Disclosing special interests: Constitutional restrictions on front groups
Front groups are controversial public relations techniques used by organizations to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of undisclosed special interests. This article examines historical and contemporary uses of such third-party efforts and considers constitutionally permissible restrictions on front group practices. We address the specific issue of whether governments may compel organizations to reveal their participation in grassroots lobbying initiatives without violating the First Amendment. We then consider the implications of front groups for public relations ethics and the potential for heightened legal regulation spawned by unethical public relations practices perceived to interfere with the efficient functioning of government.
Kathy Fitzpatrick and Michael J. Palenchar. "Disclosing special interests: Constitutional restrictions on front groups" Journal of Public Relations Research 18.3 (2006): 203-224.
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