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Wilson Bryan Key
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    (January 31, 1925-October 8, 2008)
    Known for his books about subliminal advertising, including ‘Subliminal Seduction’ (1974), ‘Media Sexploitation’ (1976), and ‘The Age of Manipulation’ (1989)
    There is no evidence subliminal images will actually make you buy stuff.
    For that matter, there is no evidence that the images he points out in his books are anything more than the equivalent of finding faces in clouds or projecting images into inkblots.
    He posits a massive conspiracy in which none of the thousands of ad execs, copywriters, art directors, photographers, and others involved over the decades have spilled the beans.
    Given all the overt sexual images in advertising, it’s hard to see the point to hiding the word ‘sex’ or a bunch of wavy lines suggestive of a woman’s silhouette in a picture.
    He claimed that the word ‘sex’ was printed on Lincoln’s portrait on the $5 bill and baked into Ritz crackers (twelve times on each side).
    He was a consultant for the plaintiffs who unsuccessfully sued Judas Priest, alleging that hidden messages in their music caused two fans to commit suicide.
    He claimed that at a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, he felt compelled to order fried clams, even though he hates fried clams, because the placemat had a picture of fried clams with subliminal images of an orgy, including bestiality with a donkey.
    To quote Cecil Adams, ‘This guy doesn’t have sex embedded in his pictures, he’s got sex embedded in his brain.’
    He served in World War II.
    He was friends with Marshall McLuhan, who wrote the introduction for ‘Subliminal Seduction.’
    He admitted, ‘I’ve said some things in my books which to most people would be absurd.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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