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Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism

Upworthy Reveals Audience Behavior, Begins “Collaborations” With Brands, NGOs

Unilever will be first commercial brand in new program, underwriting curated content around building a brighter future for children

Digital Journal

April 1, 2014

NEW YORK, PRNewswire

WKOG admin: Aside from embracing misogyny, more recently, Unilever, with Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, and other corporate entities  funneled big money into defeating Prop 37. Now, Unilever, one of the largest consumer products corporations in the world, is looking to  employ “effective story-telling” to help Unilever “engage with people more meaningfully” in order to “create a better future for children.” (We can assume this is the same children unwittingly being fed genetically modified “foods”). (More on Unilever here.)

It is critical to note that one of the two co-founders of Upworthy is Avaaz co-founder Eli Pariser, as well as president/chairman of MoveOn.org’s board. ["Prior to position of chair, Pariser served as the Executive Director of MoveOn.org. Pariser has worked directly with former Vice President Al Gore on drafting MoveOn-sponsored speeches and assisted in fundraising for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. In December 2003 Pariser worked with Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros, on a MoveOn.org campaign. On December 9, 2004, one month after Kerry’s defeat, Pariser declared that MoveOn had effectively taken control of the Democratic Party." Source]

220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf
220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf
220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf

Fergie Teams up with Unilever on Universal Children's Day

Utilizing celebrities: Effective behavioral change and indoctrination of children into corporate culture.

The average Upworthy post generates 42x as many Facebook interactions as the average post from a top 50 U.S. media site. Promoted brand content on Upworthy.com performs at 73x the average. These and other first-time insights into the highly engaged Upworthy audience will be shared later today at the Ad Age Digital Conference here. The company will also announce its initial revenue approach, and that Unilever will become the first commercial brand to join a new “Upworthy Collaborations” advertising and sponsorship program.

Upworthy lands Unilever as first brand customer #aadigital

Today, Upworthy has one of the most engaged audiences on the Web:

  • The average piece of Upworthy content drives more than 75,000 Facebook likes per post, some 12x more than BuzzFeed, according to engagement data from Newswhip.
  • In 2013, the average unique Upworthy.com visitor spent 11.44 hours with the company’s curated content. Currently, the site is registering more than 5 million “attention minutes” per day.
  • Unique monthly visitors to the site now consistently top 50 million.
  • And 78% of Americans on Facebook have either Liked Upworthy or have a friend who has.

“Billions of sharing actions take place in our network, and Upworthy consistently ranks number one across many of our social metrics, from shares-per-post to percentage of incoming traffic from social networks,” said Sachin Kamdar, CEO of Parse.ly, a provider of content analytics solutions for publishers, whose clients include Conde Nast, Fox News, Atlantic Media, and The Cheezburger Network.

“Upworthy attracts a huge community of highly influential, socially conscious citizens — people who share our goal of building a better future for children,” said Marc Mathieu, Unilever Senior Vice President, Global Marketing. “Our partnership will include work for several of our brands, and we are looking forward to seeing how effective story-telling can help us engage with people more meaningfully.”

Unilever Marketing Vice President Kathy O’Brien will join Upworthy co-founders Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley on stage at Ad Age Digital to discuss the companies’ partnership to promote the core values of Unilever’s Project Sunlight. The program aims to engage people in more sustainable behaviors that will create a better future for children. Upworthy will curate content from across the web, highlighting stories of leaders working toward a more sustainable world, and will work with Unilever agency partner Mindshare to promote the best Project Sunlight content.

“Unilever’s leadership in moving to improve child welfare and contribute to a more sustainable world made them a strong fit for this program,” said Upworthy’s Pariser. “The heart of Project Sunlight matches several of the top topics our audience voted to see more of in 2014. We look forward to working together to bring more attention to young people who are making the world more sustainable.”

