Stories from the world of marketing communications.

Spreading Vaccine Fears and Cashing In

Public Integrity

Meet the influencers making millions by dealing doubt about the coronavirus vaccines. “The anti-vax and vaccine-hesitant community has been very loud on social media,” said Jessica Malaty Rivera, a science communicator with the COVID Tracking Project who dispels vaccine myths on Instagram. “They’ve had a steady drumbeat of doubt, and we’re just playing catch-up.”


The death of the girlboss


The girlboss is one of the cruelest tricks capitalism ever perpetrated. Born in the mid-2010s, she was simultaneously a power fantasy and a utopian promise. As a female business leader — be she a CEO, an aspiring CEO, or an independent MLM superseller — the girlboss was going to unapologetically will empires from the rubble of rejection and underestimation she faced all her life. As companies grew in her image, so did her mythos; her legacy would be grand and fair, because equality was coming to work. Everyone was supposed to win when girlbosses won.


The Cult of Busyness


A life of leisure was once the aspiration of the upper class. But now, bragging about busyness is how people indicate their status. Could a pandemic change the way busyness is glorified?


The war for attention


Never have humans talked, tweeted or texted more words — and found it more difficult to be heard. In this era of nonstop noise, every person must be a skillful communicator. Yet most struggle at it.


Whatever UFOs Are, They Are Absolutely Not Hypersonic Weapons


For years, the public has been fascinated by credible reports about Navy pilots encountering unidentified flying objects and secret Pentagon investigations of them. For months, the public has been awaiting the release of a legally mandated intelligence report laying out what the U.S. government knows about these mysterious craft, which appear to do things outside the reach of known technology. And for days, the public has been disappointed after it was widely reported last week that the unclassified portion of this document will offer neither evidence that UFOs are the product of alien civilizations or credible theories as to what they actually are—though it will, apparently, insist that they are not part of secret U.S. programs.



New York Times Publishes Then Deletes Article Claiming Watermelons Were Found on Mars


This afternoon, the prominent newspaper published an article making a surprising claim about exobiology: that watermelons had been discovered on Mars. “Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons,” read the story, which was deleted less than an hour later, according to a partial cache of its contents on Google News. “The FBI declined to comment on reports of watermelons raining down, but confirmed that kiwis have been intercepted.”

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