Just been surfing Wikipedia, beginning with Product placement, viral marketing astroturfing, shills, stealth marketing. We are being manipulated, not just through overt advertising, but through covert invasions of our everyday lives.
I'm thinking of the climate change denialist trolls who live on OpenDemocracy, and I'm thinking of Exxon's tentacles stretching into academia.
Here's a bit of evidence that the denialism industry can sometimes be due to undercover marketing:
In August 2006, a science journalist for the Wall Street Journal revealed that a YouTube video, "Al Gore's Penguin Army", which was claimed to be an amateur work, in fact came from the computers of DCI Group, a Washington, D.C.-based PR firm whose client list includes ExxonMobil and General Motors. (See Al Gore's Phttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undercover_marketingenguin Army video controversy.) This hoax was discovered when journalist Antonio Ragalado noticed that the YouTube video was the first sponsored listing when he performed a Google search for Al Gore. The fact that someone was paid to have the alleged amateur film promoted was in itself suspicious.
Bit depressing really. Think I'll go and have a cup of tea.