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Triumph of the Shill, Part 1
Product Placement Runs Amok in Movies About Product Placement Run Amok
by Jennifer L. Pozner
Just the other day, a friend observed that I unfailingly refer to Snapple by name when I’m thirsty. I was horrified: seems with me it’s always "I need a Snapple," never simply, "I want some iced tea."
I hadn’t realized it before, but despite my thrift-store attire and anticorporate activism, when it comes to bottled beverages I’m a total label whore.
What disturbs me is not that I prefer the taste of Snapple (I do), but that the brand itself has infiltrated my vocabulary to such an extent that in my day-to-day vernacular, Snapple is iced tea. What could be behind this linguistic penetration?
I fear there’s just one explanation: My brain has been probed by aliens.
The culprits were those angsty teen visitors from outer space that populated UPN’s now-defunct show Roswell. In a memorable episode, one of the perfect-haired, porcelain-skinned extraterrestrials steals a case of Snapple from his employer, resulting in inevitable wacky hijinks. What the show lacked in plot it made up for in aggressive marketing, with dozens of dialogue plugs for the sugary drink and visuals of vending machines and bottle caps. If my friends and I had been playing a Roswell/Snapple drinking game, we’d have been sloshed by the half-hour mark.
Ah, for the days when you could avoid commercials by visiting the bathroom or making yourself a turkey sandwich.
As advertisers fight to keep their messages front and center in the face of cable-channel proliferation (which splits audiences into ever-smaller segments and provides more opportunities to channel-surf away from ads) and the development of technologies like TiVo (which lets viewers breeze past commercial breaks), media companies wooing ad revenue are allowing — even encouraging — a rapid disintegration of borders between advertising and editorial. Product placement — or "brand integration," marketers’ preferred term for weaving products into the fabric of programming — turns TV and movie viewers into marketing hostages.
Insidious and increasingly pervasive, this practice must be understood within the context of a larger commercial media onslaught that dumbs down content to its most widely palatable, consumer-friendly form in pursuit of ever-greater profits.
While corporate media have for years limited the critical reach of entertainment programming by treating viewers primarily as potential shoppers, brand integration lowers the celluloid bar even further. Products now play supporting roles and even guide plots in film (where movies like What Women Want feature ad execs falling in love over storyboards for commercials about how "Nike is hard-core womanpower"), television (where American Idol contestants drive Ford cars, sing about sponsors’ goods in cheesy mock videos, and hang out on a Coke-can-red couch with Coke’s signature white ribbon across the back), and music videos (where, in a deal that Advertising Age calls a "model for the music world," Sting stars in Jaguar ads and Jaguars star in Sting videos).
This opportunistic trend is a big win for marketers but a loss for viewers, as networks and studios are now pushing potentially high-quality content out of the way to make room for programming built around embedded ads.
Among the most disturbing examples of brand integration are putative parodies of the phenomenon: movies mocking product placement while pocketing the bucks, from the wink-wink, nudge-nudge nods to Nuprin, Reebok, Pepsi, and Pizza Hut in Wayne’s World ("I will not bow to any sponsor," Wayne declares to the camera, opening a Pizza Hut box and grabbing a slice) to the ostentatious endorsements for Pepsi, Heineken, Starbucks, Volkswagen, and the renamed "Shaguar" in Austin Powers: Goldmember, which reportedly raked in $70 million in promotional support.
When filmmakers attempt to have their parody and profit from it, too, they end up desensitizing us to the corrosive impact of consumer culture. By glorifying their viewers as above advertising, they substitute real critique with the same premise that powered Sprite’s memorable "Image is nothing, thirst is everything" campaign. Madison Avenue has found that the more cynical we get, the more our humor can be commercially co-opted by campaigns that flatter with the message, "You’re too smart to fall for our pitch. So buy our product, you hipster."
The use of this tactic rises in direct proportion to the level of irony and pith advertisers think their audiences are capable of; the smarter we are, the less we think marketing affects us, and the easier it becomes for advertisers to break down our defenses.
