Democratic National Committee

Data You Can Believe In
June 21, 2013

Earlier this year, senior members of President Barack Obama’s campaign team took a trip to Las Vegas. Nevada holds a special place in Obama-wonk lore as the place where his months-long strategy of defeating Hillary Clinton by slowly and surely amassing delegates emerged. But the operatives were not there in March for any political reason. They were there to make money—specifically to land what they hoped would be the first corporate client for their new advertising business, Analytics Media Group (A.M.G.). Its bland name obscures its relatively grand promise: to deliver to commercial advertisers some of the Obama campaign's secret,

The Direct Marketing Election
November 1, 2012

The 2012 presidential election is important to direct marketers for reasons that have nothing to do with who wins or loses. It has been shaped by the tools of direct marketers—and many that marketers are only just starting to explore. It's not just politics imitating marketing, but perhaps also a glimpse into direct marketing's future.

Why Have a Website?
April 17, 2012

I work every day. Compulsively. Being a political junkie, I'll take a break Sunday morning if any of the talk shows have interesting guests. What I want is a quick, down-'n'-dirty schedule: 1) Name of the show; 2) who are the guests; 3) the panel of babble-heads. With that information, I can make a view/no-view decision in 20 seconds.

John McCain Breaks the Rules of Marketing
August 7, 2008

One day God and St. Peter met on the first tee of the celestial golf course, and St. Peter hit a magnificent drive straight down the fairway.

God stepped up, addressed the ball and-with a mighty swing-hooked it deep into the woods.

One minute later, a squirrel with God's golf ball in its mouth ran out of the woods and started across the fairway.

Whereupon an eagle swooped out of the sky, grabbed the squirrel in its talons and flew off. When the eagle got over the hole, it squeezed the squirrel, who dropped the ball, which landed on the green and rolled into the cup for a hole-in-one.

St. Peter turned to God. "Are you going to play golf," he asked, "or are you going to screw around?"

From where I sit, both presidential candidates are screwing around.

The nuts-and-bolts of the issues are buried under mounds of slung mud.

And in terms of marketing, John McCain is playing a most dangerous game.

Fear: The Most Powerful Emotion on the Planet
February 13, 2007

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

The Babe Went Out With the Bath Water
February 6, 2007

Judith Regan, a 53-year-old self-proclaimed hottie, has been called by Vanity Fair “the Angriest Woman in Media.” She reportedly cussed out employees on a regular basis with the “f” word, the “s” word and, in doing so, routinely alluded to male and female anatomies—her own included—with various “c” words. According to one former editor, Regan went through 18 personal assistants in 2005. “Say what you want about the fearless, foul-mouthed former publisher of ReganBooks,” wrote Steve Kettmann in the San Francisco Chronicle, “it would be hard to deny she has probably been the single most influential force in publishing over the past decade.” She

Survey Power
October 6, 2005

Turning Involvement Devices into Dollars Oct. 6, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue #37 IN THE NEWS As scrutiny of heart-device makers intensifies, one tactic that is coming into question involves companies making payments to doctors who use their products and fill out surveys about them.To get such payments, doctors must fill out a so-called postmarketing survey about new heart defibrillators and pacemakers. In one such survey, Guidant Corp. of Indianapolis has offered money to doctors to describe potential improvements the manufacturer could make in its heart products, said doctors who are on the company's advisory board. --Thomas M. Burton "Guidant Draws

Famous Last Words: Falling on Deaf Eyes
July 1, 2004

I read seven newspapers a day. Two of them—The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal—are consumed in hard copy over coffee in the early morning. The other five—The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Guardian, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post—are scanned on the Internet along with regular visits to AOL’s news page and Matt Drudge’s deliciously scurrilous Web site (www.drudgereport.com). One morning, when things were going particularly badly in Iraq and former NFL star Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, I saw a Web ad for John Kerry in The Times and sent him $500 charged to my American Express