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No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies

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The hotly debated report from the frontlines of mounting backlash against multinational corporations.

A national bestseller, No Logo took Canadians by storm when it was published last year in hardcover. Equal parts cultural analysis, political manifesto, mall-rat memoir, and journalistic exposé, it is the first book to uncover a betrayal of the central promises of the information age: choice, interactivity, and increased freedom. No Logo takes apart our packaged and branded world and puts the pieces into clear pop-historical and economic perspective. Naomi Klein tracks the resistance and self-determination mounting in the face of our new branded world and explains why some of the most revered brands in the world are finding themselves on the wrong end of a bottle of spray paint, a computer hack, or an international anti-corporate campaign.

512 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2000

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About the author

Naomi Klein

94 books5,595 followers
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, documentary filmmaker and author of the international bestsellers No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. She is a senior correspondent for The Intercept and her writing appears widely in such publications as The New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian and The Nation, where she is a contributing editor. Klein is a member of the board of directors for climate-action group 350.org and one of the organizers behind Canada’s Leap Manifesto. In November 2016 she was awarded Australia’s prestigious Sydney Peace Prize for, according to the prize jury, “inspiring us to stand up locally, nationally and internationally to demand a new agenda for sharing the planet that respects human rights and equality.” Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,152 reviews
Profile Image for Trevor.
1,283 reviews21.5k followers
April 24, 2017
I’ve been meaning to read this for years, and have only now gotten around to it. Her Shock Doctrine was one of the most important books I’ve read in years, so there really has been no excuse for leaving this one quite so long. A while ago I read Marx’s Capital and one of the things I thought while reading the horror stories of Victorian labour practices was just how lucky we are today that trade unions have made sure capitalism couldn’t get away with such disgusting practices – because I’ve always known that capitalism can only maintain a human face when it is forced to. Well, this book makes it all too clear that the monstrous face of capitalism has never really disappeared. All of the standard stories/lies about how gross exploitation is the price poor nations have to pay for economic development are exploded here. The countries that receive factories as a kind of gift from multinational corporations are not ‘developing’ in any sense that we might like to imagine that might make us feel a little better about the horror they experience. The factories are kept isolated from local and international labour laws, the conditions the workers live under provide wages that are below subsistence and if they try to do anything about it they are killed.

The whole thing is an exercise in ‘plausible deniability’ – corporations in the ‘liquid modern world’ don’t produce anything any longer. Everything is subcontracted out, so that brands today only put their names on products, rather than actually produce them. That means that they can pretend they are not responsible for the gross violations of basic human rights done to produce the products they name and sell.

In part this book was somewhat disheartening. It is about 15 years since this book was written and if anything things today are infinitely worse. The anti-slavery campaigns around sweatshop conditions too often seem to be only about sating the consciences of western consumers who still define themselves by the brand names they wear on bodies. Meanwhile, the system is rotten to the core. It isn’t at all clear how it can be ‘fixed’ since these issues are global and there is no global democracy that allows ‘citizens’ to have a voice though regulation. Campaigns invariably are about reducing us to ‘customers’ who should use their ‘buying power’ to bring about change – but this is totally ineffective and a huge step back. If you get to choose, be a citizen rather than a customer every day.

Given that it isn’t clear how we will be allowed to be global citizens and that the global is dominated by pirates and thieves, the only alternative seems to be to tear the entire edifice down. The idea that we should believe in the ‘self-regulation’ by global corporations, that this is going to suddenly become a reasonable option would be almost funny, except of course it is not – you know, we are talking about corporations like Coke that have been proven to kill union organisers across the world – and we are expected to believe they are going to suddenly self-regulate to protect the rights of their employees. If you drink any of their products you are endorsing murder – simple as that.

We live in a dystopia worse than the worst of those imagined by our most creative writers. Where corporations are destroying the basis upon which we can sustain human life on this planet while apologists like Hans Roslin puts everything on a logarithmic scale to lie that things are getting all so much better.

Perhaps one day we will awaken and force our societies to be more humane, focus on protecting the planet instead of turning it to ashes and operate under the simplest of moral maxims – that a harm to one is a harm to all – but then again, perhaps we will just go on buying Nikes, Apple, McDonald’s hamburgers and other poisons that kill us and our planet.
Profile Image for shellyindallas .
107 reviews30 followers
April 8, 2009
This book for me really brings the phrase "ignorance is bliss" to life. No, I do not want to support a mega, multi-billion dollar operation that ships its jobs over-seas so that it can pay pennies (if that) on the dollar for labor. And low wages aren't the worst of what's offered to the Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Chinese workers etc.(usually women) who wove together my Gap top and glued the sole onto my favorite old school Nikes. "Hey! Check out my new kicks! I'm keeping it real, yo!"

But then, what the fuck am I gonna do? Becoming politically and socially aware takes effort. And I'm lazy.

Still, just like when I go to spend money I don't have on something I don't need I hear my nagging boyfriend's voice in the back of my head saying "You don't need another pair of jeans," now that I've read this book I'll be more conscious of where the item was made and what that means to me.

"No Logo," much like "The Jungle" and "Fast Food Nation" is less about the end result (i.e. finger in the can of beans or 16 year old factory worker who isn't allowed to take a break to change her tampon and to ensure that her "monthly gift" doesn't interfere with production her pay comes every 28 days {just like her Aunt Flo} and is dependent on her ability to either stave off bleeding all together or just sit and bleed in her clothes like a good little worker) and more about how the decisions various corporations make to skimp on labor (i.e. people) affects that corporation's local workforce and, ultimately, the global economy.

What really gets my panties in a wad in this book (and in general) is the fact that the money these heroes save (The Gap, Nike, Levi's, Apple--your usual suspects) on production costs goes into constructing their "brand". What Klein emphasizes throughout the book is that these days it's no longer about what you sell, but how you sell it that brings in the big bucks. So fuck you Mr. and Mrs. American Worker. We don't give a shit how you're gonna make a life for yourself. We've got some ipods and iphones to sell. We need glitz, gloss, gimmicks and cool so that our profits can soar and our stockholders can continue to afford high priced (male) hookers--and those things don't come cheap.

Another depressingly shitty aspect to this idea that profits should promote brand over worker is the fact that most American corporations not only offer low wages with no benefits, but often--even in times of profit-- lay off workers to keep a steady stream of income flowing into the marketing department. Hooray! Now we can get Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Mohammed Ali and that hot Russian chick that plays tennis for that new G campaign! Gatorade is so 2006! You have to evolve to stay ahead in THIS game.

Guh! It's all so vomit inducing. And frustrating. And aggravating. And I just feel so helpless to do anything about it. Plus, Old Navy jeans are fucking cheap and I'm a temp for Apple so they're all I can afford. Besides, isn't turning a blind eye The American Way? Three cheers for denial!


Profile Image for Mohammed.
422 reviews511 followers
April 30, 2022
ذات يوم كنت أتحدث مع صديق لي عبر برنامج محادثة وفي معرض حديثه أخبرني بأنه اكتشف أن مشروب الفانيلا لذيذ للغاية. لم أعرف كيف أشكره على تلك المعلومة المثيرة للضجر، لكنني كرهته فيما بعد بسببها. فبمجرد أن أغلقت المحادثة وجدت إعلانات مشروب الفانيلا أمامي في صفحات موقع التواصل، أطفال سعداء وعارضات بأسنان ناصعة كالثلج، الجميع يبتسمون وكأن المشروب يُضحكهم.