Enter Josie and the Pussycats, a 2001 case study in Hollywood hypocrisy. Josie updates its perky, cartoon rockers as jiggly, giggly girl-band members who get in bed with big business — literally, in a slumber-party romp with Fiona, the secretly evil Mega Records commandant played by Parker Posey — and become unsuspecting pawns in a plot to transform America’s youth into mindless, shopaholic drones. How? With subliminal ads planted under the lyrics of pop songs. ("Gatorade is the new Snapple!," "You’re nothing without an Abercrombie & Fitch vintage tee!," and the ultimate underlying message of every advertiser since the birth of the industry: "If I don’t buy it, everyone will hate me!")
The impact is widespread and immediate. When a new Mega Records "slave mix" is pumped over the loudspeakers at a local mall, teens act as a massive, malleable focus group: A vegetarian spontaneously declares she craves a Big Mac; a sober kid mutters about needing a six-pack of Zima. ("Dude, you don’t drink," his friend protests. "I think I should start!" the rube retorts.)
On the surface, Josie poses as a clever swipe at consumerist manipulation of youth culture. In some ways, it works. The comic depiction of what happens to Starbucks-addled, Coke-crazed teens abused by forces that believe "kids have brains like Play-Doh waiting to be molded into shape" goes a fair way toward parody, as do scenes where Fiona boasts of Mega Records’ ability to "control the most influential demographic of the entire population."
Simply through the use of shrewd subliminal ad slogans and broader, more universal commands ("Conform. Free will is overrated. Jump on the bandwagon," the mildly domineering voice of Mr. Moviefone intones), Mega Records and its partners in the U.S. government "can now get these kids to buy just about anything. We can have them chasing a new trend every week, and that is good for... America , the most ass-kickin’ country in the world."
Yet while Josie lampoons corporations collaborating to "turn your world into one giant TV commercial," it is itself little more than a slick, self-referential, feature-length ad for more than 60 real-world brands. From the opening scene to the closing credits, every frame bursts with logos, slogans, and icons representing actual products. The Pussycats practice their tunes in rooms wallpapered with the Target logo (the chain sold Josie dolls), sign their Mega Records’ contract at a Starbucks (admittedly an appropriate place to make a deal with the devil), get a makeover at a John Frieda salon (which sponsored a Josie-themed "Purrrfect Rockin’ Hair" makeover sweepstakes and advertised the movie wherever their products were sold), and stay in a Revlon- and McDonald’s-themed hotel, where they sit in lipstick-shaped chairs and lather up with french-fry sponges in shower stalls with the golden arches frosted onto the glass (one guess as to whether these companies ran tie-ins).
In the end, the prying Pussycats foil Mega Records’ nefarious plot through persistence, self-awareness, and the bonds of female friendship. In a triumphant finale, an earnest Josie urges her fans to forget everything they’ve been told and "decide for themselves" what they enjoy. Free thought good, cultural conditioning bad. Check.
This fairly tepid "be an individual" message is why codirector Deborah Kaplan described Josie to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a youth-empowerment movie. "We wanted to show them, 'Look how much power you have—and be careful how you use it,'" she said. The message to teens, codirector Harry Elfont told the Chicago Tribune, is, "Don’t just buy what people are cramming down your throats or what everybody else is wearing or listening to." Added Kaplan: "At the end of the day, it’s a movie that has something to say."
Sure it does — the problem is what it says. Rather than encouraging viewers to think critically or spend cautiously, Josie speaks volumes about the directors’ desire to deliver teen dollars to the box office and to the film’s sponsors. Media-literacy experts weren’t on the payroll, but a "cool watcher" reportedly helped Elfont and Kaplan pinpoint the brands, products, and slang that would most effectively grab young viewers.
The directors even admitted to the Orange County Register that they intentionally hobbled their own social commentary. "The movie could have been much darker," Elfont said, noting that advertisers manipulate kids in "frightening" ways, "but we were trying to make a comedy. We didn’t want to go too far with the message, although we believe the message is important."
And if the constant stream of corporate logos muddies the interpretive waters? Well, that’s when concern for the youngsters takes a backseat to producing something bankable: "This is a movie," Kaplan said, "not a call to arms."
The directors’ disingenuous claim that they weren’t paid for the constant plugs falls apart upon closer inspection. "We’re not being sponsored by products, and I think it’s important that people know that," Kaplan told the Chicago Tribune.
