About the Show

Based on the true story of Edward Bernays, known as Father of The American Public Relations Industry, FCT is creating this original work about the moral ambiguities of what we now refer to as the “Spin” business and all its consequences. Along with a few key figures at the beginning of the 20th Century,Bernays helped invent the field of PR, providing a series of tools to influence public opinion.

Across the 100 years that Bernays lived, his client list reads like a map of American business, politics and culture. The automobile industry. The cigarette industry. The US Government. The Government of India. In his office, he hung pictures of him hanging out with such notables as Thomas Edison, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, Enrico Caruso, Sergei Diaghilev, Prime Minister Nehru of India, to name a few.

Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud who helped invent the field of psychology. He used his uncle’s ideas about our hidden fears and blended this understanding with Freud’s transformative insights about psychology in order to use mass media to shape how people think.

Among his many innovations, Bernays invented the press release! He was the first to provide a typed list of talking points for newspapers and the first to formally link film celebrities to products in an orchestrated way. For any PR Campaign he worked on, a client would explain a common perception that they wanted changed, then Bernays would try to influence the public’s attitude by playing on their hidden fears or desires. He engineered events, editorials, marches and major parties to create an impression.

FCT presents his life story through a fraught encounter with a university student who seems to write a thesis about Bernays, but has a hidden agenda.