Consumer Reports

Asking the 
Right Questions
January 1, 2012

Whether you 
call it "Green Purchasing," "Sustainable Sourcing" or "Environmentally Preferred Procurement," evaluating whether or not suppliers meet your own environmental standards—and creating buyer/supplier relationships that reinforce those standards—drives sustainability through your print and paper supply chains.

Consumer Reports Nets DMA ECHO Green Marketing Award 2011: Lessons for Every Marketer
November 14, 2011

One of the highlights of the Direct Marketing Association's 2011 annual conference was the awarding of a special ECHO award to Consumer Reports, the organization behind the magazine of the same name. As a member of DMA's Committee on the Environment and Social Responsibility (CESR), I was one of the judges of this year's competition, which looks to honor one marketing organization that has demonstrated environmental performance and sustainable practices in the design and execution of an advertising campaign.

Finding a Calling
October 1, 2011

One of the things you notice when you cover the direct marketing industry is just how many people in it feel that this is what they were meant to do with their lives. They, and hopefully you reading this, feel passionate about it.

DMA ECHO Green Marketing Award Entry Form: Consumers Union
August 1, 2011

We produced the Winter 2010/11 direct marketing campaign with the goal of strategically supporting the sustainability objectives of meeting our acquisition targets, serving the ongoing needs of consumers, and of being good stewards of the resources we use.  Direct Marketing and Publishing Operations departments worked collaboratively guided by our internal Environmental Policy & Vision Statement to identify, implement, and track meaningful environmental choices made throughout the life cycle of the campaign season.

Handheld Messages
July 1, 2011

Marketers need to consider mobile activity and how it may affect their email programs. Best practices in email design are changing to ensure a good experience for all recipients, regardless of how they access their messages.

Facebook Forced to Address Legal Gray Area of Kids and Advertising
May 20, 2011

A big part of Facebook's advertising strategy is to turn user "likes" into advertisements that show the user's name and image. And that strategy is a major reason brands love Facebook so much—if a user "likes" a brand page, Facebook will spread that endorsement around the network as far as the user allows it to go. But what if that user endorsing a brand happens to be a child?

The 
Big Qs 
of 2011
January 1, 2011

Target Marketing magazine reached out to some of the most knowledgeable people in the direct marketing industry to find out what they believe are the biggest issues facing direct marketers today and what questions your company needs to be able to answer to thrive in the coming year and beyond.

The Worst Advertising Climate Ever
September 7, 2010

President Obama's words at a White House Ramadan gathering Aug. 13, 2010 regarding a mosque being opened near the Ground Zero 9/11 site:

As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.

In terms of the Constitution, the message was spot-on and not debatable. Many on the Left, Right and Center agreed with him.

Shortly thereafter Newt Gingrich committed what Mike Barnicle labeled “political pyromania” (see “IN THE NEWS” at right) and dropped an “N” bomb by equating Muslims to Nazis—pouring gasoline on what might have remained a brush fire.

The following day, President Obama caved. "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” he said in response to a reporter’s question. What was intended as nuance was pounced on by the media as a John Kerry flip-flop; where he was for the mosque before, now he was against it.

Suddenly the Ground Zero mosque took over the news.

Direct marketers who fail to take current news into consideration will be sunk by it,” wrote Martin Gross, author of “The Direct Marketer’s Idea Book.”

The Top 50 Mailers
September 1, 2010

The more things change on Target Marketing's Top 50 Mailers list, the more they stay the same. As I write this, mail volume continues to plummet; the U.S. Postal Service reported a drop just shy of another billion pieces for the third quarter of its 2010 fiscal year. So with increasingly less First-Class and Standard Mail in circulation, what do consumers find in their mailboxes these days?

Exclusivity, Yesss!
April 1, 2010

Recently, I saw a photograph of a polar bear floating on a lonely hunk of ice in the Arctic, and the accompanying story told how these exquisite creatures will be doomed, victims of global warming. Sad.