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Amazon.com: 210 opiniones
313 de 337 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
I may disagree, but this is a fun and valuable book 25 de octubre de 2001
Por Robert J. Crawford - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa blanda
WHile I worried that this was a simple ideological diatribe, I was very happily surprized at the intelligence and substance of Klein's book. It is a tough, well-reasoned manifesto for the anti-consumerism left of "Gen X." If you are wondering what was driving many of those protesters at the WTO and other summit meetings - most notoriously Seattle in late 1999 - then this book is the best place I know. It is part cultural critique, part economics and social policy, and partly a call to arms. Reading it has helped me to make sense of so much that I thought was simple, nihilistic anarchism. I was humbled to learn that there is far far more behind the movement than I had granted it.
In a nutshell, Klein argues that the "superbrands" - the huge corporations such as Disney and Nike - are progressively taking over virtually all "public spaces," including school curricula, neighborhoods, and all-encompassing infotainment malls like Virgin Megastores. THey are doing this in an attempt enter our minds as consumers in the most intimate ways, which Klein and others find unbearably intrusive. Moreover, she argues, as they subcontract overseas, the superbrands are leaving first-world workers behind while they exploit those in the developing world under horible conditions. It all adds up, she asserts, into a kind of emerging global worker solidarity that is developing new means (via internet exposes, protest campaigns, etc.) to push the superbrands to adopt more just policies and practices.
What was so amazing and useful for me, as a business writer looking at the same issues, is that Klein so often hones in on the underside of what I think are good and effective business practices: the development of brand values, globalisation of the production/value chain to lower prices, and the like. Often I may disagree with her take on things, but she makes too many insightful points to dismiss her and those whom she speaks for. I came to genuinely respect her as a thinker and writer.
Nonetheless, there were numerous omissions, some of which I must point out. First, while condemning exploitive labor practices in third-world sweat shops (which I do not deny exist), Klein fails to explore what the available alternatives are for these workers. Well, I went to Pakistan to examine one of the cases she addresses - children soccerball sewers - and I can say that their alternatives were all too often brick kilns or leather tanneries, both of which were far more dangerous and beyond the reach of international activists because the superbrands have nothing to do with them. Second, Klein tended to dismiss the efforts of MNCs out of hand, as weak sops designed more for PR purposes than to effect change. This is true for some groups, but again, while in Vietnam, I witnessed what I regarded as real social progress that came from the actions of a superbrand: upon hearing the demands and suggestions of a worker-safety inspector paid by adidas, Taiwanese sewing-machine manufacturers were approaching him for detailed design specifications to enhance their safety (driver-belt covers to protect against hand and hair injuries) and he had lots more ideas. However modest, that is real and concrete progress in my opinion.
Moreover, I believe that many of Klein's assertions are inaccurate or unproven. Is there really a mass movement growing out there? Is the clever defacing of huge advertisement boards really impacting pubic consciousness? Does everyone perceive the thrust of the brands as intrusive and poisonous? Is the World Trade Organization set up in a way that works in favor of the first world and against the third world? These are complex and very difficult questions. Finally, as a passionate activist, Klein rhetoric can get a bit overheated. At one point she says that IBM "otherwise impaled itself"; at another that Milton Friedman is a "architect of the global corporate takeover." What do these things mean? I may regard Friedman as a laughable free-market fundamentalist, but he is only a cloistered academic idoelogue, not a doer of any kind. Does throwing a cream pie in his face do anything more than shock adults?
In spite of these reservations, I can only applaud Klein for stirring up the pot of these issues, which provoke thought and encourage exploration, even by conservatives like me.
88 de 94 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
Highly Disturbing 20 de octubre de 2003
Por Publius - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa blanda
I found this book to be very interesting, and disturbing. Klein is certainly a Leftist, and generally as a conservative I would dispute much of her world-view but with the first half of her book she is on to something. I believe that the second half is less successful, and I do not share her idealization of graffiti artists and anti-global activists, but overall her book is a provacative and important one. Read and beware.
I would like to respond to an earlier reviewer's comments, which many of my friends have directed me to when I told them of the book. Tristan from Australia finds fault with a graph in her book (not indexed for inflation) and then sets to beaking her over the head with it. I think he misses much of the point of her book - even if her graph is off.