أغلقت الموقع وتسللت إلى اليوتيوب لأستمع لموسيقاي المفضلة فوجدت الأغنية تبدأ بإعلان عن مشروب الفانيليا العضوي وفوائده التي لا تحصى. أغلقت المقطع بشكل كامل لكنني سمعت جرس الباب يرن فذهبت لأجيب. كان ذلك جاري يخبرني أنني نسيت مصباح سيارتي مضاءً. هل ظننت مثلاً أن بائع مشروب الفانيلا يدق بابي مثلاً؟ لم يحدث ذلك لكنك لم تبالغ، فقد يحدث شيء شبيه بذلك إذا استمرت الأمور على هذا المنوال. تابع المقطع التالي:


تخبرنا نعومي كلاين بأن الشركات العملاقة لم تعد تطمع في بيع المنتجات وبث الإعلانات بل تطمح للتغلغل في كل شيء حتى تصبح "أسلوب حياة". تحذر الكاتبة من أننا إن لم نجابه توسعهم ومخططاتهم فإنهم سيحتلون جميع المساحات ويقتحمون الخصوصيات ويؤثرون في شتى نواحي الحياة العامة.

يصف الكتاب تطفل العلامات التجارية على مناطق يفترض ألا تتواجد فيها مثل المدارس، الجامعات، وتؤثر في مجالات إنسانية مثل الموسيقى والسينما والرياضية. بدأ الأمر بمجرد ملصقات ملونة ثم بدأت برامج الرعاية ثم أصبحت الشركات هي التي تصمم وتمول كل شيء. لا تستغرب إذن الفريق الفلاني لا يرتدي سوى شعار الشركة الفلانية، وأن ممثلي ذلك الفلم لا يتناولون سوى البيبسيى أو أن مغني الراب يتباهى بحذاءه الأديداس.

بالإضافة إلى ذلك فإن الشركات متعددة الجنسيات تعمل جاهدة لتجريف الثقافات الأصلية ونشر ثقافة موحدة، مثل اختراع ما يسمى بـ"المراهق العالمي" الذي يوجد في كل مكان، يرتدي نفس الزي ويمارس نفس الهوايات. كما تعمل تلك الكيانات على ضرب الشركات المحلية بقدراتها الخرافية، ما يجعل الشركات المحلية تتكتل ��ي كيان واحد ثم تمارس نفس السياسات المبتذلة لنظيراتها الأجنبية.

تدّعي المؤسسات العابرة للقارات أنها تخلق فرص عمل. ولكن الحقيقة أنها عملت على تسريح عدد كبير جدا من العمّال في أمريكا والدول الأوروبية. من ثم انتقلت إلى دول آسيا حيث تعاقدت مع مصانع تؤجر عمالة بطريقة هي أشبه بالعبودية الحديثة. وفوق هذا وذاك هي تعتمد على استحداث وظائف هامشية في منافذ البيع، وظائف ولا تؤدي إلى تطور ملموس ولا تمنح حقوقاً مميزة ويمكن الاستغناء عن أفرادها أو استبدالهم بسهولة.

مثل الكيانات السياسة بالضبط، استطاع مبتكرو الماركات العالمية استخدام مكرهم للتأُقلم مع كل الظروف. ركبوا موجة المطالبة بتمثيل الأقليات، تغنوا بحقوق المرأة، وقاموا بتشجيع أي حراك من شأنه الترويج لمنتجاتهم. يحكي الكتاب أن أحد المطربين أطلق أغنية تنتقد الشركات العملاقة وأحدثت صدى ملحوظاً، فتقدمت له إحدى تلك الشركات بعرض إصدار ألبوم كامل برعايتهم. كما ترى، لا مفر منهم إلا إليهم.

هذه بعض الأفكار المهمة في الكتاب. إن كنت قرأت عقيدة الصدمة فستجد نفس النبرة الحانقة غير المهادنة وسرد التفاصيل بالأدلة والإحصائيات. يختلف هذا الكتاب عن خلَفه بأن فيه لمحات عن الحياة الخاصة للمؤلفة. غير أني أعتب على الكتاب أنه لم يقدم فصلا يشرح الجانب النفسي لما تقوم به تلك الشركات من دعايات وترويج، أعتقد أن ذلك كان سيحقق فهماً أعمق لتلك الجهود الخيالية. في النهاية الكتاب متميز ومهم في تعرية تلك الكائنات الأخطبوطية الطفيلية التي تمتص كل شيء لتغذي رؤوسها التي لا تشبع أبداً.
Profile Image for Michael.
657 reviews966 followers
May 28, 2019
Incisive and trenchant, No Logo investigates multinational corporations’ exploitative labor practices and sinister marketing techniques. Sketching the history of the public sphere’s fall during the eighties and nineties, Klein considers how corporations managed to eviscerate organized labor, outsource production, and terrorize nations across the Global South, all while encouraging citizens of developed countries to think of themselves only as consumers and corporate brands as lifestyles. After the author reflects on why people are both eager to turn on corporations and buy their products, she spotlights then-promising forms of anti-corporate activism, from culture jamming to divestment campaigns, and argues that anti-corporatism could unite disparate social movements into a force capable of toppling capitalism. The book’s analysis is insightful, even if the last part, focusing on the consumer activism of the ‘90s, feels dated.
Profile Image for Marc.
67 reviews
November 29, 2007
Klein surely had good intentions when she wrote this book. Unfortunately it does not take long to realize that she has no idea about what she is actually talking about. Her understanding of economic processes can be labeled as highly flawed. The impressions she is giving about production facilities is dangerous. To think it is for the best interest for developing countries to close these factories is arrogant and plain wrong. Despite what Naomi Klein is trying to imply, the vast majority of the factory workers is happy to have these jobs and nobody is forced to take them. The big bad international corporations did not lower the working standards, if anything they raised them. Workers are still treated the worst in native enterprises. That being said, there is still a lot of room for improvement.
For some reason she further confuses every kind of vandalism with an organized, big time anti-globalisation campaign.
I still gave the book 2 stars, because the chapter about lowered working standards and marketing strategies in the western world was interesting enough.
This is no good book by any means though and does not earn half the acclaim it is given.
Profile Image for Ben.
129 reviews17 followers
May 21, 2022
Ok ok ok, I know the hype surrounding this book. Your dreddy activist friend keeps recommending this to you. That dirty hippy that is a total vagabond is doing the same.

Well, what sold me on this book was an image taken from a busy street with all of the logo's removed using Photoshop. Striking.

And the book is long, interesting and at times redundant. Naomi Klein is hot, first of all, but mainly she's right. Advertising ruined the planet. Basically. We could argue that human desire and the weakness of popular opinion is the culprit, but advertising exploited those weaknesses, and replaced them with pollution, child labor, illegal labor and DMZ bullshit, globalization, and all of the things we were warned about happening by Orwell, PKD, Huxley, and movies like Alphaville, 1984 and Brazil.

It's not exactly like any of those things, but it could be...right? Klein is a muckraker that is very biased. But she has to be. Extreme situations call for extreme measures, and her suggestion is to not conform to consumerism. George Washington and Jesus were non-conformists, too.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,910 followers
December 15, 2019
This was published in 2000, coming out during the time when the internet bubble was riding high but before the fall of the Two Towers (the ones in NY, not Tolkein's).

Its subject matter was Shell, McD's, and Nike. Social awareness was getting a second wind after languishing in general and now it was all about sweatshops. Multinational corporations became our favorite bogeymen (again), and this was when we could throw our weight behind small-time activists and FEEL like we could accomplish some great-seeming things... like getting all the exploiters out of Burma so as to take away the support of that regime.

