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No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (2000)

by Naomi Klein

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,786511,229 (3.73)69
Writer and journalist Naomi Klein describes the growing resistance to the multinational ethos, a world in which all that is alternative is sold and where innovation is adopted by faceless corporations as a marketing tool
  1. 10
    Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: Cheap and No Logo come at the consumer market from two distinct, yet complimentary, perspectives. No Logo examines the impact of the power and marketing of "the brand" while Cheap takes up the brand-less (except for the discount stores themselves) quest for discount "deals"… (more)
  2. 10
    Making globalization work : the next steps to global justice by Joseph E. Stiglitz (ratte)
    ratte: same social-capitalist school as klein
  3. 00
    The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan (thebookpile)
  4. 00
    The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism by Matt Mason (brianjungwi)
  5. 00
    In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders (brianjungwi)
  6. 00
    Bonfire of the Brands by Neil Boorman (Camaho)
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» See also 69 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
This was published in 2000, coming out during the time when the internet bubble was riding high but before the fall of the Two Towers (the ones in NY, not Tolkein's).

Its subject matter was Shell, McD's, and Nike. Social awareness was getting a second wind after languishing in general and now it was all about sweatshops. Multinational corporations became our favorite bogeymen (again), and this was when we could throw our weight behind small-time activists and FEEL like we could accomplish some great-seeming things... like getting all the exploiters out of Burma so as to take away the support of that regime.

Remember those times?

Add awareness to the whole Banding idea, the feeling that Corporations are real people with souls (ha), and see this as a way to stop bad practices by attacking their PR image.

Then realize that the problem goes sooooooo much deeper. Much deeper than this book is prepared to take it, except to realize that these highly visible multinational corporations were great as a rallying point but even if anyone could break them down and hold them accountable, it was EVERY OTHER corporation doing the exact same thing that makes the situation seem rather hopeless.

So, and rightly so, this book does not delve into the economics and politics that made the rape of underdeveloped countries possible: the policies and the greed and the perfectly legal practices that can ravage whole countries, their land, and devastate indigenous peoples.

It can't. It's a problem that requires widespread awareness everywhere... and the knowledge of all the interrelated contributing factors... to combat.

We all need to be aware and awake to not just the fact of injustice, but the causes. The only real way we can combat this problem is by waking the real slumbering beast of humanity from its ignorant dream. :)


( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
First published in 2000, No Logo is still a book with a lot to say. I'm a bit surprised by some reviews of it suggesting that it's not well-written, that it's 'pseudo-intellectual' - neither of which are true. The style may not be to everyone's taste, and some sections are less interesting and strong than others, but overall - to naive folk like me - it's a real wake-up call. The book details the evolution of the brand, how this led to a whole new breed of firm, and the damaging impact that this has had not only on the less well-off (third world), but on first world society also. This is all well-researched and strongly argued, and it's very much to the book's credit that what's most shocking is what is also best documented. There's no controversy about it, it's not some extremist conspiracy theory: this is the world we're living in. Read it!

Gareth Southwell is a philosopher, writer and illustrator.
  Gareth.Southwell | May 23, 2020 |
No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs by Naomi Klein is an examination of the change from products to branding and the results that has had on the population. Klein is a writer, journalist, and film maker. She writes a syndicated column for The Nation and The Guardian, and covered the Iraq war for Harper’s.

I read this book shortly after Shock Doctrine and recognized quite a difference in writing style. Shock Doctrine was a fast paced read for non-fiction while No Logo reads much more like a scholarly thesis. It is fact filled and so well documented that it slows the reading pace down. This is a book you read for information not simply enjoyment. Also know that even the updated book was released in 2002 so some of the technology is no longer as relevant.

I remember when brands represented a product and a reputation. Growing up Schwinn was a quality bicycle. When you bought a Schwinn bike you knew you were buying a quality product. Today the brand Schwinn still lives, the name bought and sold a few times, and now Schwinns are sold in the toy department at Wal-Mart. They are disposable bikes. Cheap to buy and expensive to repair. I work as a bike mechanic and I noticed many things that Klein has brought up in No Logos. There is still brand loyalty in the bicycle industry, but in reality it is pretty meaningless. If your bicycle is an aluminum Trek, Specialized, Fuji, or other higher end brand, the frame was made by Giant, also a bicycle company. If you bike is carbon fiber it came from one of three plants in China or Taiwan. Simply put, brand loyalty has little to do with the actual product. You are buying an image, not a product. This happens in other industries too. Years ago a friend was showing me his Ford Probe. “Look at this.” he said pointing to the valve cover. There was a Ford emblem held in place with two screws. He proceeded to remove the screws and Ford emblem to reveal MAZDA stamped into valve cover underneath.

