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

Our ballots have been cast, final results have been tallied … and most of us are glad the election cycle is over. Pundits are calling this the most expensive presidential campaign in history, and the price tag on several congressional and constitutional issues have raised a few eyebrows. … It’s interesting to note the prominent role direct marketing played in these elections. … Political campaigns use multiple touchpoints to connect with voters, including direct mail, online advertising, emails and various social media platforms. Those of us in “battleground” states have been reminded political campaigns are exempt from "Do Not Call."

In 2005, Merck & Co.—the huge pharmaceutical conglomerate—was poised to get FDA approval for Gardasil, a supposedly foolproof vaccine against cervical cancer. In June 2006, the influential government Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), recommended that shots be given to all pre-teen girls starting as young as nine at the discretion of their doctors. Merck operatives and lobbyists blitzed state legislators with the news. Their message of fear: Unless you make Gardasil a requirement for entrance into junior high and high schools, girls in your state could die of cervical cancer. So far, fearful lawmakers in 20 states are drafting bills that make the

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