This corporation has a non-business record that sounds too good to be true.. and usually is too good to be true.
They often are a Mega-Corp and/or Evil, Inc., but they effectively hide it behind Weasel Words, Names to Trust Immediately, and concepts that sound appealing to the average joe. They frequently hide questionable and often malevolent and ignoble business practices behind general We Care advertising campaigns and fun amenities.
A subtrope of Villain with Good Publicity, downplayed. See also Corrupt Corporate Executive, who is often at the helm of such a business. Very common in Crapsaccharine World-esque Cyberpunk Vice City settings.
If the company is incompetent rather than outright evil (while still masquerading with nice-sounding names), then it also overlaps with Incompetence, Inc..
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight has the "Ethics Committee," a government organization that is supposed to ensure that Blazers behave ethically. Unfortunately, they're controlled by the Kurogane Clan and are out to revoke Ikki Kurogane's right to be a Blazer for being The Unfavorite and for undermining the Blazer ranking system. To accomplish this, the committee resorts to all kinds of unethical means, such as creating false charges, poisoning Ikki, wearing down his stamina with a prolonged Kangaroo Court, and setting him up to fight the strongest student in his school when he's already near death.
- Psycho-Pass has a very disturbing variant on this as its central premise, a Peace & Love, Incorporated Government, which has integrated itself so much into Japans's society; that the Dystopian future it shows may as well be called a Peace & Love Incorporated Japan. Yeah, it's that bad. Crime is virtually non-existent, with the few incidents being hidden from the public until Episode 14. The price of that though is, almost everyone does whatever the Sibyl System, a powered by "well-intentioned" sociopathic brains supercomputer judges. Everyone's career paths, hobbies, and almost everything about their lives are pre-determined. Worse than that, most people in Japan don't know about the outside world (it is mentioned most people can't leave Japan) and everything is regulated and controlled, including the flow of information (it's a rarity for people to even know William Shakespeare and jobs like journalism or writers have disappeared). The list could go on about how controlled the Dystopia futuristic Japan is...but due to the Sibyl System, almost everyone doesn't care and is happy because they've been told to be happy and get what the Sibyl System tells them will make them happy. Oh, and if you're unhappy...your Psycho-Pass rating will get worse, and if you are too unhappy with society, you get sent to therapy to accept society. If they can't make you better, Enforcers from the Ministry of Welfare and Public Safety Bureau will simply kill you and try to make sure no one finds out. Despite how dystopian this all sounds, the Sibyl System controlled society is filled with happy-looking things ranging from cutesy online avatars online to police controlled robots have chibi moe holographic bodies telling you cheerfully to stay happy and ignore anything that could make your Psycho-Pass rating go higher. Is it any wonder that Shogo Makishima wants to destroy the Sibyl System at any cost, even potential societal breakdown?
- Veidt industries from Watchmen.
- Grant Morrison created Hexus, the Living Corporation, for his Marvel Boy mini-series. Hexus is described as a living corporate entity, a parasite that eliminates all corporate competition on its host world, "employs" the population and completely devours all of that planet's resources before sending its "logo-spores" to the next world it conquers.
- The arc-antagonists of the Eleventh Doctor Year One Doctor Who (Titan) comics are ServeYouInc, an interstellar corporation that will give you whatever you want at the cost of your freedom and individuality.
- Office Space:
- Initech's management is all about the idea of the employees being one big happy family, and likes orchestrating events like Hawaiian Shirt Day. The employees themselves are miserable, drudged out of their minds, and struggling to deal with the corporation's endless make-work and bureaucracy.
- Chotchkie's, a Kitschy-Themed Restaurant loosely based on TGI Friday's and Applebees, has all its employees wearing wacky outfits where they express themselves with pieces of flair! That is to say, they're mandated to do so as part of the dress code. They even have a minimum requirement, and if you only wear the minimum, the management politely suggests you wear more, or they might demote or fire you.
- The megacorporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) in Robocop. Which owns the Detroit police and secretly arms street gangs with military-grade weapons in an attempt to spread terror and drive away the remaining citizens of Old Detroit so that they can tear down the city and rebuild it as chrome-sparkling "Delta City" (where supposedly no-one below an Upper Class income is allowed to set foot in except to clean away the trash). Oh, and they use a clinically dead policeman (our titular protagonist) as a test person for their new cyborg program, after declaring him legally dead and wiping his mind. You wouldn't believe that if you'd seen their bright, upbeat TV ad campaigns, though.
- Buy-N-Large from WALLE is styled after what would happen if hypothetically a marketing department took over the government but didn't bother changing their public image. They still advertise themselves despite running the human race, which means colorful banners and cheerful relaxed announcers. And like any marketing department they run a ruthless business model preying on the shallower aspects of human nature in order to sell more products. Though any implications of being evil are subverted; they actually do care about humanity. Operation: Cleanup was a genuine attempt to fix the garbage-covered Earth, and lying about it having failed and keeping people happy with Bread and Circuses was simply to keep the masses from rioting over something that couldn't be helped.
