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Marketing / Sales

There's a company that wants to build something a bit like Ted Talks. They are called SERMEx and every few days, they issue a "call for papers." It might be interesting. if we could understand what their email says.

See if you've any clue.

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It's a very long time since Formula One (and many countries) banned tobacco advertising. For a decade, Ferrari have kept the red and white of their previous long-standing tobacco sponsor, Marlboro. Now Malboro's parent company are back, with a white logo, on the Ferraris and a book of Haiku poetry created from the wit and wisdom and sometimes grouchiness of Kimi Raikkonen just before he leaves the team. So what's going on?

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We dislike Taboola's low-grade, spammy, click-bait rubbish that populates so many websites. We specifically use an ad-blocker code to make sure it is not displayed on any of our machines (||taboola.com). We really should get round to blocking it at router level. At some point, we've made that clear. But Taboola is so utterly stupid that it thinks spamming us with a suggestion we actually carry the very material we don't ever want to see is a good idea. The fun bit is at the very start of their spam, reproduced here, complete with addresses, so spam-harvesters can have a great time with them.

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Recently, I found this old (March 2013) on-line chat with Amazon.com's US call centre lurking on my hard disk. Before deleting it, I read it. It's both very funny and an object lesson in the frustrations of dealing with people who have no power to control the situation their own company has created.

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A hashtag referring to the expression "the law is an ass" has produced some very unpleasant and disturbing consequences.

A cautionary tale...

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California, North Carolina, Ohio and the US federal government have been awarded shares of awards made in criminal proceedings brought in the Illinois District Court against DISH NETWORK LLC for making "millions and millions" of calls to people who have recorded their numbers at the Do Not Call Registry. The total fines amounted to USD280 million. It got off lightly: the possible maximum was up to USD24,000 million say some reports. The judge made specific reference to the use of call centres for telemarketing.

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Six days ago, on LinkedIn, I posted the following.

"Saw a job ad for "Head of Financial Crime" at an "international bank." Seems that even banks need someone to help them break the law efficiently and effectively now :) Perhaps "Financial Crime Risk Officer" might be a better job title."

It has gained many, many times the views of my more valuable posts. And as a result has provided useful data as to the benefit of LinkedIn for spreading information which, of course, is intended to have some positive benefit on business.

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Uncrate is a kind of super-blog that doesn't sell anything online. It's like those glossy magazines that pretend to journalism but are really there to advertise the latest shade of lipstick or a new hair gel. Or, heaven forbid, the latest colour iPhone. But Uncrate is honest: it doesn't pretend to journalism, there is no fake editorial and no click-bait stories promoted via those annoying "around the web" things at the bottom of so many web pages. It's an open, clear and honest business model, mixing blatant advertising with interesting things they've found, even though there is no advertising contract in place. So why are so many...

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Burger bar McDonalds has started its seasonal TV advertising campaign in Malaysia. It's for Chinese New Year which happens at the end of January. Wot? No Christmas?

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