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Harriett Levin Balkind

Founder, HonestAds

Growing up in Arkansas during the Civil Rights era, Harriett has long been a political junkie, immersing herself more deeply in political advertising most recently.  Prior to 2014, when she founded nonpartisan HonestAds, Harriett was a partner for 25+ years of one of the first integrated communications agencies, the award-winning Frankfurt Balkind with offices in NY, LA and San Francisco.  Carving out time to canvas house-to-house in swing states during presidential campaigns, she was astonished to learn that the blatantly deceptive, persuasive ads there were legal. HonestAds was created to spread-the-word and change the way we view political advertising.  She is currently Guest Curator for an experiential exhibit, "I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE:  Decoding Political Ads," opening July 14 at Ohio’s highly regarded Toledo Museum of Art.

Fear and anger trumped hope and pride
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Fear and anger trumped hope and pride

The president-elect's closing ad used emotional cues in abundance, while Hillary took a more quiet, confident approach, writes the founder of HonestAds.

Politicians are giving advertising a bad name
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Politicians are giving advertising a bad name

The profession has long had its share of critics, but this political season is making it worse, writes the former agency executive and founder of HonestAds

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