Save the Troy Library “Adventures In Reverse Psychology”

Save the Troy Library “Adventures In Reverse Psychology”



The city of Troy, Michigan was facing a budget shortfall, and was considering closing the Troy Public Library for lack of funds. Even though the necessary revenues could be raised through a miniscule tax increase, powerful anti-tax groups in the area were organized against it. A vote was scheduled amongst the city’s residents, to shut the library or accept the tax increase, and Leo Burnett Detroit decided to support the library by creating a reverse psychology campaign. Yard signs began appearing that read: “Vote to Close Troy Library on August 2nd – Book Burning Party on August 5th.” No one wants to be a part of a town that burns books, and the outraged citizens of Troy pushed back against the “idiotic book burners” and ultimately supported the tax increase, thus ensuring the library’s survival.

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November 16, 2011 / 39 Comments / by / in
  • What this dimwit M Dontigney is forgetting (or is too ignorant to comprehend) is that you still benefited from govt. services.

    That giant military of ours that keeps us safe….you didn't "benefit" from that?
    How about having safe drinking water. Food inspections (you grow ALL of your own food?). Police and fire department in case you need them.

    It's not only EASY to dismantle your idiocy, it's fun as well.

  • Manhunter86 = typical ignorant OWS supporter.
    But you aren't for fair taxes and 'smart spending'. No, what you're fighting for is wealth redistribution. Handouts for those unwilling to work and would rather stay on the dole. And damn-near scamming the rich out of money they legitimately earned.
    People like you are [part of] why this country is going down the shitter faster than you can say 'Barry O'. People like him too.

  • Seing as the Tea Party defines ignorance, and OWS was completely right in its criticism of Wall St. and big business, I keep looking really good compared to you.

    And hint to the moron Illumirage, when you massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations, you are re-distributing wealth. Only you're doing it upwards, and screwing over the Bottom 99%.

    You're clearly the one ruining this country with your serf mentality. I love how bad your posts make you look.

  • Yeah except they don't read books for a living…

  • Bragging about deceiving the community you serve is NOT the business of a public library. The other side were talking taxes, and by your own words, voting yes would raise taxes. They didn't lie. Why didn't your campaign say and prove that the library benefits the community too much to close? Don't you believe it? There was no threat of book burning, yet you mislead the community. You decided to fear monger. That is what the politicians do and their parties. The ends DO NOT justify the means!

  • I don't know how it is in Troy, Michigan… but here in California the schools already get billions of dollars in funding.

    On top of that they've convinced prior generations of home owners to pay property tax to also help the schools. Which pretty much makes home owners renters on their own land. Then they say they're going to take a percentage of the property taxes and fix the roads which never get fixed. Also, schools get a huge percentage that equals millions of dollars from lottery winners every year. The unions and those that profit run tons of ads saying how much the schools need more money and teachers don't get paid enough. So really paying more taxes isn't always the answer especially when the funds get "misappropriated" as they would say.

  • Why pay more taxes when they just could of got a federal fund to pay for it, so you see, it is about paying more taxes and they used reverse psychology to accomplish it.

  • It says "Leo Burnett Worldwide"

    Leo Burnett was essential in Proctor & Gamble and Philip Morris marketing campaigns and you're proud of that?

  • Poe's law is the only way to effectively fight the Tea Party. Madness has no defense against more Madness that the public objectively hates more than paying for anything.

  • This is how you have to do it. The tea party is full of nihilistic mouth breathers and this is the only way to deal with them.  Of course in a truly good society such mouthbreathers would not have to be dealt with.

  • Troll for victory!

  • Simply beautiful. Way to go! Fuck those Tea Party rasict selfish nihilistic assholes. They would see this country crumble before helping a neighbor or a stranger or god forbid a person that wasn't white. They are the stereotypical "ugly-american".

