David Letterman

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 dennyhatch.com.

David Letterman's retirement announcement set off a minor media flurry. From Slate.com: "David Letterman Revolutionized Late Night," by Philip Maciak. David Letterman did not revolutionize anything. In the early 1950s, the king of late-night was a zany second banana with a Bugs Bunny face, Jerry Lester. His show: "Broadway Open House." A regular guest was Dagmar.

Consumer marketers have long used humor to get their messages out. By comparison, most business marketers—with a few notable exceptions—generally tend to play it safe. Tim Washer, senior marketing manager at Cisco Systems, thinks B-to-B companies should give serious thought to using comedy in their marketing efforts. "Consumer brands get away with being ridiculous all the time and that's fine," he said. But with the proliferation of social media, "it doesn't matter if [the audience] is B-to-B or consumer. They're people."

The Direct Marketing Club of New York's annual Silver Apples awards luncheon is always a treat. The who's who of direct marketing in the NYC area—and beyond—turn out to have a few drinks, a few laughs, some lunch, some business talk, and the chance to honor our industry's best-in-class leaders. The 2005 Silver Apple winners certainly fit the bill: Ken Altman, Kay Cassidy, JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, Robert Edmund, Joe Furgiuele, Murray Miller, Chris Paradysz, and corporate winner, Boardroom Inc. Capitalizing on the NYC connection, Boardroom's Executive Vice President Brian Kurtz gave an acceptance speech that borrowed the "Late Night With David Letterman" show's

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