Remember those times?

Add awareness to the whole Banding idea, the feeling that Corporations are real people with souls (ha), and see this as a way to stop bad practices by attacking their PR image.

Then realize that the problem goes sooooooo much deeper. Much deeper than this book is prepared to take it, except to realize that these highly visible multinational corporations were great as a rallying point but even if anyone could break them down and hold them accountable, it was EVERY OTHER corporation doing the exact same thing that makes the situation seem rather hopeless.

So, and rightly so, this book does not delve into the economics and politics that made the rape of underdeveloped countries possible: the policies and the greed and the perfectly legal practices that can ravage whole countries, their land, and devastate indigenous peoples.

It can't. It's a problem that requires widespread awareness everywhere... and the knowledge of all the interrelated contributing factors... to combat.

We all need to be aware and awake to not just the fact of injustice, but the causes. The only real way we can combat this problem is by waking the real slumbering beast of humanity from its ignorant dream. :)

Profile Image for Conor Ahern.
655 reviews186 followers
July 15, 2017
I'm trying to read through all of Naomi Klein's oeuvre, because I think she is one of the great diatribists of our time. "Shock Doctrine" is one of the most eye-opening pieces of non-fiction I've ever had the privilege of reading, and "This Changes Everything," about climate change, has changed my behavior and attitude toward my surroundings probably more than any other book. "No Logo" is not as impressive an entry into her pantheon, but it prefigures the talent that she would display in her later works.

Perhaps it's because it was a bit dated--references to the influence of MTV and Nike abound; brand hegemons like Apple--whose share price has since increased by a factor of about 300x--do not even merit mention. Sweatshops were the cause celebre of the 1990s, and it's hard to say whether we hear less about them because corporations recognize that it's no longer profitable to employ exploitative sweatshop labor (as Klein points out: revenue and not morality is always the gravamen of this calculus), or because we grew fatigued by the effort and tolerate them now, or at least their slightly less exploitative post-1990s iterations.

One highlight of the book came toward its end, when Klein talks about the agency of youth consumers and of disenfranchised yet culturally relevant black and brown youth who live in the nation's cities. It's pretty incredible that brands as powerful as Nike and Disney caved to the pressure of these individuals, who understood themselves to have been chumps for paying 30x the cost of a shoe, and having engaged in the exploitation of other marginalized people throughout the world in so doing, all to pad the larders of megarich companies who had co-opted their sense of style and fashion to begin with. It's kind of great that people won't tolerate hostile corporate forces invading their space.

To wit, I've been venturing beyond my West Brooklyn/Lower Manhattan ambit of late, and have found myself in the Bronx, in Central Queens, and in white ethnic enclaves like Greenpoint. Milo Yiannopoulos, the smugly execrable male Ann Coulter/low-rent Oscar Wilde with a bronzer problem who is currently afflicting our society with his "provocative" yet wholly warmed-over ideas in the Trump era, is putting out his own book, entitled "Dangerous." I'm all for free speech, and come from the Millsian/Skokie line of ACLU types who think that one of the only things America is truly great at, and has benefited from, is its staunch defense of freedom of speech in the public arena. Even if they were repellent, which they surely are, I would defend Mr. Yiannopoulos' right to advocate his views. But freedom of speech is important for allowing new ideas to surface, not for perseverating the same "Muslims are bad!" "White men are responsible for all cultural innovations!" and "Women make up rape allegations for attention!" tommyrot that has been around since the Crusades, if not earlier, and has been widely discredited for centuries; we need this type of public voice like we need lectures about why the Earth is flat. Mr. Yiannopoulos is a gadfly, and he has never propounded an original idea other than that he is somehow noteworthy, as far as I can tell.

Anyway, I noticed that ads for his book, "Dangerous," were cynically posted all over the subway stations in less gentrified areas, ostensibly because people in the other areas would not tolerate their living spaces being desecrated by such an inane, bigoted idiot and his quest to enrich himself by sowing dissension. And happily, I noticed that of all the ads on the subway, even in the areas not teeming with effete latte liberals like myself, these ads were almost always the only ones torn down, desecrated, denounced, destroyed. As Klein notes, there may be no legal theory to support these actions, but one of the most powerful ways in which people can revolt against the invasion of their spaces and communities by hostile, capitalist attempts to make money off of them and their neighbors is through hostile, pointed destruction of the property that these forces use to accomplish their aims. I'm sure that Mr. Yiannopoulos would have some tired quip about the breeding of these people or their motivations, and how it shows that the left (read: the not extreme right) is intolerant of free speech, but this really just reflects an overbroad view of the protections to which private property and money are entitled, and a cramped view of the ways in which speech, protest, and dissent can, should, and will increasingly be expressed.
Profile Image for Ray.
566 reviews112 followers
October 1, 2018
A compelling and worthy book. Klein sets out the ways in which corporations and globalisation have changed our world, and this not always for the better.

She outlines how companies such as Nike are hollowed out entities, merely a brand and a marketing machine selling dreams of sporting superstardom and ghetto cool to teen wannabes. In these companies production is offshored via subcontractors and well paying jobs in the US and Europe have become minimum wage jobs in the third world. Labour relations and environmental standards are far below western norms in these offshore production facilities. Klein points out the riches that this creates for the leaders of such companies, which contrasts sharply with the grinding poverty suffered by the factory workers in faraway lands.

Klein shows how some people are resisting the bombardment of constant marketing, subverting brands and their marketing messages, and highlighting abuse of labour in distant factories. This activism is creating better awareness of what is happening behind the corporate facade, and is forcing change on the companies. There are some detailed case studies of these campaigns which illustrate how a focused action can bring about small changes. There is also a section on some spectacular own goals as the corporates have tried and failed to squash dissenting messages about their brand - the McLibel case being the most well known (In the UK at least)

The book reminds me of one that had a profound effect on me many years ago, The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard, which explained how marketing and advertising influences all that we do. In fact Hidden Persuaders is name checked in this book.

Thought provoking if somewhat polemic - at times the passionate need to make a particular point undermined the message. It was strange too to read a book about big corporations that does not mention Google, Amazon or Facebook and has only fleeting reference to Apple. The book was written in 2000, before the tech behemoths came of age.

I am not sure what message to take from this book. On the one hand it confirms my long held suspicion of mega brands, but their ubiquity and the similarity in their method is depressing.
Profile Image for مروان البلوشي.
295 reviews591 followers
August 6, 2014

لفترة ما في التسعينات، كانت ناعومي كلاين هي الصوت الأميركي الأكثر غضباً ورفضاً لكل نتائج العولمة والثقافة الاستهلاكية التي أصبحنا نعيشها في كل دقيقة وساعة من حياتنا. تحكي كلاين عن طفولتها ومراهقتها قائلةً أنها كانت مهووسة بالموضة والأزياء وأغلى السلع والبضائع، وأنها كانت تقيم نفسها والآخرين من خلال ما يمتلكونه. وكانت تحلم بالعمل في إحدى الشركات الدولية الكبرى.

ولكنها تغيرت فيما بعد، وهذا التغير الذي نضج أثناء عملها في مجلة "تايم" الأميركية الشهيرة جعلها ترى أضرار العولمة نمط الحياة الاستهلاكية على حياة البشر وأخلاقهم ومعاملاتهم اليومية، وكذلك مستويات الفقر والمعيشة في بلدان العالم الثالث.

