American flag 'rebranding' wins ink

NEW YORK: Old Glory was the focus of a Fourth of July campaign held

across the US by social activists Adbusters Media Foundation.

The organization held a contest to design a new version of the American

flag. The effort was created to warn Americans that corporations have

too much control over their nation.The winning version showed the stars

and stripes, but in place of the stars were corporate logos and symbols,

including those of McDonald's, GE, Nike, Joe Camel, and Coca-Cola.

The "Independence Day Flag Jam" garnered media for Adbusters in outlets

such as the San Francisco Chronicle, UK broadsheet The Guardian, and on

radio programs such as the Michael Medved show, which broadcasts in 120

cities and has over 1 million listeners - all for a modest budget of

dollars 25,000.

"We were trying to get people to debate the true meaning of the original

revolution, and to decide whether we live in a democratic society now or

in a society where corporations have too much control," said Kalle Lasn,

editor of Adbusters magazine.

A majority of the dollars 25,000 budget was used to have 500 corporate

flags made. The 500 people who received the flags "swore" to gain

maximum exposure for the campaign, including placing the flags in front

of Wal-Marts and post offices, waving them in parades, hanging them in

front of US embassies, and even burning them in public. Adbusters also

placed a billboard in Times Square in New York City.

An e-mail was then sent out to some of the 40,000 "culture jammers" on

Adbusters' e-mail list, and a printable version of the flag was put on

the Web site.

Adbusters also promoted the campaign in its magazine, which has a

circulation of 80,000.

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