It is not common knowledge that the modern public relations and advertising industries have their roots - like most things nowadays, unfortunately - in military technology and know-how. Here's an excerpt from Freud's Bastards :
...While rational young men from across Europe were using their free will to run head long into machine guns across fields of exploding mud, in the United States, President Woodrow Wilson was designing to get American young men into the fun. Wilson's problem was that America was a staunchly isolationist nation, designed and built from the ground up to be independent and free of the kinds of killing entanglements that were scouring Europe at the time. The American people had to be convinced and their lawmakers decided, that war in Europe was the right thing to do.
As the world's purest democracy, this was a problem no nation had ever faced before - convincing a plurality of its citizens to supply its sons in a war so clearly distant and remote from them. A former journalist and reporter - George Creel - was appointed by President Wilson to the task of cracking this thoroughly modern problem. The Committee of Public Information was established in April of 1917 by presidential order to captain the project, and a truly bizarre set of skills were hired with which to carry out the task. The CPI was going to harness the emerging study of the subconscious mind, and put to its first field test the power to control crowd behaviour in the interest of the state, or "propaganda".
The idea of propaganda had emerged from Germany, where the pressing issue was to keep the recruitment lines full for the chance of certain death. The Germanic heartland was the focal point of the study of psychoanalysis, and Freud's early work was well known and respected. From this community had grown the earliest examples of state sponsored propaganda, its practitioners gleeful at the chance to test the theory.
In America, Freud had no such exposure, and the art form was small and still emerging. Still, Creel gathered the best of that group, as well as a host of people engaged in the newspaper and publicity field. To them was given the task of "selling" the war to America. The founding members of the CPI reads like a who's who of early media manipulation - Walter Lipmann, John Hill, Ivy Lee, Carl Byoir, and many more. At no time in history had a greater concentration of psychology practitioners been brought together for common cause in the service of the state, and no time was more receptive to the idea than at the very dawn of instant, mass communication.
It was also triply fortuitous that in their midst, the Committee of Public Information had as its spiritual leader none other than the nephew of Sigmund Freud himself, Edward Bernays. While he worked as a theatre press agent, Bernays had kept intellectual contact with his uncle throughout the early days of the war. While Freud himself was too distant and esoteric to be involved, his growing spawn actively participated in both Germany and England. Bernays was up on the state of the art of the craft. By the time Creel recruited him for the project, Bernays had built on a powerful upbringing in his uncles work to fashion an unparalleled understanding of what it was that made men tick...