PATH: BS | Business | Marketing

Dress Like A Corporate Mascot; Get Free Food

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[Junk Food]
Today is Chick-Fil-A's second annual "Cow Appreciation Day" (otherwise known as Lets-get-some-idiots-to-promote-our-company-for-virtually-nothing day). What does this mean for you? Well, if you're willing to dress up like a cow from head to toe, you get a free combo to help fill the void in your otherwise empty life. And some goofballs at an advertising company show Chick-Fil-A they can convince people to do just about anything for a 400+ calorie, 16g fat, MSG-doused, 1300mg sodium-laced, breaded and fried in peanut oil chicken sandwich.

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OfficeMax Drops Their Rebate Schemes

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Citing overwhelming customer dissatisfaction with its mail-in rebate system, OfficeMax said it will eliminate the program beginning this weekend.

A small victory in the battle against supremely annoying corporate marketing tactics has been won. We here at BSA have always said, Don't buy products with rebates! It's like a tax on people who are stupid enough to waste their time and compromise their privacy by jumping through a bunch of hoops to purchase a product at an advertised price.

But don't get all teary-eyed yet. Methinks the main reason why OfficeMax dropped the scheme was because they got tired of people calling them, pissed off looking for their long, lost rebate checks.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-07-11 20:19:18 | Comment on this Article

United Airlines Running Government Propaganda In Flight

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[Viral Marketing]
United Airlines has begun showing an in-flight video about military glamor jobs that was produced and funded by the Department of Defense--a fact passengers do not learn from watching it.

Sandwiched between NBC sitcoms and Discovery Channel previews, "Today's Military," as the 13-minute program is called, highlights five jobs that few members of the armed forces could point to as their own.

It shows only one soldier beyond U.S. borders, who's "doing humanitarian work in Thailand" -- a remarkable focus at a time of war. The Defense Department paid United $36,000 to run the video for one month.

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Your Porn-Buying History May Now Be Public

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[Viral Marketing]
Seventeen million customers of the online payment service iBill have had their personal information released onto the internet, where it's been bought and sold in a black market made up of fraud artists and spammers, security experts say.

The stolen data, examined by Wired News, includes names, phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses and internet IP addresses. Other fields in the compromised databases appear to be logins and passwords, credit-card types and purchase amounts, but credit-card numbers are not included.

It appears spammers have been buying and selling these lists and using them as sources for solicitations. So if you're getting more spam than usual, it could be because your personal information has been leaked to the black market.

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Wal-Mart Cautions Blogger-Shills to Avoid Being Caught

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[Viral Marketing]
Wal-Mart, in an effort to change public opinion is now mobilizing armies of bloggers to push the pro-company line and counter other sites who are critical of the retail giant. However, some of its blogger army are intentionally reprinting the company's dictates word-for-word and the monster corporation is concerned they may get "ripped" for being the shams they are.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-03-15 01:56:59 | Comment on this Article

Yahoo, AOL Consider Charging for E-Mail

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In an attempt to "protect users from spam"--and, coincidentally, earn themselves millions of dollars and create a two-tier e-mail system--Yahoo and AOL are both considering implementing systems in which large companies and frequent commercial e-mailers pay from 1/4 cent to a cent per e-mail. In return for this fee, the mail goes straight to user inboxes, skipping the spam filters that sometimes catch even requested mailings.

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What Do Search Engines Know About You?

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Google's recent legal spat with the U.S. Department of Justice highlights not only what information search engines record about us but also the shortcomings in a federal law that's supposed to protect online privacy.

It's only a matter of time before other attorneys realize that a person's entire search history is available for the asking, and the subpoenas begin to fly. This could happen in civil lawsuits or criminal prosecutions.

So, how much do the search engines know? And do they ever delete this information?

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Osama Bin Laden Launches Book Club

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
Many may have heard the news report last week of the latest recording of Osama Bin Laden offering the United States a truce, but what the news media didn't report much, was he recommended a book by an American author that people should read. As a result Rogue State by William Blum has become a huge bestseller. Move over Oprah!

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-01-29 11:02:50 | Comment on this Article

Hey, Ray! God wants us here, too!!!

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[The "Buzz"]
"It's time for us to rebuild a New Orleans, the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. And I don't care what people are saying in Uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day. This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have it no other way." New Orleans Mayor - C. Ray Nagin

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-01-19 19:38:07 | Comment on this Article

Sony's Newest Marketing Campaign: Urban Graffitti

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Sony scouted out an unusual place to advertise its PlayStation Portable before the holidays: the side of an abandoned building in a gritty North Philadelphia neighborhood.

The black-on-white graffiti shows wide-eyed cartoon characters riding a PlayStation like a skateboard, licking it like a lollipop or cranking it like a Jack-in-the-Box.

This new corporate marketing is popping up in several major cities. Unfortunately for Sony, people and public officials are not appreciating it.

