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The United Fruit Company: a pioneer in the use of the public relations

The United Fruit Company had been a pioneer in the use of the public relations expertise of Edward Bernays. He encouraged the company to support archaeological exploration and exercised his influence to have their discoveries highlighted on postage stamps such as Guatemala's "Huehuetenango Ruins of Zakuleu" issue of January 6, 1945 (fig.30). Other marketing was product oriented and built on popular trends; in 1944 cartoonist Dik Browne was commissioned to draw a character named "Miss Chiquita" to give "a friendly personal face to the Chiquita brand." In print advertisements and an animated cartoon shown in theatres this character advised consumers on the storage and consumption of bananas while echoing the Latin American images and rhythms popularized by Carmen Miranda, for a time the most highly paid woman in the United States, who has been commemorated in stamps from both Brazil (fig.31) and the United States.

Painted Stork Nests

Painted Stork Nests

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© Derrick Grose, 2021