Oh, really? The world of product placement is far from a cash-only economy. While America Online paid an estimated $3 million in either cash or marketing support (the exact terms of the deal were never disclosed) to star in 1998’s You’ve Got Mail; it is just as typical for advertisers to provide goods gratis to films and television series. Puma provided thousands of free t-shirts for the audience in a Josie concert scene. Samick guitars became Josie’s instrument of choice, used by the band and featured prominently in Josie-related marketing and merchandise, because the company promised to promote the movie in each of the 40,000 stores worldwide that sold Samick guitars.
In this arrangement — regardless of whether marketers pay for the privilege or hit the jackpot with inexpensive delivery of in-kind products — companies get their brands displayed, while prop managers, costumers, and set designers get free supplies, reducing overall production costs. And then there’s cross-promotion: Advertisers attempt to cash in on the entertainment vehicle’s cachet by using its celebrities, clips, and themes in marketing campaigns for their own products, and they use their own ad budgets to hype the film or TV show.
This value-added promotion expands both advertisers’ sales and box-office or ratings success for studios and networks. And that can be even better than cash: Guitar maker Gibson offered to pay for prime placement in Josie, but the major cross-promotional deal Samick pitched "was more important to the studio than the money Gibson was willing to offer," Jay May, president of the product placement firm Feature This, told Salon. Sometimes it’s neither cash nor goods but synergistic deals between parent companies that determine product placement: The Los Angeles Times reported that "Universal has a deal to sell Coke in all [its] theme parks, which is how ‘Josie and the Pussycats’ ended up as a Coke, and not a Pepsi, movie."
Though it’s the stylistic opposite of Josie’s farcical romp, Steven Spielberg’s 2002 Minority Report is similarly compromised by the merger of commerce and content. This dark, dystopic drama is set in 2054, where "pre-crime" thought police arrest potential perps for their murderous intentions, as predicted by telepaths. When top pre-crime cop John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is falsely fingered for a murder he hasn’t yet committed, technology makes it impossible for him to escape—from his colleagues or from advertisers. As he runs through a subway station, a billboard yells after him, "John Anderton, you could use a Guinness right now."
In this future, retinal scans allow marketers to shill to him and him only, Madison Avenue’s wet dream. In a shopping mall, sultry supermodels beckon him by name to an island vacation. A video commercial for a futuristic sports car by Lexus calls out to him: "The road you’re on, John Anderton, is the road less traveled." American Express reveals that he’s been a member since 2037.
In his dvd commentary, Spielberg describes this mall scene as a preview of what an Orwellian nightmare of the future could look like. If the director intended to condemn the free market’s erosion of our privacy rights, that potential social commentary was stunted by his partnership with real advertisers, who helped him conceptually (he consulted with top agencies and execs as he built his visual and psychological environment) and technically (the agency 3 Ring Circus, approved by all the major sponsors appearing in the film, produced the movie’s fictional ads).
It’s no wonder, then, that Minority Report makes advertising’s creepy omnipresence seem more interesting than disturbing—sort of a "Look, Ma, that poster’s talking!" effect. As a weapon of armed thought police, retinal scans are meant to alarm; used by advertisers, they function as a nifty, if unsettling, technological sideshow. The resulting message is profoundly unthreatening to the makers of cars and credit cards and beer.
Like Josie, Minority Report tries to have it both ways, presenting us with a frightening universe we are nominally supposed to reject, in which advertisers work in tandem with Big Brother to control our choices and curtail our freedom. Yet advertisers themselves neuter what could have been a chilling critique. Bonnie Curtis, one of the film’s producers, told Advertising Age that real companies were featured because "Steven wants you to feel like you are on planet Earth.... He said, 'We are not making a sci-fi. We are making a future reality film.'"
The Josie team had similar excuses: "If we would have made up products, certainly the joke would have been clearer, but I just think when you have Fizz Cola or McDiggle’s, it’s just not quite as funny for me," Elfont told the Chicago Tribune.
His comments reveal a lack of creativity: In The Truman Show, a 1998 commentary on the media’s increasingly abusive influence over our lives, the skillful use of imaginary brands allowed audiences to focus on the questions raised in the film. And a logo-studded 2002 Daily Show "salute to product placement in the movies...brought to you by Corona beer" proved that sharp writing can deliver both effective commentary and big laughs. (Among various swipes at the “filmed promotional vehicles that we call the movies,” correspondent Steve Carell raved about "You’ve Got Mail, the story of a charming young online services company and its relationship with an arrogant but good-hearted coffee franchiser. The chemistry between AOL and Starbucks is pure magic.")
