CEA Launches Lobby Assault on Congress

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the organization behind the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) that is held each January in Las Vegas. It also represents the interests of the consumer electronics industry, which means that it spends a lot of time and money trying to get Congress to see things their way. The group has gone over the top this time, however, with a little four-page brochure entitled “America is Ready for a Comeback” that they are distributing on Capitol Hill.

Open the brochure, and a little display starts playing a video, featuring CEA CEO Gary Shapiro (who, by the way, wrote a book called “The Comeback”. It’s not a coincidence.) After it plays, the viewer can choose to play any of five other videos, starting with the inspiring “American is Ready for a Comeback” which you can also watch on YouTube.

Whether or not you agree with the positions taken by the CEA in this persuasion piece, you have to concede that it’s a bold use of technology. (If you’re like me, you’ll also be tempted to wonder what the budget was for the whole project.) What a powerful way to demonstrate the importance of consumer electronics in our world today, and how innovation can create new opportunities.

Of course, I’ll be watching MAKE Magazine for the first reports on how to hack one of these brochures to create something interesting, like a portable EKG or a WiFi-enabled streaming video viewer.