Denny’s Daily Zinger: Sick of Goo-Goos and Non-Marketers

On May 1, 2014, under John Podesta’s leadership, the White House released its 79-page report, “BIG DATA: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values.
I am sick unto death of non-marketers and goo-goos (good government goodie two-shoes) making destructive marketing policy and forcing us to live with it.

For example, the word “discrimination” appears 30 times in the report.

From the White House Report (opens as a pdf):
Big Data and Discrimination
The technologies of automated decision-making are opaque and largely inaccessible to the average person. Yet they are assuming increasing importance and being used in contexts related to individuals’ access to health, education, employment, credit and goods and services. (Boldface mine.)

When Peggy and I launched the WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletter, we discriminated against people who had nothing to do with direct mail marketing.

Oh naughty us!

Get this straight, troops. Direct marketing is all about discrimination—not making offers to the wrong people.

From the White House Report
Consumers have a legitimate expectation of knowing whether the prices they are offered for goods and services are systematically different than the prices offered to others.

Here’s the language the goo-goos want us to use in price testing:

The price is $49.95. This is a price test. Other cells will be offered the same product at $39.95 and $19.95. Please buy from this offer, because we make more money. Thank you.

If blanket non-discrimination and the banning of price testing become law, the DMA will have failed us miserably.

If I sound pissed off, I am.

Denny Hatch’s new book is Write Everything Right! Drayton Bird says, “I have never seen such a rich treasury of relevant knowledge about every kind of writing—from what makes a best seller to which words are most looked up by the readers of The New York Times.” Click Here to read the first 3 Chapters FREE. Write Everything Right! also has a Kindle Edition. Reach Denny at

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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  • steve

    Wow, way to misinterpret the findings and rush to the most hyperbolic conclusions that make you look like a marketing ogre.

    Discrimination from data should be outlawed. If someone subscribes to multiple fast-food loyalty or text programs, their insurance premiums shouldn’t go up as a result. If someone lives in an affluent zip code, products shouldn’t cost them more.

    Very simple stuff here that gives the public at least a little faith in marketing/data. Your stance will only result in further erosion of trust and greater regulation. You are what the public hates about marketers. Callous and cold.

  • DraytonBird

    Of all follies, few match government follies. I will bet the shirt off my back, my underpants and Mr. Podesta’s few remaining braincells that Obama’s electoral campaigns "discriminated" by communicating more to some people than others.

  • mikewrite

    Great, waste more taxpayer money on a totally worthless, unfounded and biased report. Maybe the DMA should offer to send Mr. Podesta and his staff to a seminar for a bit of direct marketing education.

  • Silverwood Capital

    One of the things we should consider in the highly anticipated Article 5 convention of the States is an amendment to compel the federal government to show where the Constitution gives them power to do anything. All federal laws should sunset each year, and only the truly needed ones, that pass Constitutional muster should be allowed to stay. The problem is the federal govt needs to get out of marketing and trying to tell us how and what to sell; otherwise we will end up like North Korea where everyone is equal. Equally hungry and eating bugs and dirt to survive & only the top brass are wealthy, and income is distributed equally to everyone else in the form of a couple coins each month…