Week 6 Concept

Rochelle Miller

ABC News

J.D. Rockefeller’s alternative to “no comment” 

John D Rockefeller was an oil business book-keeper in Cleveland, Ohio and in seven years rose to controlling a tenth of the entire US oil business. Rockefeller used the 19th century’s “free-for-all” oil industry to pursue many successful strategy’s  to gain capital.

He would secretly buy or create new oil related companies such as engineering and pipeline firms.  Rockefeller and his close colleagues secretly controlled the firms and gave Standard Oil, Rockefeller’s main oil company, hidden rebates. Another tactic was to buy up a competing oil company, again secretly. Officials from this company could then be used very effectively to spy on, and give advanced warning of, deals being hatched by his real competitors.

A committee decided that J.D Rockefeller’s company “Standard Oil violated… social justice” in its monopolistic deals with the railroads.

However Standard Oil had its own intelligence service and Rockefeller saw that little knowledge can be significant in the business world. So he combined this good supply of information on his competitors with a total wall of silence he himself presented to the outside world.

“No Comment” was all that journalist came to expect from the standard offices.

An example of this concept is  Here at ABC news, the story is about a pilot who died after flying into power lines. Power lines that had been under debate for some time with the power company, and when the power company was asked about the incident they had no comment. This is an example of the strategy J.D. Rockefeller used. Knowing that having a lot of knowledge about the incident however being smart enough to not say anything about it.


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