نشرت ناعومي كلاين هذا الكتاب في العام 2000، ينقسم الكتاب إلى 4 أقسام وهي: بلا مكان، ويتحدث عن غزو الاعلانات التجارية للفضاء العام في أي مجتمع. أم القسم الثاني من الكتاب وهو : بلا اختيار، ويتحدث عن الأساليب المختلفة التي تستعملها الشركات العالمية العملاقة للقضاء على صغار التجار وأصحاب المحلات والأعمال الصغيرة المستقلة. أما القسم الثالث من الكاتب وهو : بلا وظيفة، فيتحدث عن الطريقة المشابهة التي يقترب فيها العمل في الشركات الكبرى من العبودية، بدون أن يشعر العاملون هناك بذلك. ويتحدث القسم الأخير من الكتاب وهو : بلا ماركة، عن الحراك العالمي ضد سيطرة الشركات الضخمة المتعددة الجنسيات والثقافة الاستهلاكية على حياتنا.

يتميز الكتاب بأسلوب الكاتبة السهل الممتنع (باللغة الإنجليزية) ويتميز كذلك بالأمثلة الواقعية التي صاحبت جميع أقسام الكتاب. كما أن الكاتبة لم تعتمد فحسب على خبرتها كصحفية، بل قامت بمقابلة عشرات العاملين في الشركات الكبرى التي أضحت توجه أسلوب حياتنا، وتقوم ناعومي كلاين بكشف تفاصيل الفساد الأخلاقي وفساد الذمم المنتشر في هذه البيئة.

الكتاب يستحق القراءة وخاصة لمن يريد أن يزيد معرفته عن العالم الاستهلاكي الذي نعيش فيه اليوم.

Profile Image for Pink.
537 reviews498 followers
April 4, 2016
I skimmed most of this. Not that anything was wrong with the book, it just felt like it was stating the obvious to me. Maybe this would have seemed like newer information at the time of publishing. Right now, in 2016, with my anti-capitalist mind, this didn't tell me anything I wanted to know.
Profile Image for David Sarkies.
1,780 reviews301 followers
January 31, 2016
Rise of the Corporatocracy
3 May 2012

As I mentioned under The Shock Doctrine, this book is about the internal problems with the American Empire as opposed to the external concerns to the rest of the world. In a sense it is the idea that our culture is being destroyed by a culture of consumerism and that idea of profits before people is the main motivator of the modern corporatocracy. We do need to put this book in context though, being written at the end of the 90s, just after the anti-globalisation protests in Seattle, an event referred to by many as the Battle of Seattle. I guess the events really brought to the forefront how the American Government was willing to go to war with its own people to protect the interests of the corporatocracy. However, remember that between 1989 and 2001 there was no real external threat to the United States, and as such there was no way of distracting the population to an external threat, so another means of distracting them was required. The concept of the brand is not new, however it is during this period that we begin to see a rise against the corporatocracy which resulted in a rejection of the militaristic foreign policy of the early 21st Century.

I am going to be honest though, there is nothing different now than there was during the rest of US history, though I will point to the writings of Howard Zinn to direct you to the discrimination and oppression that has been a mainstay of American, and in fact world, history. Things have changed though, and one of the major things was the rise of the middle class. The appearance of the middle class did bring about massive changes in modern society, and one had resulted in the French Revolution. However, industrialisation also brought about the rise of the working class. With the appearance of the working class, the middle class was allowed to develop whereas the working class were then oppressed. However, with the rise of communism, and the fear of a world wide revolution, the working class was appealed to, and universal healthcare (at least in the British Empire) as well as minimum wages and benefits, were introduced. The problem with this was that hiring labour became much more expensive.

Now I seem to have diverged a bit, though in many cases I tend to like to try to put a few things in context. Now, I do very much agree with Klein's assessment here, however I do feel that there are a few misleading ideas, such as the idea of cheap labour in poorer countries. Now, don't get me wrong, I am opposed to the mistreatment of any human being, and am opposed to unsafe and discriminatory work practices. This was something that was thrown out of the western world over 100 years ago, however it has simply moved to the developing world. Low wages are not necessarily the problem though, since if you do travel to these places you will discover that the low prices of goods there more than makes up for the low wages. For instance, it costs around $100 a night to stay in a hotel in Melbourne, while it costs $30 a night in Hong Kong, and in Bangkok I found a hotel for $14 (though my friend's comment was that it was probably a pretty shitty hotel). However, low wages are still a problem, but what makes things worse is cost cutting as a means to increase profits. If, for instance, the manufacturer cuts costs so that the worker is working long hours, has no breaks, is not allowed to go to the toilet, and the workplace is so unsafe that accidents regularly happen, then that is not good. However, the price of the shoes, or the shirt, in Australia does not change, despite the factory in Australia closing down and the one in Asia opening up. This is not a means to make the goods cheaper, but a means to increase the profits of the corporation, and in turn the shareholders. No only are the workers being exploited, but so are the consumers in Australia.

One thing she talks about is the concept of space. Basically space is being taken over by the corporatocracy. Once one would go shopping on the main street and spend some time in the town park. That is no longer the case: main street has closed down and much of the activity has moved to the shopping centre. There is a big difference between the town centre and the shopping centre and that is that the town centre is a public space while the shopping centre is not. What that means is that the owner of the shopping centre has complete control over what goes on there, thus creating an ordered and sheltered place where people can go and spend money and not be disturbed. However I have noted that at times The Body Shop have plastered their shop with anti-corporate logos, even in the middle of a Westfield Shopping Centre.

The further idea of no space is that all of our space is being taken up with advertising, and that the main thought forms of today is the brand logo. However branding once again in not new. Christianity has been using the brand logo for centuries, and in many was it has brought about the development of the brand as a means of advertising. The brand has also been used in the past to mark possession, such as slaves or cattle. However, you could say that the modern brand also marks possession. We see the swoosh on a shirt or my shoes and we know that they are Nikes. Nothing more needs to be said, but then I raise the question of whether those of us who wear the brand are in fact possessions of the company. I would say not, however to me it is a means of cheap advertising, though the cheapest form of advertising is always word of mouth. Personally, I must admit, I like Coopers Pale Ale, and as such I will wear a T-shirt with the brand on it (though I should also point out that the T-shirt was given to me as a gift). I guess, if the brand was a brand that I didn't like, then I wouldn't be wearing it (unless of course I was paid to do so, then I wouldn't have a problem, unless of course it was something that I was violently opposed to).

Some have suggested that the modern corporatocracy is launching a war against the middle class. To be honest I am going to dispute that namely because the corporatocracy needs the middle class, and even a cash flushed working class, to survive. Things have changed dramatically since this book was published, as the corporatocracy attempted to increase profits by increasing availability of credit. However, the more people got into debt, the less of an ability they have to pay it back, and when they cannot pay it back the debt must be written off. Come 2008, the entire economy reaches the brink of collapse, and the banks have not yet recovered. The economy survived, barely, and some still say it is on life support. However, many of the masters of the economy have fallen from grace, but this was not through the actions of demonstrators and protesters, but through their own greed. In the end it is much like a Shakespearian tragedy.

As mentioned, the corporatocracy need the people to survive, to create and grow their profits, but they have effectively reached critical mass. All of the jobs that filled the pockets of American workers have gone overseas, and as such these workers have been left without anything. Further, their savings accounts have also been drained and their credit has been maxed out, therefore they no longer have any money left to partake in the consumer society. Sure, the staples such as Walmart and McDonalds can survive because everybody needs food, but the others can't. Instead, with no money left to suck out of the working class, they need to look elsewhere for support, and unfortunately that does not exist in the developing world. The workers there are still underpaid and cannot afford the luxuries of the west. Therefore, in the end, the corporatocracy is its own worst enemy, and its endless pursuit of power and profits is going to be its own undoing.

