Difference between revisions of "Front groups"

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[[Front Groups]] are organisations that claim to represent one agenda, but in reality they represent the interests of another concealed agenda. What separates Front Groups from other lobbying organisations is that Front Groups attempt to conceal their true agenda, which is not the case for all lobby groups. The clandestine way that Front Groups operate means that it is difficult to determine their true intentions. The creation of Front Groups is a key example of [[Third Party Technique]] in the [[Public Relations]] industry<ref name="SourceWatch">SourceWatch, [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Front_groups Front Groups], SourceWatch website, accessed 20 March 2015</ref>.
 
[[Front Groups]] are organisations that claim to represent one agenda, but in reality they represent the interests of another concealed agenda. What separates Front Groups from other lobbying organisations is that Front Groups attempt to conceal their true agenda, which is not the case for all lobby groups. The clandestine way that Front Groups operate means that it is difficult to determine their true intentions. The creation of Front Groups is a key example of [[Third Party Technique]] in the [[Public Relations]] industry<ref name="SourceWatch">SourceWatch, [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Front_groups Front Groups], SourceWatch website, accessed 20 March 2015</ref>.
  
Corporate Front Groups tend to focus their efforts on public relations and lobbying initiatives, operating under the premise that a narrative is more palatable when it originates from an apparently independent source. Front Groups seek to dupe policy makers, journalists, and citizens into believing that the reports they commission and the narratives they spin are anything other than simple corporate [[Propaganda]]. These Front Groups are often very politically active; holding news conferences, publishing newsletters, commissioning reports, writing editorials, and featuring on talk shows in an effort to divert public opinion toward industry views<ref>Mark Megalli and Andy Friedman (March 1992), [http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/mm0392.html#eco Fronting For Business], Multinational Monitor website, accessed 20 March 2015</ref>.
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Front Groups tend to focus their efforts on public relations and lobbying initiatives, operating under the premise that a narrative is more palatable when it originates from an apparently independent source. Front Groups seek to dupe policy makers, journalists, and citizens into believing that the reports they commission and the narratives they spin are anything other than simple corporate [[Propaganda]]. These Front Groups are often very politically active; holding news conferences, publishing newsletters, commissioning reports, writing editorials, and featuring on talk shows in an effort to divert public opinion toward industry views<ref>Mark Megalli and Andy Friedman (March 1992), [http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/mm0392.html#eco Fronting For Business], Multinational Monitor website, accessed 20 March 2015</ref>.
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Critics of the use of Front Groups as a public relations strategy argue that their heavy reliance on dishonesty and concealment often crosses the line into deception and manipulation; allowing organisations to advance their interests under the guise of legitimate public opinion<ref>Ethics in PR, [http://ethicsinpr.wikispaces.com/Front+groups#cite_ref-10 Front Groups], Ethics in PR website, accessed 21 March 2015</ref>.
  
  
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* Avoids mentioning or selectively publishes its main sources of funding
 
* Avoids mentioning or selectively publishes its main sources of funding
* Was set up by another organisation (particularly PR, consultancy, grassroots campaigning, surveying firms)
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* Was set up by another organisation (particularly PR, consultancy, grassroots campaigning, polling firms)
 
* Engages in actions that consistently and conspicuously benefit regular third parties
 
* Engages in actions that consistently and conspicuously benefit regular third parties
 
* Re-focuses controversial debates onto new and often unrelated topics
 
* Re-focuses controversial debates onto new and often unrelated topics
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*Wikipedia, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_organization Front Organization]: Overview of Front Groups from a variety of different sectors
 
*Wikipedia, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_organization Front Organization]: Overview of Front Groups from a variety of different sectors
 
*Mark Megalli and Andy Friedman (March 1992), [http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/mm0392.html#eco Fronting for Business]: Article discussing Corporate Front Groups in 20th Century America
 
*Mark Megalli and Andy Friedman (March 1992), [http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/mm0392.html#eco Fronting for Business]: Article discussing Corporate Front Groups in 20th Century America
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*Suzanne Goldenberg (2015), [http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/23/lobbyist-dubbed-dr-evil-behind-front-groups-attacking-obama-power-rules Lobbyist dubbed Dr Evil behind front groups attacking Obama power rules]: Example of current Front Group workings in the US
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==Notes==
 
==Notes==

Revision as of 23:21, 21 March 2015

Microphones-2-.jpg This article is part of the Propaganda Portal project of Spinwatch.
Front Groups are organisations that claim to represent one agenda, but in reality they represent the interests of another concealed agenda. What separates Front Groups from other lobbying organisations is that Front Groups attempt to conceal their true agenda, which is not the case for all lobby groups. The clandestine way that Front Groups operate means that it is difficult to determine their true intentions. The creation of Front Groups is a key example of Third Party Technique in the Public Relations industry[1].

Front Groups tend to focus their efforts on public relations and lobbying initiatives, operating under the premise that a narrative is more palatable when it originates from an apparently independent source. Front Groups seek to dupe policy makers, journalists, and citizens into believing that the reports they commission and the narratives they spin are anything other than simple corporate Propaganda. These Front Groups are often very politically active; holding news conferences, publishing newsletters, commissioning reports, writing editorials, and featuring on talk shows in an effort to divert public opinion toward industry views[2].

Critics of the use of Front Groups as a public relations strategy argue that their heavy reliance on dishonesty and concealment often crosses the line into deception and manipulation; allowing organisations to advance their interests under the guise of legitimate public opinion[3].


Characteristics of Front Groups

A Front Group may exhibit some of the following characteristics:

  • Avoids mentioning or selectively publishes its main sources of funding
  • Was set up by another organisation (particularly PR, consultancy, grassroots campaigning, polling firms)
  • Engages in actions that consistently and conspicuously benefit regular third parties
  • Re-focuses controversial debates onto new and often unrelated topics
  • Has a misleading name that disguises the organisation's real agenda
  • Has the the same address or phone number that has been or is currently listed to other corporations
  • Consists of outspoken industry 'experts'
  • Is constantly trying to reinforce that it is 'independent', 'credible', 'trustworthy', 'esteemed', etc.
  • Has very low, or free membership fees to bolster membership numbers and claim legitimacy[1]


Examples of United Kingdom Front Groups


Examples of United States Front Groups


Resources


Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 SourceWatch, Front Groups, SourceWatch website, accessed 20 March 2015
  2. Mark Megalli and Andy Friedman (March 1992), Fronting For Business, Multinational Monitor website, accessed 20 March 2015
  3. Ethics in PR, Front Groups, Ethics in PR website, accessed 21 March 2015