Australia’s yucky cigarette boxes
First-party-third-party endorsements — U.S. District Judge William Alsup is concerned that Google may have paid bloggers and commentators to opine, as if on their own, and thus influenced the outcome of its legal battle with Oracle Corporation. I do not defend the practice, but if that is indeed what Google did, it is not exactly new. Consider the tobacco industry’s having paid health experts to opine that smoking was not linked to cancer, or large oil concerns today who continue paying climate experts to refute anthropogenic global warming.
Room with a rue — A class action suit alleges that Orbitz, Expedia, Marriott, Hilton and others engaged in price fixing in order to prevent online marketers from selling rooms on the cheap. If the accusation holds, so much for those who say that regulation is needless because businesses have learned their lesson and understand that fair play is the most profitable course.
As for Apple’s record value — I suppose I need write no more than this line.
Direct mail spending in 2011 rose 3% over 2010 — Sure, direct mail costs more than the interactive media per person reached. But the latter cannot compete in terms of a personal wallop—provided you do your direct mail right. Apparently more marketers have begun figuring this out.
On Australia’s Plain Packaging Act (warning: pun ahead) — Australia’s Plain Packaging Act, which bans branded tobacco packaging, has just been upheld by that nation’s High Court. The act requires that tobacco and cigarettes be sold in plain green packages—no logos—adorned with yucky images of diseased internal organs, brought to you by smoking. The law attempts to rein in a dangerous product for which, given the number of addicts and the power of that addiction, an attempted outright ban would be ill-fated. Though I can’t speak for Australia, anti-smoking political rhetoric in the United States is a bit hypocritical. The U.S. relies heavily on tobacco taxes that addicts pay. A dramatic reduction in tobacco use in this country could reduce not just coughers but coffers.