On Ep261 we discuss Alex Fattal's (Penn State) new book, "Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia.'"Reading less like an academic book and more like an in-depth ethnographic study of an advertising company and its role in branding and marketing a conflict. In this circumstance the conflict is in Colombia and this activity, led by the company from its lofty offices in Bogotá, has been labelled as "Militainment," and I cannot think of a better word to describe their work.
In Fattal's extensively researched book, he analyzes the role of marketing in the individual demobilizing program and the way in which the Colombian government changed their course to wage an anti-guerrilla war. Here we see the belief that successful branding has the ability to reconcile the irreconcilable.
Aside from the telling accounts of how and why individuals joined up with the FARC guerrillas, one of the key elements for me in this book was the difficulty that Fattal encountered as an "objective" observer. Information was shared with Fattal and people in the government wanted to hear his thoughts and he, correctly, denied them his feedback, leading to friction within the group.
Listen to the podcst and read this book!
Direct download: RCC_261.mp3
-- posted at: 10:30am EDT