When Edward Bernays died in 1995 at the age of 103, he was eulogized as the “father of public relations” in his New York Times obituary. The intellectual was a pioneer in this field and throughout a glittering career his clients included multiple American presidents, General Electric and the American Tobacco Company. But more importantly, Bernays’ campaigns shaped public opinion in a manner unlike anything that had come before.
Bernays’ tactics differed greatly from those used by traditional advertisers before him. When he signed up to work on a client’s campaign, he wouldn’t endeavor to promote a product or concept in the usual way that an advertiser would.