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Political Brands

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Professor of Law, Stetson University, College of Law, Florida, US
From ‘I Like Ike’ to Trump’s MAGA hats, branding and politics have gone hand in hand, selling ideas, ideals and candidates. Political Brands explores the legal framework for the use of commercial branding and advertising techniques in presidential political campaigns, as well as the impact of politics on commercial brands. This thought provoking book examines how branding is used by citizens to change public policy, from Civil Rights activists in the 1960s to survivors of the 2018 Parkland massacre.
Extent: 352 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78990 181 8
Availability: In Stock
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  • Business and Management
  • Branding
  • Law - Academic
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Law and Society
  • Law and Politics
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Law and Politics
From ‘I Like Ike’ to MAGA hats, branding and politics have gone hand in hand, selling ideas, ideals and candidates. Political Brands is a unique exploration of the legal framework for the use of commercial branding and advertising techniques in presidential political campaigns, as well as the impact of politics on commercial brands.

As American federal courts have narrowed the definition of corruption and struck down laws that make lying illegal, branding techniques have been exploited for pernicious purposes. This interdisciplinary book also considers how Donald Trump won the election and used his branding talents to his advantage as both candidate and president. Examining how branding and the power of commercial boycotts can be used by citizens to change public policy, from Civil Rights activists in the 1960s to survivors of the 2018 Parkland massacre, this thought-provoking book navigates the branded American landscape.

Containing unique coverage of campaign finance issues, this book will be of great interest to academics working in law, government and political science, with the exploration of the myriad of advertising techniques also making this a key resource for media law and business professors.
‘Professor Torres-Spelliscy has written a haunting, informative, and provocative narrative tying together many of these threats. You may not sleep quite as well after you read this important book, but you will be substantially smarter for it, and in today's United States, that's about all we can ask of an author trying to describe and analyze contemporary American politics.’
– Eric Segall, Dorf on Law blog

‘The law of democracy needs a new way to think about how “free speech” works. This beautifully crafted story of the place of “brands” within the minds of the political public is a powerful invitation. It is not clear how long the naively simplistic view of American courts about how speech works will survive. My bet is that this brilliant book by one of America’s leading election lawyers has shortened its life substantially.’
– Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University, US

‘More than ever, corporations are getting involved in hot-button political issues to protect their images and candidates eschew distinctive positions in favor of their party's "brand". In this insightful and revelatory book, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy shows how the Supreme Court, applying specious reasoning, reads the Constitution to usher in this new era of political branding and profoundly deformed American politics.’
– Adam Winkler, University of California, Los Angeles, US

‘Ciara Torres-Spelliscy has written a must-read synthesis and call to action for anyone who wants to understand the American political situation. She carefully and clearly unpacks the myriad ways the Supreme Court has bent laws governing elections into shapes that would have been unrecognizable thirty years ago. Read this book for clarity amid the anger, and consider the proposed set of plausible reforms as a constructive alternative to despair.’
– John Coates, Harvard University, US
Contents: Preface – Branding Itself Part I. The Legal Landscape 1. Branding Truth 2. Branding Corruption 3. Branding Corporations Part II. Branding Infecting Politics 4. Branding Partisanship 5. Branding Candidates on TV 6. Branding Candidates Online Part III. When Branding Gets Pernicious 7. Branding the News 8. Branding Treason 9. Branding Racism Part IV. Rejecting Toxic Brands 10. Branding Greed 11. Branding Boycotts 12. Branding Tragedy Epilogue – Needed Reforms Index