But more important, making a genuine critical examination of advertising’s methodology and power isn’t as good for the bottom line as simply handing captive audiences to advertisers. More than 15 real-life sponsors reportedly paid more than $25 million — approximately a quarter of Minority Report’s budget — to attach themselves to Spielberg’s branded universe: Cruise’s character uses a Nokia phone, wears Reeboks as he runs from the police, gets splashed by an Aquafina billboard, and visits the Gap. And without the participation of dozens of companies, Josie would have lost out on a level of cross-promotional support so broad and lucrative as to be virtually immeasurable.
The notion of a film like Josie as an anticonsumerist cautionary tale represents the worst sort of bait and switch (though some reviewers simply took the bait: "As a satire of consumer culture and teen trend-hopping, Josie and the Pussycats is dead-on," the Dallas Morning News raved). Like news outlets that seek out Katie Roiphe and other antifeminist writers for the "woman’s perspective" on rape, Josie professed to challenge kids to resist the homogenous effects of advertising and commercial media, then unapologetically primed and delivered those kids to dozens of companies during each of the film’s 99 minutes.
Worse, as Elfont told Newsday, "The joke does continue outside of the movie theater.... It’s like, where does the movie start, and where does product placement begin and end?" Well, that’s easy: They began trading preteen eyeballs to advertisers months before Josie premiered, with brand-happy tv trailers and logo-splattered clips its stars brought for show-and-tell on the talk-show circuit. The sellout continued at shopping malls, where hair salons, makeup counters, and shoe stores promoted Josie-related ads and products. And, on MTV, in an oddly postmodern cameo, Carson Daly, host of Total Request Live—which regularly plugged Josie during the film’s theatrical release—touted his role as "a key player in the conspiracy to brainwash the youth of America." And with cable and the rental market (the dvd includes new scenes with signs reading, "Josie shops at Target"), the hard sell will never end.
Adding insult to injury, the Josie crew dismissed critics who condemned their hypocrisy — and kids who missed the point in test screenings — as too idealistic, too literal, or too dim-witted to get the joke. "We want to make sure people know it’s a smarter movie than you think it is," they told the Los Angeles Times. (How about this: If you want the audience to recognize your film’s inherent intelligence, don’t underestimate theirs.)
Viewers who "wrote on their test cards, "'I'm so offended that you would try to sell stuff through this movie, and who do you think we are!,'" were simply "taking the movie a little too much at face value," said Kaplan. "If you want to accuse us of being whores, of being sellouts — fine. We did what we had to do to make the satire work. Anyone who sees this movie as a pure plug, they’re not watching the movie," she groused to the Chicago Tribune. "Yes, we gave them advertising, but I don’t think Revlon is an evil company. We’re not saying don’t buy any of these products, we are just saying make sure that you are able to make a choice," her codirector seconded.
Choice is a loaded concept for the advertising industry, which spends more than $200 billion yearly to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. In evaluating these directors’ cynical attempt to collaborate with the advertisers they claim to be critiquing, the question of whether or not Revlon is “evil” is beside the point. Far more relevant is Revlon’s boast that its participation in the film signified its commitment "to find unique ways to reach customers," as Women’s Wear Daily noted.
In the film’s big makeover scene, a colorful array of Revlon’s Street Wear lipsticks, nail polishes, and eye shadows transform the Pussycats from small-town unknowns to hot, chart-topping babes. What could be more appealing to Josie’s target demographic of tween and teen girls than the idea that they, too, could be turned from nameless nobodies into famous rock stars with just the flick of a blush brush? Revlon wasn’t being particularly evil when it launched cross-promotional tie-ins like $2 discounts on Josie tickets along with Street Wear packaging; it was just doing what advertisers always do. (And clearly it worked for Revlon, since the company went on to market a line called "007 Color Collection," tied to Die Another Day’s lustrous star, Halle Berry, who flacked for the cosmetics in commercials, print ads, and a booklet to help girls "Achieve the Bond Look.")