Klein spends a great deal of words on branding and brand identity and how it has changed over the years. Before you made a product, sold it, developed a reputation, and that became the brand. Now you create a brand and hype and sub-contract out for a product. Microsoft's Redmond campus was contracted out. A company took over the cafeteria, another took over cd manufacturing, essentially all but the core operations were contracted out.

Klein also brings up people that find trends to sell to corporations. People who go out and look for the newest hipster trends and sell those ideas. Some corporations have quit going after counterfeit merchandise especially in the inner city. The inner city/rap/urban culture is cool and even if the item is counterfeit, the right person wearing it will more than make up for the counterfeit by becoming an ad. Graffiti artists tearing up a corporations ads? Don’t fight back, join in. Chrysler Neon used to have a friendly little ad with “Hi” written over the top of the friendly little car. Chrysler, went ahead and pre-vandalized their bill boards with a fake sprayed “p” after the “Hi” the Neon was now made “Hip” apparently by the cool graffiti artists.

Also, interesting was a paragraph about the NAACP petitioning cigarette companies into putting more blacks into their ads in 1960. Thirty years later a church group complained that cigarette companies were exploiting black poverty in the inner city. I grew up in Cleveland, which was at the time a very segregated city. My public library was on the other side of the de facto border. Even back in the 1970s, as a child, I noticed the change when crossing that border: the cigarette and malt liquor billboards with black models were everywhere. The billboards were very colorful, very stereotypical, and today would be seen as racist.

Those were only a few examples in the book. Mega-Mergers of the 1980s and 1990s and the growth of Wal-Mart and Blockbuster bring more change to the American markets. Throughout this book one thought came into my mind. If all corporations had a cap on advertising budgets, how much cheaper would things be at the grocery store? There is an almost unimaginable amount of money spent on advertising.

Again, Klein produces a scholarly study on brands, mergers, ads, sweat shops, advertising in schools, and all the tricks corporations use to become kings of the consumer markets. No Logo can be a bit dry reading at times, but this book clearly is the foundation of her later work. In the 1990s we celebrated capitalism and consumerism destroying communism and state planned economies. Today it seems capitalism and consumerism are also trying to destroy itself. A very informative and well researched book.
( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
Modern corporate avarice takes many different forms and all are brought into the light of day in No Logo. Naomi Klein illustrates how corporate entities have ceased to be factories that make things and have instead transformed themselves into brands they slap on outsourced materials. Klein gives many examples of the way in which advertisers condition people to respond favorably to brand labels by associating those labels with positive stimuli, such as music, concerts, sports events, and sports venues. This results in the brands themselves becoming cherished symbols of delight, worn on clothing, transforming people themselves into advertising media. She gives many examples of how corporations have shut factories in North America and opened vastly lower-paying sweatshops in impoverished countries. She shows how companies have increasingly ceased paying anything close to a full-time living wage, forcing people to give up searching for work or accepting low-paying part-time work. She also covers grass-roots movements that have risen up to challenge these forms of corporate exploitation. No Logo is now 18 years but remains an eye-opening catalog of what has gone wrong in corporate America and how to begin to solve these problems. ( )
  bkinetic | Jan 26, 2018 |
Huh? Sometimes you find out that you thought you had a book on Goodreads that you had read...but it turns you either forgot to add it... or Goodreads has these glitches. Obviously it's probably the former, but let me have my delusions.
...I think I read this during my Masters, so I'll find some year that fits that.

Supposedly The Rebel Sell is a good antidote book to this. Maybe I'll read that sometime... ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
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You might not see things yet on the surface, but underground, it's already on fire.
— Indonesian writer Y.B. Mangunwijiya, July 16, 1998
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As a private person, I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one improved by a billboard.
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This book is not another account of the power of the select group of corporate Goliaths that have gathered to form our de facto global government. Rather, it is an attempt to analyze and document the forces opposing corporate rule, and to lay out the particular set of cultural and economic conditions that made the emergence of that opposition inevitable. (Naomi Klein, from her Introduction)
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