Bob Schwarztrauber

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

This was the full-page ad from the August 17th issue of The New York Times Sunday Magazine announcing a food conference. The name of the event, dates and locale are in light, light, unreadable yellow. Between the bottom row of photos and the mouse-type agenda in all caps is a subhead so faint it is invisible to the naked eye.

My colleague and client, Bob Doscher, loves FSIs. "When a Valassis FSI ('shared mail') goes out, CEOs of love it!" Doscher once said to me. "When these cents-off coupons are delivered, he can look out the window and see the trucks full of his products leaving the warehouse to stock supermarket shelves." FSIs are generally for down-market products and cashed in by those who love savings.

red·line, /'red,līn/, intransitive verb: to withhold home-loan funds or insurance from neighborhoods considered poor economic risks; and transitive verb: to discriminate against in housing or insurance—Merriam Webster. My six-word definition of marketing: Find profitable customers; avoid unprofitable customers. In actuality, that's redlining.

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