Trashing a Brand?Smart or Dumb?
NDL was sold to R.L. Polk, a data gathering company that specialized in vacuuming up information from automobile registrations and drivers' licenses. Polk also vacuumed up the NDL brand, which was heard of no more.
In 1989, psychopath Robert Bardo, became obsessed with Rebecca Schaeffer, a young actress who had an unlisted phone number. Bardo found her home address at the Los Angeles Department of Motor Vehicles, went to her house and killed her. As a result, Congress passed the Driver's Privacy Protection Act that decrees no state employee shall "knowingly disclose or otherwise make available to any person or entity personal information about any individual obtained by the department in connection with a motor vehicle record." Only if the individual car owner "opts in" can this personal information be released to marketers.
Suddenly Polk's decades-old business model had a serious crimp. It was forced to rely on the self-reported data in the old NDL system, only it was no longer called NDL, causing confusion in the industry. In point of fact, the NDL list was made up of upscale consumers, whereas the old Polk lists covered the entire human food chain, with probably half the database being worthless for marketing purposes.
Believe it or not, last week Hasbro, heirs to Parker Brothers, manufacturers of Monopoly, announced that the original game would be scrapped and Atlantic City would be replaced by such venues and characters as SpongeBob SquarePants, Philadelphia, Star Wars, Junior Shrek 2 and Lord of the Rings Trilogy. From the official Web site:
In its first year, 1935, the MONOPOLY game was the best-selling game in America. And over its 65-year history, an estimated 500 million people have played!
*Over 200 million games have been sold worldwide.
*More than five billion little green houses have been "built" since 1935.