Though I still love the free market capitalist who hated short sellers. I know this has nothing to do with this book, but I have to mention it. It is typical of the hippocracy of the extreme capitalist. They love the free market right up to the point that the market spins around and smacks them in the face, then they will jump in with regulations in an attempt to protect their profits. All I can say is if you want a free market, then you have to accept all of the free market, both good and bad. Personally, I see nothing wrong with short sellers, and in fact I actually quite like them because they piss off the capitalist to no end.
Profile Image for Dorien.
2 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2007
definitely some good information, but something about the books style turns me off. i feel a little preached to, or manipulated. I guess my recent-college-student self wants more of an attempt to appear objective. objectivity may be an illusion, but it is one of my personal favorites.
Profile Image for Klaudia_p.
488 reviews83 followers
June 16, 2019
"No logo" zostało wydane w 1998 roku. W tamtym czasie była ta książka przełomowa. Czytając "No logo" 21 lat od publikacji pierwszego wydania, sama zastanawiałam się na ile (i czy w ogóle) ta pozycja jest nadal aktualna? Otóż, moim zdaniem, tak. Pomimo tego, że niektóre przykłady mogą wydawać się nieco przestarzałe (chociaż... czy aby na pewno?), mechanizmy, o których pisze Naomi Klein nie zmieniły się tak bardzo jak mogłoby się wydawać. "Żyjemy w kulturze niepewnego zatrudnienia, a przesłanie o samowystarczalności dotarło do każdego z nas". Czy brzmi przestarzale? Nie sądzę. Myślę, że "No logo" nadal w wielu kwestiach pozostaje i jeszcze długo pozostanie aktualne.
Profile Image for 7jane.
675 reviews249 followers
June 2, 2019
I wake up every morning, jump in the shower, look down at the symbol [the Nike swoosh], and that pumps me up for the day. It's to remind me every day what I have to do, which is, 'Just Do It'.” (Internet entrepreneur Carmine Collettion, on a near-navel tattoo, 1997)

(further reading ideas towards the end)
This is the first time in years that I've been reminded of the 'Battle Of Seattle', the protest that was in 1999. I guess this shows one of the flaws that this kind of book might have when read years after it's writing point (2001, written in 4 years). This was the first time I heard about this author, before her other books. Still, most of the stuff in here is readable, though the last part, 'No Logo', was hard to get through, not because of what was being talked about, but perhaps because it wasn't quite so gripping as the other parts.

These are the parts:
Part 1 – the surrender of culture and education to marketing
Part 2 – mergers, franchising, synergies, corruption, censorship
Part 3 – employment issues (temporary and part-time jobs, movement of work to third world countries and what happens there)
Part 4 – anticorporate activism (in the late 1990s)

The cost of brand domination:

Struggle General's Warning: Blacks and Latinos are the prime scapegoats for illegal drugs, and the prime targets for legal ones.” (culture-jammed (changed) cigarette ad)

Some label examples are written about more widely, including Nike, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Pepsi, and Shell. This book gave me further reasons to dislike Ronald Reagan (some of his law-changes have caused some of the issues above). With brands one shouldn't forget things like less-visible brands (container makers, university brands). The brands were in general American, but some Canadian, British, and other non-American brands appeared also.

The dated:

We meet some familiar people: Daniel H. Pink, whose ”When” book I've read. Bernie Sanders doing the anti-Nike thing. And Aung San Suu Kyi, whose still declared as activist-saint – she's not such a person these days. Not so charitable here, Bill Gates!

I wonder if activism etc. changes to the situation that was at the time of this book came out have changed also because of fake news, the rise of far right, misdirected anger when jobs were taken out to the poorer countries, and anti-brand thing not necessarily being the 'fashionable' thing of right now? (I may be wrong with some guesses.) And then there's the current 'trade war' stuff with China, Mexico…
The author certainly feel (still) optimistic here, with some of a revolution.

[Further reading ideas here:
Schlosser – Fast Food Nation (less dated; talking more about issues in this corner, incl. Human costs)
Mitchell – Cloud Atlas (the Sonmi-451 parts)
Boorman – Bonfire Of The Brands (choosing a more brand-free life
L.Chang – Factory Girls (factory life in China)]

This book is about brands, and the issues that rise over their spreading, ruling, and domination. Although this book is clearly US-centric (and some of the problems are stronger there than elsewhere), it's still relevant. I made a list of brands mentioned. I have been checking my 'made in [country]' labels, and weighing my use of brand products, my choices of buying, and my label loyalities. How much your purchases 'uniform' you? What sort of actions I might make because of what I know from here (like use brands from my own country)? Time to ask yourself and change if you want to change, keep what you keep.
This book may have its dated bits, but the important bits stay important.
Profile Image for Brent.
89 reviews11 followers
January 18, 2011
We were editors in Canada's student press at the same time -- 1992-93. Even then, Klein was in a league of her own. Well, Doug Saunders was up there, too.

If I'm going to be honest with myself, I have not yet read this book for very selfish reasons: while Naomi's star continued to climb, I chose alcohol, drugs and self-absorption. Klein's fame arose from a commitment to serious journalism and leftist politics. I was jealous.

At an ORCUP Conference in 1993 (Ontario Region Canadian University Press), I arranged for a group of student journalists to head to U of Toronto to join in. The Varsity Blue, UofT's paper, edited by Naomi, were hosting.

One night, while hanging out in some pub on Spadina, with members of the still white-hot Kids in the Hall quaffing pints at the bar, I realized that I didn't have a place to stay.

My writing had gotten some attention through the Canadian University Press wire -- a precursor to the internet (my age!), and Naomi seemed to be a fan. She jumped up, handed me a key and said, "That's the key to my apartment. You can stay there."

I passed out on her living room floor, waking up just briefly enough to see her staring over me, shaking her head. I was too drunk to fuck, too drunk to engage in all-night political discussion with Naomi Klein.

No regrets, right? But what the fuck was I thinking?

Naomi, please keep doing what you're doing. And, for what it's worth: I'm enjoying your book (so far lol).
Profile Image for piperitapitta.
944 reviews326 followers
December 2, 2018
Santa pace!

