Information Warfare: September 12, 2003

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Weapons and military equipment manufacturers have long advertised, but in "trade" publications. These are magazines, for the most part, that cover military affairs. This is called "targeted" advertising, meaning that ads for something are run in publications read mainly by people who might be interested in that something. But over the last few years it has become more common for defense contractors to advertise in media that appeals to the general public. Research has shown that people in the Department of Defense, who decide what to buy, deal with a lot of people who have nothing to do with defense matters or procurement. But if the procurement officials hear favorable comments, from a lot of people, about some new weapon or a defense company, this does have a subtle, but telling effect on the procurement decisions. In the past, defense companies had done some "image" advertising in the general media, but now they are running ads about specific weapons systems. We all live in an "infosphere", and no matter what we do, we are influenced by all the information rattling around in our space. 

 

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