporate activists are using the power of brands against their owners to force them into being socially responsible.

The result was that The Economist's story (cheekily promoted on the cover with a "jammed" version of the already ironic "No Logo" logo on Klein's book) pretended to present an opposing argument, but didn't. Which was a real shame for people who wouldn't have minded seeing Naomi Klein taken down a notch.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.