Sembra un'altra epoca quella in cui ho letto questo libro!
Altra pubblicità, altra vita. Ante G8 di Genova, ante black block, ante tutto e anti tutto.
Illuminante per certi versi, noioso per certi altri.
Da consultazione più che da lettura.
Ricordo ancora di essere rimasta affascinata dal capitolo sulla culture jamming e di aver cercato di saperne molto di più di quanto descritto nel libro.
Profile Image for Maria.
229 reviews41 followers
February 18, 2023
Все се чудя защо почти всички хора в почти всички малоумни американските филми работят в „маркетинга“. Толкова ли няма други интересни и значими професии, та все се занимаваме с „маркетинга“. Наоми Клайн донякъде обяснява защо – марковите компании вече не продават груби стоки, а „преживявания“, „начин на живот“ и прочие простотии. Т.е. вие не си купувате някакви си прозаични обувки, с които краката ви няма да мръзнат, а си купувате „спортен дух“, или „уникално извивяване“, или ставате част от елитен клуб. Така че супермарките се разграничават от продукта, който се предполага, че е в основата на дейността им. Затова не им трябват работници във фабриките, а маркетолози, продавачи на мечти. Затова и продуктите на Найк, Адидас, Рийбок, Gap и пр. се произвеждат не във фабрики, собственост на компаниите, а от подизпълнители в третия свят, които плащат на работниците си – предимно млади жени в тийнейджърска възраст – толкова, колкото да не умрат от глад, а понякога и по-малко. Но супермарките са чисти, защото те поръчват продукт, който друг има ангажимента да произведе на възможно най-ниска цена, при това както намери за добре. Печалбите се използват за още маркетинг, за изкупуване на други бизнеси, за пазарна експанзия, за космически хонорари на спортни и други звезди, които да рекламират измислиците.
Книгата не казва нищо, което не знам. Писана е преди почти 25 години и тези проблеми са осветени отдавна – за който се интересува. Но интересуващите са учудващо малко на брой – това може да го каже всеки, който има тийнейджъри вкъщи. Рядко някой от тях, а и родителите им, се интересува от къде идват марковите парцалки, въпреки че на етикетите пише „Made in Bangladesh”. А те идват от фабрики в страни, които продават поданиците си на корпорациите, като не прилагат никакво трудово законодателство, не събират данъци, не изискват социално и здравно осигуряване за работниците. По този начин мантрата, че чуждестранните инвестиции помагат на бедните държави се оказва голяма лъжа – няма никакви инвестиции, а само най-примитивна експолоатация. Няма създаване на постоянни работни места, нито внедряване на технологии, защото производството постоянно се мести от една държава в друга, в търсене на по-ниски надници и по-дълга „данъчна ваканция“. Няма базов доход, който да се влее в бедните икономики, защото заплатите стигат за купичка ориз и легло в общежитие. Но кой да мисли за това, след като не си купува яке, а „чиста емоция“?
Друга лоша новина – корпорациите – производители на потребителски стоки постоянно търсят вдъхновение от културата, от социалните движения за повишаване на продажбите си. Нямат притеснения да използват феминизма, движенията за правата на цветнокожите, гейовете и всяка друга онеправдана група, за да продават. По този начин се появяват United colors of…., рекламни кампании с целуващи се моряци и пр. Така гръндж музиката от форма на протест се превръща в модни линии за милиарди. Така става и със стремежа на хората към чиста храна, затова напоследък всичко е „домашно“ и „ръчна изработка“. Лъжи и маркетинг на всеки ъгъл.
Добрата новина е, че притчата за Давид и Голиат е стара колкото цивилизацията. Следователно колкото и да са силни корпорациите винаги ще има активисти, които да ги нападат, които да организират общностите за съпротива срещу пълното брендиране на живота ни. Книгата описва някои успешни акции на съпротива срещу Найк, Шел и Макдоналдс – всяка срещу различен проблем. Найк използват робски труд в т.нар. зони за обработка на експорта. Шел поддържат военното правителство на Нигерия и съсипват народът огони, като добиват нефт от техните земи в делтата на река Нигер. Макдоналдс не позволяват на никой да говори лоши неща за тях и по този начин ограничава свободата на словото, от което някои хора истински се разстройват. Корпорациите отвръщат на удара, но винаги има нови поколения активисти и така животът си върви, след всеки конфликт нещо се променя към по-добро. Макар и бавно – кратка справка в нета показва, че земята на огоните продължава да е съсипана от нефтените разливи, храната на Макдоналдс едва ли може да се нарече храна, надниците в Бангладеш пак са на ръба на жизнения минимум. Но когато проблемите са осветлени всеки може да вземе решение за потребителското си поведение, затова книгата е важна.
Profile Image for Петър Стойков.
Author 3 books264 followers
July 24, 2017
Знаете ли, че Nike примерно, всъщност не произвежда маратонки и дрехи? Те просто поръчват изработката на външни фирми и се занимават само с рекламата – тяхната единствена дейност е да градят имидж на запетайката в логото си…

„Без лого“ е много добър учебник, който изследва пазарното и рекламно поведение на големите компании (основно за облекло), които градят дейността си основно около създаването на имидж и привлекателност на своето лого – защото когато съвременният потребител купува дрехи, той търси по-скоро определен имидж и послание, които тези дрехи носят, отколкото нещо друго.

Описани и анализирани са много рекламни кампании на най-големите компании – конкретни неща и примери, които няма да намерите в нито една друга книга за маркетинг – рекламиране на концерти, концепции на плакати, промоционални стратегии, териториално позициониране на реклами…

Единственото странно нещо в книгата е, че тя всъщност изобщо не е замислена като маркетингов учебник, а като антикапиталистическа пропаганда – видите ли, колко са коварни лошите компании, че действат така. Но политическите пристрастия на авторката едва ли касаят непредубеденият читател, а и не влияят на качествата на дацената ценна информация.
Profile Image for Rick.
Author 5 books73 followers
May 29, 2012
Reading this book more than ten years after it came out is hard. It's difficult to realize how momentous it was at the time. It's hard to understand that this book is one of the cultural underpinnings of the anti-sweatshop movement, the WTO protests, Occupy Wall Street. The cynicism about brands that Klein documents is so pervasive now it's hard to remember how much people just loved brands blindly and completely at one point. THis book completely changed things.

Having read several Klein articles in recent years - as well as the revised forward to the ten year edition - you can see that Klein has moved away from using the concept of brands as a fulcrum for her intellectual arguments against certain aspects of globalization, corporatism, etc. But not completely - Brands are still the most visible component of a company, and, thus, serve as a mechanism to attack them. That is still useful.

In some ways, though, the brand approach to anti-globalism seems a bit dated. Many of the sinister examples Klein listed didn't pan out, and some of the companies are hardly massive brand juggernauts these days, just a little over ten years later. I almost laughed out loud about the panic Klein bestows on Celebration, Florida. I had just visited last summer and it was nothing like she described. This, of course, is because of the fall of one of the villains of the brand portion of the book - Michael Eisner.

However, in reading many economists' work on brand and advertising, Klein has come up more than once, and indeed, her concept of Brand disconnects the concept of Brand from its original economic form. This can have some profound ramifications, and many modern academic economists have explored it further. Concretely, a brand no longer symbolizes a specific origin or quality, in fact it could signal just the opposite. It's a weird thought.

Finally, having worked in advertising for 15 years, I can say that Klein definitely intentionally or not distorts the motivations of many of the creatives she lists. I know because there are a few places in the book where she references campaigns I worked on, and we were thinking nothing of the sort of plots and schemes she attributed to us. Whether in the end that matters may be immaterial - the effect is the same - but the book does read substantially more like it's all a big single plot than, in my experience, any of it really is.
Profile Image for Ana.
805 reviews592 followers
January 11, 2019
Perfectly written for a non-fiction book, this entire work will annoy you once you realise how much and how easily human beings are manipulated. Sadder than everything, you are faced with how much of your own behaviour and ability to choose is bent by the will of big corporations, and how this massively hurts other human beings. Read up on Export Processing Zones - get good and angry - and then watch as no one listens because our Western lives are so god damn convenient. A good read for anyone interested in the machinations of modern life, and what hides behind the curtain.
68 reviews5 followers
March 15, 2014
Yea but no but...

It was a nice try, and while I could probably agree on many levels with the author, I still call Klein a hippie.

I have always thought it to be wholly unreasonable to demand and to sincerely expect anyone and everyone to offer their own plan as to how things should be done as opposed to how we do things now. This is preposterous. Anyone who can come up with valid arguments why things currently are amiss and why they should be remedied, must be allowed to voice their opinion despite not necessarily being able to personally formulate (then and there, or even at all) an alternative, better, way of doing things.

