New book blames US pollsters for 'culture of spin'

The Times editor James Harding has written a book on the globalisation of spin, set to be published in the UK this August.

Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business will be published in the UK by Grove Atlantic. It traces the rise of the 'campaign ethic', showing how a group of spin doctors in 1970s America steered international elections as far afield as the Philippines and Chile.

At the same time, Harding says, these political campaigners influenced the way corporate giants such as Apple and Coca-Cola use PR as a tool. Harding believes that 'politics in country after country has become as similar as Starbucks', thanks to the pioneering efforts of the Sawyer Miller Group, the Boston pollsters on which he focuses in Alpha Dogs.

He blames Sawyer Miller (now part of the Weber Shandwick group) and its kind for 'a political culture that has turned off ordinary people in droves'.

News of Harding's book follows the great success of fellow journalist Nick Davies' Flat Earth News, published earlier this year.

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