- Octan, a fictional oil company whose logo has appeared on several LEGO sets since the early 90's, is revealed to be this in The LEGO Movie. They don't do a very good job of hiding it, though.
Emmet: And Octan? They make so much good stuff! Music, dairy products, coffee, TV shows, surveillance systems, all history books, voting machines... Wait a minute.
- Insuracare in The Incredibles even has the word "care" in its name, but the employees are required to look like they're helping while subtly denying them any assistance, and it's all run by an incredibly greedy man with a total Lack of Empathy—the CEO sees someone getting beaten and mugged outside his window, and all he cares about is not having to pay up. Bob teaches his clients how to navigate Insuracare's corporate maze to get the help they need, disguising his instructions as "Sorry we can't help you" statements, and gets in deep trouble when the CEO realizes what Bob's been doing.
- Canadian Cotton Clothiers in Slaxx. A parody of American Apparel and other "ethical" clothing brands, they are obsessed with an image of social responsibility, emphasizing fair-trade labor practices and a lack of GMOs in the cotton that goes into their clothing. It's all a sham, of course, as they don't care about anything other than their bottom line, and never actually check if their suppliers follow those guidelines, which is why one of their boutiques is now being haunted by the ghost of a 13-year-old Indian farm laborer who died amidst the brutal working conditions at one of the plantations they got their cotton from.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Share and enjoy!" is the motto of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, an enormous conglomerate whose complaints department takes up the better parts of several planets and in fact has been the company's only profitable division for several years.
- The Goliath Corporation in the Thursday Next series renovates itself as a Peace And Love Incorporated midway through the series, going so far as to even develop a corporate religion.
- They actually seem to mean it, too, before being bought out by the Toast Marketing Board thanks to a time-traveling saint with a gambling problem.
- Space Trilogy: The National Institute for Coordinated Experimentation. They are working for Satan.
- Pretty much any business run by a villain in Atlas Shrugged will be one of these, using political connections and loopholes in the regulations they themselves push for to gain profit and crush their competitors while also making a big public show of how they're in business "for the good of others". James Taggart, the CEO of Taggart Transcontinental, is probably the best at this game. In contrast, the heroic businessmen, while also being motivated by money, make no hypocritical attempts to hide the fact and believe in actually providing quality goods and services to earn it.
- The Corporation of The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman is like this. The leader is even called "Earth Mother".
- 1984: The Ministries of Truth, Plenty, Peace, and Love. The four ministries of Oceania are dedicated to the exact opposite: Minitrue is dedicated to propaganda and correcting (read:distorting) the truth to make the state seem infallible, Miniplenty creates plenty of weapons and makes plenty of public gestures while being dedicated to economic destruction and rationing resources, Minipax is dedicated to ensuring internal peace via external perpetual warfare to keep the people in a constant state of terror, and Miniluv is dedicated to ensuring that citizens only love Big Brother by wiping out all rival forms of loyalty.
- Midway through Cheers, Sam sold the bar to the Lillian Corporation, which is described as a leading manufacturer of munitions, rocket boosters and fine confections.
- The short-lived Fred Savage sitcom Working (1997) centered around the employees of uber-conglomerate Upton/Webber. Each episode typically featured a fake U/W commercial proudly touting its corporate beneficence and commitment to ethics—usually with regard to things like cloning, toxic waste cleanup and weapons production.
- The Smart Brain corporation from Kamen Rider 555. "Be smart! True life is your start!" With a slogan like that, would you believe they're actually a front for a group of mutants looking to kill off humankind?
- Veridian Dynamics, Better Off Ted
- In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Perfect," the squad encounters a doctor who owns a clinic specializing in hormone treatments to prevent aging and uses the profits to establish a network of charities and self-help organizations dedicated to helping the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. If you've already realized that the whole thing is a Path of Inspiration, you get a cookie.
- Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother starts the series working at Altrucell, the world's leading manufacturer of the felt covering for tennis balls. They also do some other things (logging, oil drilling, small arms, tobacco farming, missile construction...), but they mostly publicize the tennis ball thing.
- In the 1998 thriller Oktober the hero notes ironically that the thugs for the international drug corporation that's hunting him down belong to its "Ethics Division".
- The Nightmare Fuel-filled video for Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc" from Demon Days depicts the male band members apparently trapped in one of these. It's not clear what Feel Good Inc actually does, if anything, but the building is a tall tower set in a dystopian wasteland, with creepy red lighting in the tower and TV screens showing film of people laughing insanely.
2D: "The palace we built has become a prison... That's what the song's about."Murdoc: "Looks like a good party to me."
- The atmosphere inside, with most of the guests lying around in stupor, implies a brothel, nightclub or drug den, perhaps all at once.
- 2D kind of brings up that Gorillaz are the ones who made the tower in the first place, so it's like they were wallowing in their success until it, for lack of a better word, fermented.
