Berlin

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 dennyhatch.com.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Blue hair. Chucks. Jellies. “One-size-fits-most” shirts. Everywhere I go lately, I can’t escape the ’90s. As Hootsuite and BuzzFeed listicles show, nostalgia sells. And marketers know it’s not just Gen Xers buying it.

You may have read the story that broke over the weekend about two mobile bloggers from India who accepted a trip to Berlin from Samsung. If you missed it, in a nutshell, the story serves as a cautionary tale for tech bloggers who do not believe in the adage "there's no such thing as a free lunch" and companies seeking creative ways to boost positive online buzz. Here's a breakdown of what happened based on online reports and official comments from Samsung. As an aside, I'm still waiting for Samsung to return my request for an interview.

Return Path today launched the world's largest ISP anti-phishing program, which includes AOL, Libero, Microsoft, Synacor, UOL and Yahoo!. Return Path's ISP Anti-Phishing Program enables ISPs around the world to adopt the new DMARC email authentication standard more quickly, protect their customers against phishing attacks, protect their own brand against spear phishing and improve overall trust in email as a communication channel.

Last week someone forwarded me the e-story of a vacationing family thrown together with Sen. John McCain and his family at a luxury resort on Turtle Island, Fiji. McCain comes off as overbearing, tedious and a lecherous pig—a boor, bore and boar.

The piece is so explicit—written with such outrage and so filled with detail—that its truth seems self-evident.

Or, is it the work of a master fiction writer out to spread a rumor and help scuttle John McCain's campaign?

Welcome to a discussion about rumors and smears—and what to do if you're the spreader, the smearee or the smearer.

Grandpa Bill is on the hill With someone he just married. There he is at ninety-three, Doin’ what comes naturally. —Irving Berlin, Annie Get Your Gun, 1946 On Dec. 29, 2006, my wife, Peggy, and I had just made a shopping list for the New Year’s Eve dinner that we would be serving. The centerpiece was to be a standing rib roast. The following morning, I opened the The New York Times and came across a story by Andrew Pollack and Andrew Martin titled, “F.D.A. Says Food From Cloned Animals is Safe.” The most disturbing paragraph: Opponents hope to bring Congressional pressure to bear

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