Wilson Bryan Key, Ph.D. (1921-2008) was the author of several books about subliminal advertising and subliminal messages. Controversial from the start, the books were widely read, particularly at universities, where he would often lecture. He obtained his doctorate in communications from the University of Denver and taught journalism for a short period of time at the University of Western Ontario. He was a colleague and friend of Marshall McLuhan. His results and conclusions have been challenged; see, for example (Pratkanis 1992), (Moore 1992), (Boese 2006:194).

Dr. Key was born on January 31, 1921 in Richmond, California and passed away on October 8, 2008 in Reno, Nevada following complications resulting from surgery. He is interred at the Northern Nevada Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada. He is survived by his wife and three daughters. [1]

In a 1990 a Reno, Nevada court case against Judas Priest regarding subliminal messages and a suicide pact between two young men gained international attention. Dr. Key was a witness in this case however, the case was dismissed against Judas Priest and CBS which was Priest's record company.[2]

Dr. Key was also a member of MENSA.


  • Media Sexploitation (1976). Prentice-Hall, Inc.
  • The Clam-Plate Orgy: And Other Subliminals the Media Use to Manipulate Your Behavior (1980). Signet. Reissued in 1992 as Subliminal Ad-Ventures in Erotic Art by Branden Books.
  • The Age of Manipulation: The Con in Confidence, The Sin in Sincere (1989). H. Holt.


External linksEdit

es:Wilson Bryan Key


Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.