- The Trope Namer is a 1992 album by Synth-Pop band Information Society, and its title track, with the video featuring captions such as "YOU are a PRODUCT" and fake products like Envy sneakers, Morality deodorant, and "good cause" bleach.
- My Chemical Romance features Better Living Industries - B. L. Ind. for short.
- The 1973 Genesis song The Battle of Epping Forest contains the following lines, sung by The Reverend, who's abandoned his ministry to work for East End Gangsters
When poor, 'twas salvation from door to door,But now, with a pin-up guru every week,It was Love, Peace and Truth Incorporated for all who seek.
- Being a cyberpunk RPG, Shadowrun of course has many of these:
- Aztechnology long enjoyed a sterling reputation in the eyes of the world, in part due to beloved franchises like Stuffer Shack. To shadowrunners, of course, Aztechnology is a purveyor in Blood Magic and other humanity-rending practices. After the Aztlan-Amazonia War and the televised execution of a dragon as a war criminal, however, the bloom seems to be off the rose for now.
- After a long, long internal struggle, the Yamatetsu corporation rebranded as EVO and started shifting its cultural image. One of the world's biggest purveyors of bioware, their corporate imagery focus on "EVO culture" and the idea that everyone is free to pursue their own life, even if it means reshaping their body to fit an internal vision. This same ethos applies to their corporate culture, where a Free Spirit is on the board of directors and AI can serve as corporate citizens.
- Horizon is pretty much the embodiment of a mass media think tank that's like if someone threw Facebook and Disney in a blender (hell, they acquired Disney). They focus heavily on the idea of a unified world and a holistic vision, to the point that their internal company process is guided by a method called "the Consensus," where corporate decisions are based on company-wide votes on everything from favorite snack foods to foreign policy. Of course, this can occasionally tilt very, very bad, like the time the Consensus led to Horizon engaging in a massacre of technomancers in Las Vegas.
- Portal, Aperture Science: We Do What We Must Because We Can. There, a small cell with a stasis pod and a toilet is a "Relaxation Vault," lethal lasers are called "Thermal Discouragement Beams," and bullet spraying turrets are marketed towards over-protective parents.
- GlaDOS herself is the logical conclusion to this trope: a sentient AI, pretending to be friendly, is way creepier than if she were unfeeling.
- Mother 3: Tower of Peace and Love. STAY AWAY!
- Tiny Tank has a corporation called Sentrax, whose slogan is "Bringing you peace one war at a time."
- Altru Incorporated from Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is an oil company that claims to have found a new, sustainable source of energy. In reality, its president is using it as a front for his plans to mind-control every Pokémon in the Almia region. It's worth noting that in the Japanese version, it had the even more blatant name of "Angel Corporation".
- Vault-Tec from the Fallout series. Examples include such fun things as building faulty survival equipment on purpose, building survival shelters in which the doors wouldn't close or attempts to brainwash vault citizens that end horribly, and stuffing one vault with twice as many people as there was capacity for and then handing out free guns and ammo. All in the name of social experiments.
- Considering these Vaults wouldn't be populated until there was a nuclear war, you might wonder how they were planning to use, or even collect, the results of these experiments.
- Their leadership was in cahoots with the Enclave who had the means to survive past the nuclear apocalypse. The original plan was to use the test data in order to build a fleet of spaceships and leave the planet for good. Somewhere along the line the plan was scrapped, since the world ended up even worse off than expected.
- Which is remarkable when you consider that they built bunker doors weighing 13 tons and outfitted the Overseers' offices with machine guns.
- Considering these Vaults wouldn't be populated until there was a nuclear war, you might wonder how they were planning to use, or even collect, the results of these experiments.
- The TriOptimum Corporation from System Shock.
- The World of Goo/Tomorrow Corporations.
- MOM might also count.
- The Versalife Corporation from Deus Ex is the sole manufacturer of a cure to a deadly plague that it had previously engineered and unleashed on the world.
- Pretty much every corporation in Mass Effect, especially the ones on Illium. One of the most prominent is Indenture Tech: "You've been a slave to your employees for too long. Shouldn't it be the other way around?"
- Yakuza's tutorial takes place in the offices of a Loan Shark firm called "Peace Finance".
- The third case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trial & Tribulations has another Loan Shark firm with a harmless, friendly name: "Tender Lender".
- The Umbrella Corporation in the Resident Evil franchise was initially this. Their public face as a manufacturer of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and other consumer products masked their bioweaponry and genetic engineering divisions.
- Mom, Inc. on Futurama
"Mom," "love," and "screen door" are registered trademarks of Mom Corp.
- Romanticorp, which makes stuffed Lovey Bears out of real bears. Subverted, as they don't seem to see that as a big deal, nor do the Planet Express crew.
- In a certain episode of South Park, Wall-Mart (a parody of Wal-Mart), is portrayed this way.
- GothCorp in Batman: The Animated Series goes as far as calling itself "The People Company." Victor Fries used to work for them until his wife Nora fell ill.