You may have noticed that there is an election coming up, at least in the United States. So I thought that I’d write about political branding. No, I’m not referring to branding your political opponent as a/an [fill in the blank] but rather redefining a policy or a phenomenon so as to make it more or less acceptable to voters. 

I consider the political consultant, Frank Luntz, to be the best at doing this but anyone can play this game. See http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Frank_Luntz&oldid=978941637 For example, Luntz renamed the “estate tax” as the “death tax” to make it more unpalatable to voters and replaced use of the phrase “global warming” with “climate change” to make the effects of that phenomenon sound less toxic. He advised the Israeli government to refer to Palestinian “talking points” as “demands” as “demands” would, by definition, be less acceptable to the American public.

For example, don’t want to institute a national “sales tax,” then call it a “value-added tax” or a “consumption tax” as a consumable is considered to be something that is used relatively quickly, i.e., it’s a tax on wasteful spending.

“Slum Removal” has traditionally been referred to as “Urban Renewal.”

The Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) was originally written to pay physicians for providing voluntary counseling to Medicare patients about living wills, advance directives, and end-of-life care options. That provision was coined establishing “death panels” and never made it to the final Act.

And there’s more…when a politician proposes “revenue enhancers” she is proposing raising your taxes.

When your boss announces that he is eliminating redundancies he plans on laying you off.

When your city cuts transit services it is rationalizing transit schedules.

And so on, so go out and vote, if you haven’t already; just realize that politics is another form of advertising, except consumers are called constituents, purchasers are called voters, purchases are called elections and TV ads are media buys. 


The material on this website is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions regarding any material presented herein, we recommend that you consult an attorney. This web site and information presented herein were designed in accordance with Illinois law. Any content in conflict with the laws or ethical code of attorney conduct of any other jurisdiction is unintentional and void. I am a Chicago attorney practicing in the areas of trademark, copyright and information technology law as well as general corporate law. Formerly a trademark examining attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, I have been in private practice since 1987 representing clients in a wide variety of industries, including the consumer products, financial services, information technology and entertainment industries. You can contact me at markscounsel@gmail.com, by phone at 773.934.5855 or by mail at 417 S. Jefferson St., #304, Chicago, IL 60607 USA
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