There is no question based on anecdotal evidence alone that advertising and the pervasiveness of "branded" space has increased. Look at modern sports stadiums, say the NFL - they're all named after corporations. The athletes at "FedEx Field" are all wearing brands that the team has negotiated (and been paid large sums to wear) - and they can be fined if they aren't wearing a "Starter brand" cap when they sit on the bench, etc. They then sit down and drink a Gatorade, while they watch the Coca-cola sponsored half-time show featuring Michael Jackson, Britney Spears or whoever the company believes they can best get to flog their product. The highlights from the first half will be then shown on the X-brand half-time show, and then recreated using graphics from EA Sports John Madden game. You could avoid all this and go to a movie, but first you'll have to sit through advertisements before the movie - and not just for upcoming movies anymore. First you'll be shushed by Halley Epsenberger while she's cramming Pepsi down your throat - all this after you spent $9.50 to be a captive audience for commercials - at least when you watch basic TV the excuse that the advertising is paying for the programs make sense, but this? And then you can be clever and see how many products have been placed in the movie. If it's James Bond you can see him wearing X-brand watch, drive his BMW, and polish it off with some Tanqueray Gin - not because smooth sophisticates drink it, but because Tanqueray paid the most for it.
As for her other points - she goes into great depth about how we're becoming fungible goods as workers. An example I remember from the book is that Microsoft has a core of permanent employees and true they do make good money, but half of their work is done by temps. And to ensure that temps don't try and claim anything as basic as health coverage (what would they be thinking?) they're required to be laid off for a 30 day period every year so that no one classifies them as full time workers. Walmart does get to keep prices low as the Australian writer suggested, but unlike prior employers who believed they had a responsibility to take care of their workers - e.g. Ford wanted every worker to be able to afford a Ford - Walmart doesn't care whether it's employees can afford to shop their or not. As I know from having done some work for them they're all about keeping employees employed at under 28 hours a week - again so they can keep from having to pay any benefits. Great you say - get another job, but others such as Starbucks have caught on to that and screw their employees similarly. Sure you work 30 hours a week, but the schedule is such that you can't realistically get a job to fill in the time you're not working for them, plus you get to be on unpaid call (I guess for a coffee emergency), and in typical fashion they've even done computerized studies on each employee's productivity. They know each stores peak hours, how many customers x-employee typically serves, etc. - so they can schedule the employees only for the most cost-effective time. On one hand this sounds fair, but on the other - it's completely shafting the employee - especially those that treat it as their "real" job. Given that we're becoming a service based economy, this is getting to be a larger and larger part of the public.
So the Australian guy can carp all he wants about graphs, and he can avoid the point of her argument - which is that advertising has gotten more sophisticated, and insidious - all to help companies, which are shedding any "brick and mortar" connections to become brands and images rather than production (an interesting example - Levis - which no longer owns a single factory, but has outsourced all of its production to third-world factories - which it is not responsible for, and which it can leverage to provide even cheaper and cheaper products - damn the sweatshop employees). I hope he and others are comforted when their jobs disappear and he goes to stand in line at the Hillfiger sponsored Employment office.
95 de 106 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
An important book, make your teenagers read it, too! 8 de marzo de 2001
Por Kcorn - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa blanda Compra verificada
With a 16 year old son in our house, I've not only been fighting the "brand name bullies" outside our home but the teenaged one INSIDE our home as well. So it was a no-brainer for me to buy and read this book. I won't say it was an easy read. But the information contained within it was worth the time spent. More importantly, I left the book lying in a spot where my son was sure to see it and was gratified when he picked it up and read parts of it. Now he has loosened his rigid stance on having only the "coolest" clothes with the "best" logos on them and started to realize that his individuality was being manipulated to some degree by advertisers. He's started talking to his friend about the book too. Having said that, I don't want ANYONE to think this book doesn't have its flaws. There is repetition of some subjects that have already been discussed ad nauseum in the media already - advertising in the public schools via educational channels and other subjects. But there is also plenty of new information and Klein makes her case with solid, clear arguments.
29 de 31 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
A thoughtful must-read, but skimps on constructive advice 8 de abril de 2003
Por Nearly Nubile - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa dura
This is a very, very interesting book regardless of what the "ending" or the "higher purport" may be and irrespective of the pseudo-intellectual nitpicking by a number of other reviewers. So get it, read it and enjoy it. Even if it doesn't ruffle your fancies, it brims with real factual evidence about the dark side of big business so at the very least you'll leave with some very interesting information off a single, compact compilation.