There’s nothing quite like product placement to give advertisers their money’s worth: The payoff is perpetual and multiplatformed. It’s no wonder companies consider their arrangements such a fabulous investment: Typically for much less than the skyrocketing costs of a package of prime-time TV spots, a product is showcased in a movie or series that will be watched over and over, often for years, leaving a deeper, more lasting, and more positive impression on viewers than most stand-alone ad campaigns can. And where TV commercials and print ads are aimed at small demographic slivers of the U.S. market, the worldwide appeal of Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise makes product placement a cheap way to take corporate branding global.
That Josie’s directors didn’t understand these basic machinations—or pretended not to—doomed their satire to superficiality, if not outright failure. Spielberg, though more skilled and insightful than Elfont and Kaplan, wore the same commercial blinders, with the same consequences, for Minority Report. Of course, this lack of true satirical bite is why advertisers were so excited to sign on to these films in the first place. So what if they depict an all-powerful music-industrial complex that employs mind control to peddle its wares, or a dark world where consumer and governmental forces use technology to manipulate, control, and deprive us of our basic civil liberties?
Both Nokia and Lexus reportedly spent several million dollars on merchandise tie-ins and ads hyping their role in Minority Report because "You can’t do anything but get great notices from that.... Obviously they’re getting a lot of bang for their buck," Advertising Age’s Wayne Friedman told CNNFN. "All you need to know is Lexus is attached to the future, attached to cool-looking cars, Tom Cruise, and Spielberg—you know, it’s a winner." Josie producer Marc Platt offered similar insight to Newsday: "[Advertisers] appreciated both the film’s ultimate message and its tongue-in-cheek quality. And, let’s face it, they loved to have their products displayed."
It’s this point that makes these films worth analyzing even long after their release. Just as the Gap recently attempted to convince young people that plunking down 30 bucks for a rhinestone-bedecked, peace-sign t-shirt was equivalent to taking significant antiwar action, Josie called attention to marketers’ manipulation of kids in order to provide advertisers with a perfect mass-media platform to brand their products as hip enough to make fun of themselves, all the better to ingratiate themselves with jaded, cooler-than-thou teenagers.
Under the guises of subversive spoof and watered-down girl power, Elfont and Kaplan created a marketing bonanza the likes of which has arguably never been rivaled on the silver screen. Josie broke ground and set an expanded precedent for acceptable levels of advertiser presence in film.
In the end, that’s exactly why advertisers "appreciated the ultimate message" of these films. At their core, Josie and the Pussycats and Minority Report hurl a big, fat "fuck you" at those of us who believe that rampant media commercialization is no laughing matter. Yet few other issues pose as serious a threat to our notion of entertainment — and, ultimately, to our understanding of ourselves and of our society — as does the increased commercialization that characterizes both the structure and the content of corporate media.
In Josie, advertising’s manipulative encroachment into every aspect of our media and our lives is pinned on subliminal messages planted by a larger-than-life villain at the helm of a conspiracy so ridiculously zany it subverts the development of a substantive critique. But in the real world of megamerged media conglomerates, methods of consumerist propaganda are far less outlandish and far more endemic. Who needs subliminal messaging when "Pass the Courvoisier" is a favorite song among kids too young to drink, when you can take your Sims Online family for some virtual McDonald’s fries, and when G4, a cable channel dedicated to video games, lures advertisers by promising to allow their commercials to appear as if they’re part of the program?
Nowadays, you can’t flip the remote fast enough to escape Madonna and Missy Elliott crooning away their credibility for sweatshop-produced jeans — especially not when they enter into the shows themselves, as they did when, during a recent interview with the Material Girl, Oprah replaced her theme song with samples from the Gap jingle, boogied with the Gap dancers, quoted Elliott as saying that the commercial was "a blessing," and played clips from the ad. Standard cross-promotion, not any conspiratorial cabal, is responsible for booking booted beauties from ABC’s The Bachelor on the network’s Good Morning America the next morning, using CBS’s Early Show to hype Survivor, or, for that matter, hiring the butler from Fox’s Joe Millionaire as a correspondent for a local Fox News puff piece on New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (or “Mike Billionaire,” as he was called in the segment).
And when Michael Eisner, head honcho at Disney, corporate parent of ABC, promised that his company would help Americans "get back to normal" after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, by "us[ing] our own media companies to make sure the word gets out that it’s a good idea to have a good time after a period of mourning — to come to our parks, movies, and buy Snow White on dvd," there was no vast Madison Avenue conspiracy at work. It was just business as usual for the media monopolies.