  • Libraries are good things, but it's a shame that this huge ad agency chose to sacrifice its professional ethics to save one.  Opposing library funding is not the same as book burning, and shame on Leo Burnett for deliberately misleading the public to believe otherwise. The end does not justify the means!

  • We need to figure something out like this for climate change.

  • Brilliant…

  • Kudos to all involved

  • A .70% tax increase? That's so minuscule. Who would really care? For every $100 you would spend, the tax would be… $0.70…

  • 175 thumbs down from tea baggers.

  • So because these people are hate filled bigots (not the TEA Party folks) you decided to use your bigotry in a campaign trying to associate that voting against a useless tax raise is equal to burning books. There are many places where money could be cut so the taxes would not have to be raised. There is stupid, and then there are progressives.

  • Tea Party punk'd.

  • Just to set the record straight: Troy Public Library did NOT do this book-burning campaign. A few individuals at nearby ad agency Leo Burnett were behind it — they created and ran the whole campaign without ever telling anyone at the library, and without getting the library's permission. Nobody knew who was behind the "book-burning party" until after the vote was over. 
    I did some digging and published the real story about what happened in Marketing Library Services newsletter. Read it at  http://www.infotoday.com/mls/jul14/Hendrickson–Troy-PLs-Battle-for-Survival.shtml

  • brilliant! awesome! this is what the right does to us all the time with their freedom to work crap and other lies. good for you!!!!

  • Propaganda is a powerful mind controller for good or bad.

  • Heh, no happy ending here. You voted to steal money from people who don't care about libraries, and use it for your pet project.

  • Pure Genius!

  • So the moral of the story here is that the Book Burning Party organizers are the good guys… Moral high ground isn't what it once was.

  • Best story ever!

  • I'm just surprised that the Large city of Troy, can't afford libraries.. wow… but a great video.. good job

  • Yeah but did you guys have the party?

  • I feel conflicted, the Troy public library is a little extravagant and rents Blue Rays, DVDs, Xbox and PS4 games for free, but at the same time making all those whiny rich bitches pay and extra 0.7% on their McMansions seems like its own reward…

  • This is a fabulous illustration for my sermon on 8/16. May I show it in church?

  • BRILLIANT ! Way to change the conversation back to what really was important.

  • I would never vote to burn books. But not all taxes are justified. And what happens in a few years. Another tax increase?  This isn't about taxes, this is  about something that is fundamental. Sound financial management.

  • Maybe stop spending money on enforcing victimless crime laws? And while you're at it, maybe stop excusing extortion by first monopolizing services?

  • Why couldn't these bleeding heart liberals ask the politicians to take a pay cut to fund the library?  Makes logical sense.

  • That's pretty terrible, really. Playing on emotions and the rather absurd idea that cutting funding to a library is the same as books to increase taxes…
    Why not just cut taxes from another section, if it mattered so much? Why mislead people rather than explain what the library does and why people need pay more to help fund it?

    Personally, I think that in this day and age of the internet, libraries are really rather outdated. Most people get their books online onto tablets or laptops or similar devises. Books in general are falling out of style, as well, as more folk move towards videos to learn things such as science, math, biology, physics, and history. Things once learned either in a classroom or a book. Even how-to guides for things like car repair, or electrics, are available online as a video. Being able to see the step-by-step process helps people figure it out a great deal, and if they are stuck, they can easily ask an expert for help.

    If anything, I'd say turn libraries into what they're becoming most the time now anyway: Computer labs. Places where folk can come in, use a few odd programs like Microsoft Office, Word, or Excel, watch tutorials, catch up on the latest news, and so forth. Would require less space, in any case. Might lose out on the potential profit from late fees and such, but there's other places you can bring in that income using this method. Perhaps charge by hour, for use of the computer, for instance. Might even help make the whole thing a bit more self-sustained.

  • I live in Troy mi and I never knew about the book burning thing

  • Ha ha ha! I love it.

  • This book burning never happened but the vote did. I live in Troy

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