First Three Types of Upworthy Collaborations

Participation in the Upworthy Collaborations program will extend to brands, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and foundations. It will take three initial forms:

  • Promoted Posts — Here, participants create content and pay Upworthy to present and distribute it on Upworthy.com and Upworthy social channels. Pilots of this approach in 2013 included one with Skype.
  • Sponsored Curation — Here, participants underwrite Upworthy’s curation costs on a given topic. In this category, Upworthy retains full editorial control of both the selection and presentation of the content. Pilots of this approach in 2013 included All 7 Billion with The Gates Foundation.
  • Content Consultation — Here, Upworthy will work with participants to advise on content selection, packaging, and distribution strategies with a focus on testing and optimization to draw shared insights as a relationship evolves.

The program blends these elements with additional reader-engagement tactics to build always-on content partnerships, fueled by shared learning, organic optimization, and true relationship building with the Upworthy community.

Reception to the paid-content pilots in 2013 was positive, with strong performance of the individual posts and praise from the Upworthy community for how clearly the content was marked.

Upworthy Collaborations launches amid continued strong performance from the two-year-old company:

 

  • Upworthy’s core community of subscribers now tops 7 million, comprising nearly 6 million Facebook fans, 1.6 million email subscribers, and more than 350,000 Twitter followers. All receive Upworthy.com content daily and form the core of a massive sharing community.

 

 

Upworthy brings massive amounts of attention to things that matter in the world. Every day, curators unearth and spotlight awesome, important content using a proprietary approach that combines deep social science, strong voice, and a passionate community. Co-founders Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley have raised $12 million in initial financing from a group that included prominent venture capital firm Spark Capital, the Knight Foundation, and leading individual investors such as Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and BuzzFeed co-founder John Johnson. Each month, more than 50 million people experience Upworthy content. Learn more at http://www.upworthy.com.

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SOURCE Upworthy

 

Breast Cancer Has Become the Consummate “Free Market Feminist” Cause

Health Communication, 25: 286–289, 2010

An excerpt of the paper Pink Diplomacy: On the Uses and Abuses of Breast Cancer Awareness

By Dr. Samantha King [Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies | Cross appointed to the Department of Gender Studies and the Cultural Studies Program]

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In the past two decades, breast cancer has become an unparalleled philanthropic cause. During this period, corporate marketing strategies, government policies, and the agendas of large foundations have worked in concert to construct the disease as an individual challenge that can be overcome by shopping, exercising, and what Ellen Leopold(1999) calls a “tidal waves” approach to research funding(p. 19). Closely linked to this history is the transformation, since the 1970s, of the meaning of breast cancer from a stigmatized disease and individual tragedy best dealt with privately and in isolation, to a neglected epidemic worthy of public debate and political organizing, to an enriching and affirming experience during which women with breast cancer are rarely “patients” and mostly “survivors.”In the latter of these three configurations, the breast cancer survivor has emerged as an archetypal hero who through her courage and vitality has elicited an outpouring of individual and corporate generosity—a continued supply of which, we are led to believe, will ensure that the fight against the disease remains an unqualified success. In the latter of these three configurations, the breast cancer survivor has emerged as an archetypal hero who through her courage and vitality has elicited an outpouring of individual and corporate generosity—a continued supply of which, we are led to believe, will ensure that the fight against the disease remains an unqualified success. Moreover, the new image of the woman with breast cancer that has emerged with the pink ribbon industry—youthful, ultra feminine, slim, light-skinned if not white, radiant with health, joyful, and proud—leaves little room for recognition that people still die of the disease(that, in fact, roughly the same number of people die as they did before the pink ribbon juggernaut took hold), that some women are not in a position to live the all-to-familiar restitution narrative, or that happiness and individual striving, in the words of Audre Lorde (1980), cannot “protect us from the results of profit madness” (p. 74). Lorde was referring here to what she viewed as the deleterious effects of the capitalist system, in general, on women’s breast health and the well-being of the population more broadly. She could probably not have envisaged that three decades after she penned these words, corporations large and small would be clamoring to tie their names to the disease, taking advantage of the destigmatizing work of early breast cancer activists and newly enthralled with cause-related marketing as a way to sell products to women. Nor would she likely have imagined that they would spend millions of dollars identifying and packaging the next product to be stamped with a pink ribbon and sold to consumers with the promise that a percentage of the sale price will be donated to what is often referred to, vaguely, as “the cause.” Nor, given Lorde’s concerns about the links between environmental contaminants and breast cancer, might she have foreseen that it is often the corporations responsible for selling products most closely linked to deaths from cancer that have been most successful in linking their brand image to the disease. Moreover, the new image of the woman with breast cancer that has emerged with the pink ribbon industry—youthful, ultra feminine, slim, light-skinned if not white, radiant with health, joyful, and proud—leaves little room for recognition that people still die of the disease… The profit madness seemed to reach new heights just a few weeks ago, when I came across an advertisement for a breast cancer gun: a black Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol with an awareness ribbon engraved on its slide and an inter-changeable bubble-gum pink grip. The gun is part of the Julie Goloski Championship Series and sold with the claim that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to “a breast cancer awareness charity” (http://www.juliegolob.com).

