Emeril

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.

This was a banner week for marketers and their ad agencies crying HELP! The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal ran long stories about the inability of Web advertisers to determine whether their ads were effective or not. I have spent 45 years in the world of direct marketing, a discipline that is able to measure results down to a gnat’s eyebrow—whether it be mail, space. TV, radio, telephone or the Web. Our feedback comes directly from those to whom we advertise. Yet the world of general agencies has somehow conned the dumb little yuppie MBA corporate brand managers into believing that it’s okay

I remember visiting a very wealthy friend who had a splendid estate right on the water in Marblehead, Mass. The path from the house to the tennis court went through a stand of pine trees where a collection of tiny gravestones lined the walkway. It was a pet cemetery—the burial ground for family dogs and cats going back to the 19th century. Pet owners become deeply attached to their animals, and the joint suicide of a childless couple in India over the passing of a beloved canine may be extreme, but entirely believable. “Puppy” was very likely the only family they felt that they

On Dec. 8, 1928, The New Yorker ran one of its most famous cartoons drawn by Carl Rose with text by E. B. White. It depicted a small child eating dinner. The caption: Young mother: “It’s broccoli, dear.” Young daughter: “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” Recently, I’ve been buying bagged spinach and either microwaving it in the bag or sauteing it with a ton of garlic. Great stuff, until nearly 200 people in 26 states became seriously ill with E. coli from tainted bagged spinach supplied by Natural Selection Foods in California’s Salinas Valley. At least one person died and 29 others

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