Episode from the podcastTruce - History of the Christian Church

The Ad Council, CIA, and Christian America

Released Tuesday, 13th October 2020
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The CIA, big business, and the Ad Council worked together to create the America that we know and love today. Together, they bonded our ideas of patriotism, capitalism, and religion. But not many of us know who the Ad Council is. Sure they created Smokey Bear, the Crash Test Dummies, and the Crying Indian ads... but who are they?
Wendy Melillo, author of "How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America: A History of Iconic Ad Council Campaigns" and professor at American University, joins us to discuss her research into the Ad Council.
Helpful Links:

Religion in American Life Video Ad

Wendy Melillo's fascinating lecture on her book

The creepy "Why?" ad we referenced in the episode

Ad Council's own history website

Discussion Questions:

Have you ever been impacted by advertising? How did it make you feel?

Does it matter where our ads come from? Even public service announcements?

How do you feel about the CIA paying for ads to impact Americans?

Should responsibility for big problems like plastic waste fall on individuals, big corporations, or both?

Do you think the Bible says anything about one economic model over another?

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