marlonteixeira

The Tyranny of Cheerfulness

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The “saving lives by taking lives” logic of the pink ribbon pistol that critics quickly seized upon seems only slightly less mind-boggling when one considers that over the past two decades millions of women have become enthusiastic consumers of a slew of potentially harmful pink ribbon products ranging from automobiles to cosmetics to house-hold cleaning products. Under what I call the “tyranny of cheerfulness” that infuses the marketing of these items, it has become increasingly hard to think of the disease as an injustice to rally against rather than an enriching and affirming experience. Indeed, breast cancer has become the consummate “free market feminist” cause, to use Chandra Mohanty’s (2003) term.Under what I call the “tyranny of cheerfulness” that infuses the marketing of these items, it has become increasingly hard to think of the disease as an injustice to rally against rather than an enriching and affirming experience. Indeed, breast cancer has become the consummate “free market feminist” cause, to use Chandra Mohanty’s (2003) term. Like all good practitioners of free market principles, state agencies, foundations, and large corporations have recently begun to pursue breast cancer fundraising initiatives in new geographic locales, as they seek to expand their markets for breast cancer treatments, the fruits of pharmaceutical research, and pink ribbon products. Major players are involved: Astra Zeneca, the maker of the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen and the creator of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, launched its first transnational campaign in 2004 with the goal of “reaching previously inaccessible audiences across the globe.” The Komen For the Cure Foundation now has overseas chapters and an office devoted to international affairs. And since 1999, Estée Lauder has pursued its Global Landmarks Illumination Initiative for which buildings and monuments are bathed in pink lights during the month of October. To date these sights have included the Taj Palace in Mumbai, India; City Hall in Sulas, Honduras; the Taipei Tower in Taiwan; the Burj Al Arab in Dubai; and the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Like all good practitioners of free market principles, state agencies, foundations, and large corporations have recently begun to pursue breast cancer fundraising initiatives in new geographic locales, as they seek to expand their markets for breast cancer treatments, the fruits of pharmaceutical research, and pink ribbon products. The U.S.–Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness was created in 2006 and marked the U.S. government’s first foray into international breast cancer policy. By 2008, the partnership included the Komen Foundation, the Avon corporation, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, and a variety of cancer care and business organizations in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Palestine. The campaign is a subproject of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), launched on December 12, 2002 by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The official mandate of the MEPI, which operates out of the State Department’s Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, is to “advance democratic reform and vibrant, prosperous societies in the Middle East and North Africa” (http://mepi.state.gov/mission/index.htm). To date, the MEPI has focused on encouraging the development of public–private partnerships in providing “greater opportunities” in the region (http://mepi.state.gov).

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Read the full text:

Pink Diplomacy-On the Uses and Abuses of Breast Cancer Awareness

PINK RIBBONS, INC. – A CONVERSATION WITH RAVIDA DIN:



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