It's cool if you can, but it shouldn't be a qualification for even being allowed to enter the debate. There isn't a single person on this planet who could come up with a perfect plan because there are no perfect plans! Almost no one will admit that capitalism is without glitches, but many will assert with gusto that capitalism just requires a little bit of tweaking and some tender loving care.

This is absolute nonsense.

Of course we could always have better democracy. People could easily be given more and better options to vote for changes, for example. We could have "local governments" with localized budgets within different parts of cities to enable those people living there to make concrete decisions and plans that will affect their everyday lives directly. We could do loads to improve democracy, trust me.

We could also find ways to actually sustain businesses and private individuals to operate in a free market reality - not just in free market make-believe. This would most likely mean that players who began to dominate markets need to be split in one way or the other to enable other and especially up-and-coming individuals and companies to compete against them in much more fairer conditions. Unlike now, no one could really rest on their laurels and/or just buy off competition. Everyone wanting to play the game would have to be innovating and reinventing themselves constantly. Not now and then, or once in a blue moon, but every single day.

Stuff that I personally can't accept is:

a) corporations aiming to change schools' curriculums and subtly trying to greenwash their own history and business practices - in a word their public image.

b) corporations cornering smaller competitors by dumping prices until local/regional competition is snuffed for good.

c) corporations gaining even bigger share of the markets simply because they can buy other competitors out if they can afford it. This is the exact opposite of what Adam Smith called free market economy. This is rule of the few and finally rule of one.

And if and when corporations reach a status where they can effectively sensor what people can and can not buy, should be called totalitarianism because that's what it is when you can't buy a book or some other product from anywhere else simply because those few corporations still left will refuse to take them up for sell.

d) allowing corporations to grow so big and powerful that they can effectively land in places where they are not taxed, where they can disregard local laws and regulations at will, where they can effectively treat their labor force and the environment any way they want.

Even if some poor, underprivileged, schmuck wouldn't mind how the company does business, I abso-f*cking-lutely do, and I'm not the only one! If you pollute the environment (or treat your employees like dirt), you clean up the mess, pay hefty fines, and take some time off from doing business for the time being because you clearly are not a responsible and trustworthy player and the society as a whole can and will not tolerate such behavior. Simple and fair, and not complex or mean at all.

If this what we have today is free market economy, we might as well reintroduce chains and just revert to calling workforce as slaves again. I mean why not? We already love to call unemployed people - I'm sorry, "job seekers" - as cancer, vermins, and so on. I don't know about you but to me it echos 1930's Germany.

I think it's pretty vile view on life if and when (read In Defense of Global Capitalism) people in effect say that it's still miles better to be working in a sweatshop somewhere and get paid at least something than having to resort to selling one's own ass to anyone keen on buying or just starving to death.

This line of thinking not only legitimizes wretchedness and indecency. It guarantees that nothing will ever change for the better.

Now, I may think that hippies are moronic bunch of people, but folks who try to reason the above scenario disgust me to no end. Especially coming from a guy who got all the chances in the world provided by the society in a socialist paradise called Sweden. I wonder if he would have had the same tolerance for pain, strength of character and general will power to take it up his small boy's ass from some anonymous older, charming Swedish gentlemen, had he been born in the slums of India, Brazil or Vietnam and be asked to help his family and relatives by all means necessary - and there either not being any sweatshops around or all just refusing to let him work?

I'm sure he would have.
Profile Image for Rafal.
306 reviews18 followers
July 31, 2016
Wstrząsnęła mną ta książka. Przenikliwością analiz, wzruszającą i piękną naiwnością recept i wieloma przykładami pokazującymi, że tak bardzo nie wiemy, co naprawdę dzieje się pod cienką warstwą wielkich politycznych i ekonomicznych snów o potędze.

Po przeczytaniu tej książki jeszcze bardziej zazdroszczę zachodowi kultury protestu. Tego, że potrafią zgromadzić się wokół jakiejś idei i zacząć o nią walczyć. Demokratycznie, kulturalnie, czasem burzliwie ale konsekwentnie i często skutecznie. Chciałbym, żeby to było kiedyś możliwe w moim kraju, w którym można ludziom zabrać wolność, demokrację, intymność i wszystko co ma wartość w imię fobii jednego człowieka... i gdy to się dzieje - jak dobrze pójdzie to wyjdzie na ulicę parę tysięcy ludzi raz na pół roku. Wiele o tym właśnie - kulturze protestu - można przeczytać w tej książce.

A poza tym jest świetna z wielu innych względów. Oczywiście przede wszystkim dlatego, że dość bezwzględnie demaskuje jak wielkie marki i korporacje robią nam bezustannie wodę z mózgu.
Profile Image for Zanna.
676 reviews940 followers
July 22, 2015
I first read this book in 2003 and when I took it out of storage I decided to give it another look. I'm glad I did because it's better than I remember, and encouraged me to pick up Klein's more recent work.

Klein's target at first glance seems to be the big name companies' aggressive and ubiquitous branding of our public spaces and institutions. She explains the shift from owning the means of production and manufacturing goods to outsourcing and pumping the massive savings into brand building, stuffing the psyches of target markets with recognition, affection and even passion for faceless corporations. The worst excesses of branding shade into censorship, as whole university campuses and courses accept sponsorship deals loaded with gagging clauses forbidding brand criticism and demands that students be exposed to their advertising material.

Squashing free speech is disturbing enough, but this would be a shallow critique if Klein didn't go much, much further. The second section of the book points out what brands like Wal-Mart and Starbucks spend their huge profits on: blanketing towns and cities with their outlets, suffocating the competition as they go. As other options wither, nothing is left but the corporate vision of 'choice', presenting culture as something mindlessly consumed, never answered or created by its 'market'.

Still, this is all about Westerners' lifestyles and comfort; pretty trivial compared to the painstaking work Noam Chomsky, for example, has done in documenting multinationals' manipulation of US foreign policy under cover of propaganda at home: installing puppet dictators, engineering brutal crushing of popular uprisings and attempts to nationalise or retain local control of resources and systematically denying the rights of indigenous populations to land, liberty, free association etc etc etc etc etc. But Klein is not done. The third section tells how the brands can afford to pay celebrities millions to endorse them, saturate public spaces and clog high streets and malls: by exploiting their workers. CEOs collect their six & seven figure salaries and are lauded for 'streamlining' the business - cutting jobs. This happens at both ends of the chain: in the underpaid and insecure temporary 'McJobs' in outlets, and far more shockingly, in sweatshops and resource-extraction & processing sites in production. The stories of sub-subsistence wages, physical and psychological abuse, sexual harrassment, child labour, exposure to toxic chemicals, brutal suppression of attempts to unionise and other horrors that Klein documents became common knowledge in the brand backlash of the nineties

The final section of the book is all about that pushback against corporations, as consumers came together to tell the brands they would not stand for starvation wages and child exploitation. This is a very multi-layered resistance, and Klein is highly critical of multinationals 'greenwashing' and code-of-conduct writing, which she points out is all about the comfort of consumers to buy without guilt. The people fighting for basic rights in Export Processing Zones are 'too busy organising factory workers to bother with Western lifestyle politics'. She also faults the 'unthreatening' (academic) critique of brand-culture that treats people as stupid and 'unable to police their own desires'. Ultimately, change has to come from the bottom: workers making branded goods must be empowered to organise and negotiate wages they can live on and conditions that don't destroy their health.

Klein writes in an engaging journalistic style that's persuasive and easy to read. This is a long book and it could be shorter to make its point, but it would be less entertaining, less accessible, and less quotable.
Profile Image for Todd Martin.
Author 4 books74 followers
October 27, 2008
No Space:
Public space is being branded at an ever increasing rate. From sports stadiums and athletes to concerts and educational institutions. These brands have an extraordinary influence over public policy and our lives.

