A private company that engages in public relations, branding, advertising and sales, or any other type of activity related to marketing, typically in service to a client. Marketing firms and public relations companies have been used in media manipulation campaigns to game engagement metrics, create the false sense of grassroots support (i.e. astroturfing), and amplify specific narratives or pieces of content for their clients.1 Where possible, the Casebook identifies the clients who have contracted or hired the marketing company. Public relations or marketing firm is a Casebook value under the "Attribution" variable in the code book.
- 1 Jonathan Ong and Jason Vincent Cabañes, “Architects of Networked Disinformation: Behind the Scenes of Troll Accounts and Fake News Production in the Philippines,” 2018, https://doi.org/10.7275/2cq4-5396; Craig Silverman, Jane Lytvynenko, and William Kung, “Disinformation For Hire: How A New Breed Of PR Firms Is Selling Lies Online,” BuzzFeed News, January 6, 2020, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/disinformation-for-hire-black-pr-firms; Samantha Bradshaw, Hannah Bailey, and Philip N. Howard, “Industrialized Disinformation: 2020 Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation,” Oxford Internet Institute, 2021, https://demtech.oii.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/127/2021/01/CyberTroop-Report-2020-v.2.pdf.