Pro Logo vs. No Logo

Presented by WNYC Radio, The Nation, The Economist and The New York Society for Ethical Culture

7pm-9pm, Wednesday, September 25th, 2002
The New York Society for Ethical Culture: 2 West 64th Street
Free Admission; Arrive Early. Doors Open at 6:15pm

Join us for this free public debate between Nation writer Naomi Klein, author of the international best-seller No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies and Sameena Ahmad, The Economist's Business Correspondent, who penned a fierce editorial refutation to Klein's book, "Pro Logo: Why Brands Are Good for You", in the September 8th, 2001 edition of the magazine. WNYC Radio's Brian Lehrer moderates.

No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies: Published in January 2000, No Logo is equal parts cultural analysis, political manifesto, mall-rat memoir, and journalistic exposé. It was the first book to uncover a betrayal of the central promises of the information age: choice, interactivity, and increased freedom. Naomi Klein takes apart our packaged and branded world and puts the pieces into clear pop-historical and economic perspective. The book tracks the resistance and self-determination mounting in the face of our new branded world and explains why some of the most revered brands in the world are finding themselves on the wrong end of a bottle of spray paint, a computer hack, or an international anti-corporate campaign.

"Pro Logo: Why Brands Are Good For You": Following the publication of No Logo, The Economist magazine published a strong retort to Klein's arguments: "Brands began as a form not of exploitation, but of consumer protection. A brand provided a guarantee of reliability and quality...The flip side of the power and importance of a brand is its growing vulnerability. Because it is so valuable to a company, a brand must be cosseted, sustained and protected. A failed advertising campaign, a drop-off in quality or a hint of scandal can all quickly send customers fleeing. The more companies promote the value of their brands, the more they will need to seem ethically robust and environmentally pure. Hence, brands are levers for lifting standards."

Naomi Klein: The New York Times called No Logo "a movement bible." The Guardian Newspaper short-listed it for their First Book Award in 2000, and in 2001, No Logo won the Canadian National Business Book Award, and the French Prix Médiations, in France. Naomi Klein's articles have appeared in numerous publications including The Nation, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Newsweek International, The New York Times, The Village Voice and Ms. Magazine. She writes an internationally syndicated column for The Globe and Mail in Canada and The Guardian in Britain. A collection of her work, entitled Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate will be published in October 2002.

Sameena Ahmad: Sameena Ahmad is Business Correspondent for The Economist. Sameena regularly covers marketing, retailing and consumer services. Prior to joining The Economist, Sameena served as Business Correspondent and Investment Column editor for The Independent, as Business, Pharmaceutical and Information Technology Correspondent at Investor's Chronicle. She holds a First Class degree in physiology from University College at Oxford University. Following a number of years on assignment with The Economist in New York, Sameena has recently moved back to London. Read The Economist's "The Case for Brands."

Peter Marber is President of and chief strategist for Trust Company of the Atlantic, a financial group managing global investments for some of the world’s largest institutional investors. He is author of From Third World to World Class: The Future of Emerging Markets in the Global Economy (Perseus, 1998) and is completing a second book on globalization, entitled Money Changes Everything, to be published by FT Prentice Hall next year. He has also taught international finance at Columbia University since 1993.

Owens Wiwa, MD is Executive Director of the African Environmental and Human Development Agency (AFRIDA), a research and development non-governmental organization that works in resource-bearing communities in Africa, and a Research Fellow for Culture, Communities and Health Studies at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (a World Health Organization affiliated center) in Toronto, Canada.

Read the introduction to Klein's No Logo
Read the preface to Fences and Windows

Read The Economist's "The Case for Brands"
Read The Economist's "Who's Wearing the Trousers?"

The Nation: America's oldest weekly magazine, The Nation has long been considered one of the country's most important journals of opinion, as well the definitive voice of the left-liberal community in the United States. Since its inception in 1865, The Nation has featured sharp writing and thinking, incisive cultural criticism, and political news and views difficult, if not impossible, to find elsewhere. For more information, visit

The Economist: A weekly international news and business publication, The Economist offers clear reporting, commentary and analysis on world politics, business, finance, science and technology, culture and society. Founded in 1843 to support the cause of free trade, The Economist has remained a radical publication of opinion with a reverence for facts and has become firmly established as one of the world's most authoritative and influential publications. For more information, visit

The New York Soceity for Ethical Culture : A non-denominational humanist religion, Ethical Culture is inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of human life is working to create a more humane society. Founded in 1876, the New York Society for Ethical Culture is a community bound together by the belief in the worth and dignity of each person and the commitment to help create a better world.

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