Watergate: In the Corporate Style

Watergate: In the Corporate Style

When Watergate was still a “caper,” I saw it as a faded replay of Mission Impossible. The burglars then seemed to have filched an inferior scenario from a famous TV series. But as one expose after another tumbled off the presses, I concluded that Watergate was not a TV production but a Mad Avenue operation. It looked to me like ineptly applied advertising strategy, and about that I knew only too much. The formula is as follows: you maintain an old established brand—even one (like Richard Nixon) that languished for a while and got repackaged—mainly by damaging the competitor’s test market. The Democratic primaries were such a market.

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