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

Last Wednesday, Telefónica, the Spanish telecom, beat its competitors to the punch: It teamed with the private equity firm Blackstone to buy the technology behind MobClix, a defunct mobile ad exchange. On the surface, it's a natural move. For mobile advertisers hungry for user data, the richest sources are the mobile carriers themselves. And, for the carriers, mobile ads are a convenient new well for revenues as smartphone ownership in the U.S. and Europe approaches a peak. Telefónica's counterparts across the Atlantic have certainly thought so. At a conference two years ago, Bill Diggins, the head of Precision Market Insight,

Major retailers would have us believe that shoppers have nothing better to do the day after Thanksgiving than trawl the Internet looking for the best deals on the latest technologies. But is that actually the reality? As well as blogging seven awesome Black Friday and Cyber Monday infographics, I’ve rounded up some stats to show the sales and traffic boost that occurs on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

When my wife, Peggy, and I moved to Philadelphia in 1992, we rented a small, two-bedroom condo in center city and spent nine months looking for a place to buy. Astonishingly, our house in Stamford, Conn., sold in six weeks, and we banked the cash.

After looking at 40 or 50 homes in the city, we walked into a fixer-upper just off Rabelaisian South Street—an 1817 brick row house of five stories with a large backyard and unfinished roof deck that offered a splendid view of the city. We didn't even negotiate, and Fred Glick arranged the mortgage.

My step-brother, architect David Elwell, drew up plans for the renovation, and we found a world-class contractor named Arthur Willson to gut the place and turn it into our dream home. We continued to live in the rented pad until 1994, when the new house was ready, all the while paying lordly sums to Willson out of the money we made on the house in Stamford.

Throughout the process, we assumed we'd take a loss if ever we sold it. But hey, we were not in this for money. This was to be home, presumably for a long time.

I guess what truly galls me about the subprime mess is the number of whining home buyers who allowed some sharpie to sell them McMansions at the top of the market with adjustable rate mortgages they could never afford, only to discover that the sum of their monthly payments was more than the value of the house in the current market.

Here’s a fascinating story about a house and its owners.

Look at the magnificent work of British novelist Patrick O’Brian. In 1991, at age 75 with nine years to live, he hit literature’s equivalent of the Powerball multimillion-dollar jackpot. Did it change his simple, 19th century lifestyle? Hardly one iota.

What’s more, the value of his house tanked.

Razor Wars: Little Schick cries foul and the giant is nicked Look over the saga of Gillette vs. Schick-Wilkinson Sword, and you do not find two rivals vying for share of shaver market. This latest decision in favor of Schick is but one small victory in what is a truly nasty, all-out war between a corporate Goliath (Gillette with 90 percent market share) and David (Schick). The conflict is not only being waged in the media and on retailers' shelves for the whiskers of the American post-pubescent males, but also in courtrooms on both sides of the Atlantic. To follow their endless

If an offer works in the States, it will likely do well in the United Kingdom. However, the media used to convey your message may vary across the Atlantic. While the supply of U.K. lists continue to grow along with demand, a grab bag of media also helps direct marketers acquire U.K. consumers. Britons enjoy 20 national newspapers and countless regional and city dailies. These papers are full of ads, 86 percent of which carry a direct response mechanism, whether it be a coupon or a telephone number. Newspapers also contain a variety of free-standing inserts (FSIs)—either single stand-alone sheets or standard

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