I recently finished Tamara Piety's splendid book on corporate commercial advertising and corporate political speech (Brandishing the First Amendment: Commercial Expression in America). It expertly describes the shift from a doctrine designed to assist consumers to make rational decisions in the market to a right of corporations to exploit consumers through the use of the best psychological techniques money can buy. It draws on sociological, psychological, and economic literature in making the case. She shows that this brandishing of the First Amendment by corporations threatens health, safety, the stability of financial markets, the envoronment, and our democracy. It is ironic that an amendment that should function to protect democracy is called in the service of undermining democratic values.
I regret to say that the book is priced at $70.00, a price too steep for many. At least, however, you should encourage your library to purchase the book and check it out if they already have. It is a book for everyone: accessibly written with spunk, passion, imagination, and tough-minded analysis.