"If there's anywhere anyone can advertise about anything, it's Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. ... But there's one ad neither of the Hollywood trades will run--the latest broadside from Smoke Free Movies, a health advocacy group that's been at the forefront of a no-holds-barred campaign against the proliferation of cigarette smoking in movies," writes Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times.
Arts / Culture
The U.S. has imposed more restrictions on reporters in Afghanistan than in any previous U.S. war, but Hollywood has carte blanche to make feel-good "reality TV" shows about the adventure. Maureen Dowd notes that that the Pentagon is teaming with Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of "Top Gun," "Black Hawk Down," "Pearl Harbor" and "Coyote Ugly," along with Bertram van Munster of "Cops," to make a TV docudrama about the war on terrorism. "I'm outraged about the Hollywoodization of the military," says Dan Rather.
"The Pentagon is giving two Hollywood producers access to troops in Afghanistan and around the world to promote its war effort through television's genre of the moment, the reality series. The result is expected to be a 13-part series shown in prime time by ABC entertainment division this year. The producers - Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the movies "Black Hawk Down' and 'Pearl Harbor,' and Bertram van Munster, whose credits include the reality series ... 'Cops' - intend to tell the 'compelling personal stories of the U.S.
"The Department of Defense (DoD) public affairs office has thrown its support behind the making and release of Black Hawk Down, a film about the 1993 raid in Somalia that left 18 US soldiers dead," writes PR trade publication PR Week. The DoD provided boot-camp training to actors, technical advisors, eight helicopters, and more than 100 soldiers. According to PR Week, the DoD package cost $2.2 million. Pentagon public affairs officers also have discussed the movie with the media and arranged for screenings on military bases. "As a governement agency, we don't endorse products or services.
Hollywood has negotiated a truce in the culture wars and won great PR for itself by enlisting in the propaganda war against Osama bin Laden. But Hollywood is squarely on the wrong side, with the bad guys, in a different 'good versus evil' showdown involving a politically powerful international cabal that kills and maims more civilians than Osama could dream in his most optimistic musings.
Hollywood studios, television networks, and unions have formed a 40-person committee to assist in the ongoing "war against terrorism." The committee, the outgrowth of White House advisor Karl Rove's discussions with the entertainment industry, is focusing on "distributing films to troops abroad, arranging United Service Organization shows, and creating PSAs honoring troops and boosting morale," reports PR Week. Among Hollywood's morale-boosting efforts, the star-studded cast of first-run film "Ocean's Eleven" will attend a screening on a US military base in Turkey.
Hollywood was primed when Karl Rove, the senior Bush strategist, came calling. ... Mr. Rove made the case that Uncle Sam needs Hollywood to lend its creative talents to the national struggle by encouraging community service, boosting public morale, and entertaining the troops and by reinforcing the official stance that America is at war with terrorism and evil, not with Islam.
Cholesterol lowering drugs are a ten billion dollar per year market and Bristol-Myers wants a boost to gain market share for its drug Pravachol. To do so it has partnered with Hollywood, dumping a large contribution into the non-profit Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) to enlist celebrities in advertisements subtly pushing Pravachol. The EIF tells the New York Times that the ads are not really ads at all, but a public service. The campaign will include celebrity interviews on talk shows and brochures in doctor's offices and pharmacies.
The New York Times reports that Hollywood executives and White House officials discussed recently how the entertainment industry can help the Bush administration's war effort. "Bryce Zabel, the chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, said there was a strong sense among executives at the meeting that the United States needed to do more to highlight its strengths internationally. The United States, Mr. Zabel said, is losing the propaganda war abroad because so many people are willing to line up against it.