The basic premise of the book is to highlight how advertising and general business practices have changed in the last twenty years. Essentially, companies decided that they were no longer in the business of selling products, because products are messy, duplicable, or even improvable. But if you are selling an idea, an experience, a set of associations, it is much harder for another company to compete with you. Think of Tommy Hilfiger for instance -- clothes manufactured in China and India for throw-away costs, but their designs are frantically devoured globally at horrendous price tags. This is why branding is big, and sometimes clandestine, business.
The book is divided into four sections: 'No Space,' 'No Choice,' 'No Jobs' and 'No Logo.' 'No Space' is about the cluttering of our public spaces with ads; 'No Choice' describes different tactics used by big-name brands to drive independent retailers out of business; 'No Jobs' takes aim at sweatshop labour but with the corporations' "Brand, not products!" mentality in mind (it also includes details of Klein's trip to an Export Processing Zone just south of Manila); finally, 'No Logo' documents the global movement against branding and many of the organizations and people behind the revolt.
1. Klein's fluid writing style really shines throughout this book and her arguments are sharp and well targeted.
2. A delightful plethora of interesting, superbly researched facts and statistics that'll open your eyes, sometimes vis-a-vis brands that you'd least expect to be embroiled with anything ulterior.
3. I found that each section contained one exceptional chapter. In 'No Space,' "The Branding of Learning" (chapter 4) is simply wonderful, especially for students of branding. You'll read about grade school kids making Nike sneakers as "an educational experience" and a 19-year-old student being suspended for wearing a Pepsi shirt on "Coke Day." In "No Jobs," "The Discarded Factory" (chapter 9) offers the same old shocking facts about sweatshop labour with a fresh perspective which only makes the situation seem worse. Etc.
1. Where No Logo fails is in its attempt to tie these different themes together. With an attempt of this genre, it would have been very unseful to see some "solutions" or recommendations to the issue that Klein raised. For instance, she argues that companies have to spend more money on 'branding', and this is why production is moving to sweatshops. Companies can't afford to have factories and a brand, so they ditched the factories. But its not just the big brands that are made in sweatshops. Nike runners may be made in Indonesia, but so are the local-brand runners in your supermarket. Gap shirts are made in sweatshops, but so are the shirts in the department store. The sweatshops aren't a result of branding, they're a product of the desire of companies to cut costs. Some companies will then keep their prices low, while others will spend a lot on advertising, but hope to make even more by charging higher prices. In the end, Nike is bad, Gap is bad -- but what should they do in lieu of their current practices?
2. Related to the above point, Klein skimps on examples of the "good" companies or what is commonly tossed around as "best practices".
3. Perhaps many of the corporate ties within the open source software community are very much along the lines of Klein's notion of an ideal balance between corporations and communities. A discussion of open source projects -- especially coming from a journalist of the caliber of Naomi Klein -- is amiss.
All in all, a very thought-provoking read, but too much time is spent talking about 'subverting' advertisements or painting over billboards. Consumer boycotts are explored, even while their weaknesses are admitted. So there's less room to explore ways that we in the west can help sweatshop workers get organised, and how we can help their struggles, which should be the objectives of any campaign. As a commercial-political treatise or as an analytical guide to action, which is what the book could easily have been, this book is a little disappointing. A 4-star material nevertheless!
25 de 27 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
The first section, "No Choice," is indispensable. 20 de octubre de 2004
Por Amazon Customer - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa blanda
The rest of the book alternates between ho-hum recaps of highlights from the annals of consumer activism and breathless lionizing of adbusters and culture jammers. To Klein's credit, she never fails to present both sides of an argument. But none of this stuff lives up to the brilliantly lucid analysis of our branded planet in "No Choice," the book's first section. Klein's discussion of the brands' ever-increasing reach into our very heads, as they deftly co-opt one mode of cultural expression after another, is the best elucidation of the subject I've read anywhere.

If the "solutions" she lays out in the second half of the book, such as flipping the script on advertisers by punning on their slogans, or dragging your turntables into an intersection a la Reclaim The Streets, seem rather pathetic, it is perhaps inevitable. The only really sensible response to the brands' takeover is simply to ignore them: throw away your television, read books instead of magazines, shop responsibly, and encourage others to do the same. It goes without saying that this response lies outside the scope of a book ABOUT brands.