Where conspiracy is the desensitizing device in Josie, the future itself thwarts critical analysis in Minority Report, where the overbearing invasiveness of advertising is portrayed as the result of technological advances in a dystopic world gone mad. Memo to Spielberg: The future is now. Today’s advertisers can’t yet scan our eyeballs and call out our names as we walk by, but they have other ways of appealing to us individually and constantly. Marketers monitor the websites we visit in order to generate pop-up ads targeted to our perceived interests. They analyze street-by-street demographics on behalf of political candidates to determine which neighbor gets which political pitch. (Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe boasted to USA Today that, thanks to their database, "we know what to say, and we know what not to say" at each door, depending on each individual voter’s beliefs — potentially allowing a moderate pol to tailor a conservative message to a Reagan Dem in Apartment A, while offering progressive promises to the newly minted feminist voter down the hall.)
They track our magazine subscriptions, book purchases, sport and entertainment outings, and charitable donations, all to seduce us with targeted ads that attempt to provoke the same emotional responses — desire, need, confidence, validation—that Tom Cruise’s character would have felt when those billboard babes murmured his name. The more marketers know about us, the better equipped they are to weasel their way into our psyches and thereby our wallets. By placing this very present problem in an Orwellian bizarro world, Spielberg dissuades viewers from looking too closely at the ways our own consumer culture drains creativity from media content and strips choice and authenticity from human interactions.
But it’s for just those reasons that we have to look closely at the ubiquity of product placement in media and at the structural realities that gave rise to this poisonous trend. In the context of a commercial media landscape that demands higher profit margins with every merger, advertisers — and the self-censoring corporate-owned studios, networks, publishers, and music labels who kowtow to their every whim — already have too much control over what we watch, hear, and read.
Yet product placement gives them broader and deeper editorial influence than they had even in mass media’s infancy (when cigarette and soap manufacturers produced their own radio shows). Like the Aquafina that douses Tom Cruise, ads saturate our landscape so that we can’t escape. Commercialism is in our water, and it’s also in our food: Imagine my surprise when I opened my cookie at the end of a recent Chinese take-out meal only to find that my fortune had been brought to me by — you guessed it — Snapple.
No, it wasn’t the aliens again. A company called Buzzmarketing has exclusive advertising rights on fortune cookies that are distributed in 25 percent of the nation’s Chinese restaurants — that’s 7 million cookies each week. Many of these fortune-ads drive traffic to media projects such as TVBuzz, a website about reality TV — a genre that would never have risen to such craptacular heights without paid brand integration (for more on this, stay tuned for "Triumph of the Shill, Part Two," in the spring 2004 issue).
Through sheer repetition, marketers are conditioning us to shrug off ad intrusions as annoying yet inevitable. The more films like Josie and Minority Report work to numb us to product placement, the less jarring "ad creep" will seem in our children’s classrooms, on our sidewalks, alongside highways, in theaters, in stadiums, and everywhere else — and the harder it will become to maintain any segment of our popular culture that isn’t tainted by covert financial agendas.
Some media outlets are already cheering this commercial devolution. Toward the close of an informative segment on product placement, CBS Sunday Morning reporter John Blackstone informed viewers, "No matter what we do to avoid advertising, marketers will find a way to hunt us down." But that, he said, paraphrasing one of the segment’s interviewees, "is one of America ’s great strengths."
Over footage from FedEx (which reportedly covered approximately 80 percent of Cast Away’s budget in exchange for story-driving presence in the 2000 film), Blackstone closed with this final thought: "So as you head to the movies, try to think of all those products popping up not as an intrusion, but as an expression of freedom."
Freedom to shop, above all else? Not for me, thanks. I’d much prefer a free press and an independent media ... and some Snap — er, iced tea.
Jennifer L. Pozner, founder and director of Women In Media & News (WIMN), watched way too much reality TV while researching this series. So much, in fact, that she developed a multimedia presentation on the topic, called "Bachelor Babes, Bridezillas & Husband-Hunting Harems: Decoding Reality TV’s Twisted Fairy Tales," which she’s brought to college campuses across the country. To learn more about WIMN, or to schedule a lecture or media training, e-mail director@WIMNonline.org.