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

ROTFL I almost fell off the chair when I saw Lawrence Van Gelder’s little squib (reprinted in full nearby) in The New York Times, reporting that the Chinese have edited “Pirates of the Caribbean” because one of the characters “vilifies and humiliates the Chinese.” Imagine! The premier pirates of American films and other intellectual property not only have pirated yet another blockbuster, but also have edited out a Chinese character because it was “in line with Hollywood’s old tradition of demonizing the Chinese.” Is it time to rethink doing business with China? I am not talking human rights and animal abuses such as:

Thomas Publishing Co. is no stranger to innovation. During its 108-year history, this privately owned business that connects industrial buyers with suppliers consistently has made decisions (such as employing one of the first independent contractor sales forces) that proved well ahead of their time. The company’s move to create a fully Web-based industrial directory in 2004 was no exception. After celebrating the 100th anniversary of its traditional “green books”—the Thomas Register print directory of industrial sellers—executives ceased the print publication and went to the Internet. There was just one “small” challenge: It needed to bring its users along. Historically understated in its marketing, Thomas felt

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