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Biography of an Idea: The Founding Principles of Public Relations by Edward L. Bernays

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chapter 47

NASH-KELVINATOR

The runner-up in large-scale American industry has special competitive problems. He profits from the leader because the leader’s activities spill over to his benefit. He is at a disadvantage because he usually lacks the resources to challenge the leader’s number-one position. The company in second place often is compelled to substitute ingenuity and ideas for money.

In 1936 a runner-up, the Kelvinator Corporation of Detroit, makers of electric refrigerators and other electrical household appliances engaged us. General Motors was the leader, and its electric refrigerator, Frigidaire, had become the generic name for all such iceboxes.

Frigidaire spent more money in advertising than Kelvinator. It offered better credit ...

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