No Choice:
As companies gain power they are taking over entire segments of the marketplace and ‘synergizing’ their brand. The classic example is the publishing company, which owns the distributing company that gets the product to the stores, the communications outlets which provide the marketing and advertising and the retail outlets which sell to consumers. To a large extent, these monopolies get to pick and choose what you see, hear and read. The free exchange of ideas is limited and the scope of public conversation restricted.

No Jobs:
Companies are increasingly outsourcing all manufacturing operations to 3rd party vendors which primarily reside overseas in impoverished countries. In free trade zones around the world individuals work in sweatshops for slave wages to produce overpriced branded products for the developed world. As more companies adopt this model of production, there is a race to the bottom as good manufacturing jobs in the US are exported.

No Logo:
Student groups, universities, unions, shareholders and municipal governments are fighting back by holding companies responsible for the work practices of their suppliers. They are leveraging the power of the company brand as a means of shaming these institutions into behaving responsibly. Will it work? At the time the book was written (late 1990’s), the author seemed to sense a global movement building. Ten years later, it’s hard to see any appreciable change. If anything, companies have only grown stronger and have increased their hold over federal lawmakers and their visibility in the public sphere.
Profile Image for Matt.
1,013 reviews652 followers
March 8, 2009
(drastically condensed reaction)

It's a good start to a larger, overarching leftist critique of the way we live now. Klein does a fine job of explaining and exhuming many of the classic discontents of Capitalism, let alone the free-market nuttiness we've come to know. It's worth reading simply for the shedding of some further light on many of the social conditions we seem to take for granted.

The trouble is, she doesn't seem to have much to offer in the way of a viable, significant response- an alternative program.

She makes the point (sort of over-makes it, to my mind) about culture jamming and such and it sure sounds cool and interesting and worthwhile. It's just that it's also more than a little cosmetic and somewhat self-congratulatory and ultimately rather ineffective.

There isn't much in the way of *constructive* criticism, not to patronize the book to death, in that there are many ills correctly and articulately diagnosed but not much in the way of remedy. This is a problem, especially since the argument is known pretty widely in a general way and therefore the need for some kind of counter-program is all the more pressing.

I am going to try Disaster Capitalism one of these days and maybe it will have more of a bolder, tougher, more necessary impact.\
ten years after this book's breakthrough success, we've seen many of its concerns rear their ugly head and make so huge and unmistakable and infinitely complex a mark that, discouragingly, it seems we're (people of the left, that is, those may take a lot away from this book and the already converted it preaches to) still standing at square one- acknowledgment- and gazing up at this monolith, and taking the temperature....
Profile Image for Paul.
423 reviews47 followers
August 6, 2011
This book's divided into four sections—No Space, No Choice, No Jobs, and No Logo. The first three are cool, they talk about, respectively, how corporations in the 90s took over all our space with their logos, how we have no choice but to buy their products since they buy all the other smaller companies and it's crazy hard to find indie stores anymore, and how there aren't any good jobs since corporations like Nike outsource everything to Burma. These first three sections are really good. Everyone knows corporations are evil and this book tells you about it. The final section, No Logo, however, which takes up about 40% of the book's entire length, is about how some people, "culture jammers" or "adbusters" or whatever, are starting to fight back, and spray-paint ads to say funny stuff like "Think Stupid" instead of "Think Different," or, you know, protesting or whatever. WHO CARES. Why are corporations still doing evil stuff, then? No one wants to read 200 pages about a bunch of people running around pasting up posters and organizing rallies. At least I don't. But I did. So I say, read the first three sections of this book, because they're really good, esp. the first two, and skip the last one. Radiohead likes this book so it can't be that bad but then again they love Douglas Adams too.
Profile Image for Mehrsa.
2,234 reviews3,659 followers
April 1, 2020
I thought this book would be outdated, but it holds up. I picked it up when another book (it came from something awful) that connected modern troll culture to the overplaying of the culture of branding. The most fascinating portions of the book are the places where the branding wins create a backlash--for example, Nike using Black youth to sell sneakers and then that same group brings the fight to Nike. I don't really think it worked though--I think Nike just got better at branding (see the Kaepernick ads).
Profile Image for Matt.
82 reviews24 followers
August 27, 2008
For an understanding of what's going on in the current social sphere, No Logo should be required reading. Not that the book is perfect, but it contains a wonderful analysis of how the corporate sphere has expanded to fill virtually all areas of public space and dialog.

One of the most surprising aspects in reading the book is the realization of how complicit we have all been in our own corporate takeover. In the early 90s, major companies (Nike being the paradigm, but for from the only example) shifted their focus from manufacturing to brands - from selling objects to selling "lifestyles." It might seem like a ridiculous concept, but even well-educated, critical people have fallen for it. I've never bought into the idea that Nike embodies the sports ethos, but I am one of the legions of computer geeks who have gotten into long, heated arguments about the merits of Microsoft vs. Apple. Apple's ads push the idea that what it sells is innovation and hipness - but Apple just sells electronic equipment. To believe otherwise is to have fallen for their marketing ploy hook, line, and sinker. Not a electronics nerd? Chances are, then, you've probably shopped at The Body Shoppe because of its family-eco atmosphere, or in some other way unknowingly bought into some company's lifestyle image.

The first section of the book deals with the fallout from this switch in focus by the major multinationals, divided into three chapters. The first, "No Space", deals with how branding is encroaching on all aspects of life (most insidiously, education - if you want to convert minions to your brand, best to start them young). The second, "No Choice", talks about how the spread of branding restricts public dialog (brands are, after all, privately owned and subject to copyright/trademark, allowing the companies to control who says what about them - while at the same time expanding to control more of the media and public spaces). The third, "No Jobs", deals with how the switch from products to branding creates a logical divorce from manufacturing, and therefore from any need to support workers in an ethical fashion. Each one of these chapters is persuasively argued and incredibly well-researched. It is these chapters that make No Logo a must read, and the reason it gets five stars.

It is in the final section, "No Logo", that Klein struggles a bit more. This chapter covers the rise of anti-corporate and anti-branding advertising in response to the encroachment of the multinational. While Klein makes a convincing argument that there are a growing number of activists joining the movement, she makes a few serious omissions.

One error is an issue of methodology - many of the anti-branding activists act by appropriation: taking a brand and then twisting or subverting its meaning. This can be used to deliver a stinging indictment of the brand, and can be thought of as leveraging the brands power against itself. Yet what Klein and the other activists fail to consider is the possibility that ANY repetition of the brand, even one that is ostensibly critical, may in fact extend the brands power. I'm reminded of a recent NY Times op-ed (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/opi...), that posits that denouncing a message may reinforce it simply by repetition. Klein never considers the fact that brand appropriation may, in fact, be counterproductive.

Klein's biggest flaw in "No Logo," however, is her refusal to acknowledge individual responsibility. In fact, in several parts of the book, she chastises activists for veering towards what she calls "consumer-watch finger-wagging." Yet a large part of the problem, as I pointed out at the beginning of this review, is that we have been 100% complicit in this takeover. Corporations can only sell us a lifestyle if we continue to buy it (and buy it and buy it and buy it). If we refuse to buy products made in sweatshops, refuse to succumb to corporate control of dialog, then the power of the multinational will wain - but doing so requires that we ALL take full responsibility for our purchases. Protests and activist design are great, but it's only real lifestyle changes that are going to free us from the power of the brand - a point Klein stops short of making.
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