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Yahoo and Match.com Accused of "Date Baiting"

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[Viral Marketing]
[Pubic Relations]
There are two separate class action lawsuits being brought against various dating web sites, claiming that the companies posted fictitious ads, bogus solicitations, and even had paid employees bait people into renewing their subscriptions to popular online dating sites.

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Big Pharma Uses Fiction To Create Fiction

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[Viral Marketing]
Following up on a story that first surfaced in the gossip pages of the New York Daily News, The LA Times examines the details of a bizarre scheme aimed at scaring U.S. citizens away from importing cheap drugs from Canada.

Marketing executives at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) agreed to pay a couple of writers to craft a fictional thriller in which a group of terrorists "uses Canadian Web sites to murder millions of unwitting Americans looking for cut-rate pharmaceuticals." Kenin Spivak, one of the novelists, says a PhRMA marketing executive was "intimately involved" in shaping details of the story's plot, characterization and tone. "They said they wanted it somewhat dumbed down for women, with a lot more fluff in it, and more about the wife of the head Croatian terrorist, who is a former Miss Mexico," Spivak said.

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New Jersey Churns Out Taxpayer-Funded Fake News

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[Viral Marketing]
The mayor and city council of Newark, New Jersey "hired a fledging newspaper called Newark Weekly News to publish 'positive news' about the city - and will pay $100,000 over the next year for it." The no-bid contract specifies that the paper will "generate stories based on leads" from the mayor's spokesperson and city communications staff. A senior scholar at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies said, "If you are publishing government propaganda in the guise of neutral, detached reporting, that's about as unethical as you can get."

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Mel Gibson Asked To Stage Crucifiction of Christ

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Actor-director Mel Gibson has been asked to recreate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the streets of Sydney if the city is selected to host a major Catholic gathering in 2008, a newspaper reported.

Gibson's staging of the Stations of the Cross, a live interpretation of Christ's final hours, would be part of a bid by the city to secure the Catholic Church's World Youth Day in 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Saturday.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-08-14 18:40:22 | Comment on this Article

Cheatin' Greetin's

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[Lonely People]
At last, you can finally express your true feelings about that special someone you're committing adultery with, in that most intimate and heartfelt way possible...a greeting card.

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Telemarketers Stop Harassing the Dead for a Dollar

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[Viral Marketing]
So you're home for your dad's funeral. Your mother is a zombie, your brothers and sisters are freaked out, and you're not feeling so swell yourself. The phone rings. Your mom goes to answer it; you figure it's yet another condolence call from a concerned friend, or maybe a neighbor offering a casserole.

But without saying a word beyond "hello," your mom bursts into tears and slams down the phone.

Surprise! You've just been contacted by a telemarketer asking for the deceased by name, hoping to sell him affordable, high-quality aluminum siding.

Well, never fear, my friend. The Direct Marketing Association is looking out for you.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-08-13 14:02:43 | Comment on this Article

J.D. Power & Associates: Biggest Whore In Its Class

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Take a look at almost any ad for cars or cell phones these days, and you'll see one or more awards from J.D. Power and Associates suggesting a track record of quality and reliability.

Unfortunately all this really suggests is that some company paid J.D. Power and Associates money so they could get an ambiguous marketing reference from a company that has more conflicts of interest than Rush Limbaugh opening a chain of Pharmacies.

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Popular Web Site Desperately Tries to De-Promote Itself

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SomethingAwful got a segment on G4-TechTV and the order came down from high up, "If we see an increase in traffic as a result of your TV appearance, you've failed." Watch as the hilarity unfolds as a popular counterculture web site, desperately tries to de-emphasize its significance on a burned out cable channel.

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President Exploits Troops; Shills For Gimmick Merchandiser

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[Viral Marketing]
In a national address, the President took advantage of the holiday and directed people towards a new web site, AmericaSupportsYou.mil - touted as a way to show support for the troops. Apparently one of those ways is to purchase yet another crappy ribbon lapel pin from a Pennsylvania marketing association (whose claim to fame is making a toaster that burns the Target logo on bread, and a stilletto heel that doubles as a beverage holder). Are any of these products actually made in America? Does any of the revenue generated go towards supporting our troops? Are you kidding me?

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Pimp Out Terry Bradshaw For Only $29k

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[Viral Marketing]
"For the bargain-basement price of $29,000, your company could be touted by the Hall of Fame quarterback in slots on CNBC and MSNBC," writes PR Week's Julia Hood, about Terry Bradshaw's "Winners Circle" and "Pick of the Week" TV segments. The segments praise companies for their "forward thinking and consistent principles," in what may seem like "a neutral third-party endorsement," but is actually "a paid placement that inconsistently identifies itself as such." The segments are produced by Broadcast News Corporation (BNC), which also pays to air them on MSNBC, CNBC and CNN Headline News. "We're doing this so we can tell a good story about companies," said one BNC producer. PR Week found that MSNBC either ran "a subtle disclaimer" or none at all marking the segments as paid commercial programming.

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