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Rich Tehrani
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Google: Is Promoting the use of Potentially Unsafe Drugs Evil?

August 30, 2011

You may be aware Google agreed to pay $500M to the federal government because the company allowed its AdWords system to illegally promote Canadian pharmacies which shipped drugs to the US. In a non-prosecution agreement, Google admitted as much and moreover that it was aware this was an illegal practice since 2003.

  • The agreement further explains the dangers this poses to consumers.
  • The FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of these drugs
  • Moreover they cannot determine if the drugs had been:
    • Manufactured properly
    • Stored properly
    • Labeled properly
    • Distributed under the proper conditions
    • Or dispensed with a valid prescription

In addition, although Canada has a regulatory authority when it comes to prescription medication, it doesn’t apply in the case where drugs are shipped out of the country and as a result the drugs could have been sourced from countries other than Canada which did not have adequate pharmacy regulations according to the agreement.

Google and the government further agreed that the amount of revenue generated from these Canadian pharmacies during the period of 2003 to the present was about $500 million – the amount of the settlement.

ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

20 Millions Reasons WiMAX is Here to Stay

August 22, 2011

Wait a minute. The common wisdom in the wireless world is that WiMAX lost the war to LTE. But with the news that the standard has passed 20 million subscribers, is it time to rethink that premise? The answer is that in many cases incumbent providers have opted for LTE as their 4G standard of choice and as a result, WiMAX is going to remain somewhat nichy.

Google Pays Half Million Per Patent for Motorola Mobility

August 16, 2011

Google just purchased patents as part the acquisition of Motorola Mobility – 24,500 of them to be exact. At a $12.5B valuation that puts the value per patent at $510,204 apiece. But the search giant also gets 19,000 employees on top of the 29,000 it already has.

The question is does Google want these employees or to manage a business which is so different from software and advertising that it makes your head spin.

Local: Where Apple Must Disintermediate Google

August 12, 2011

Disintermediation and disruption is fascinating – it is amazing to watch how a company can destroy an entire industry overnight. Case in point is my local florist who is now gone – the last time I saw her she said someone who understood the Internet should buy her store. I immediately thought of how futile an idea this wouldbe – Proflowers had bypassed the local florist to go directly to customers. I thought even if you could buy the store and not pay the expensive rent associated with the high-end strip mall the florist occupied there would be no way for the flower shop to last.

NYTIMES: This is the Innovation I Was Hoping for

August 8, 2011

You may remember when I trashed newspapers for not innovating and then looking for taxpayer handouts? Well I did – and many weren’t happy with the fact that I pointed out Obamanomics were in part responsible for the problems the newspapers were facing and moreover, I showed how the newspapers themselves were in-part responsible for the election of President Obama.

Interestingly, the New York Times with its massive circulation and influence has been perhaps the most influential cheerleader for our president and rather than rely on subsidies the company is innovating and has a new site called Beta620 – a play on their street address, which will showcase the company’s latest innovations.

Bravo New York Times, Bravo.

CMO Summit at ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin

August 4, 2011

Marketing departments have never had to deal with the level of technology and complexity that exists today. SEO, social, deal sites, print, TV, radio, online ads, online communities, resource centers, lead generation, CRM management, analytics and so on. Just this week in fact I wrote about the frenzy in deal sites - just one area where marketers need to be following.

To help CMOs do their jobs better we (at TMC, where I am CEO) are holding the first-ever CMO Summit at ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin - Specifically September 13th, 2011 at 7:30 pm.

Attendance is invitation-only and is limited to CMOs and other c-level executives, company presidents and VPs. To request a space reservation and learn more, please click here.

Here are some more useful details as well:

Through networking discussions, and presentations from industry leaders Derrick Daye (The Blake Project) and Shawna Vercher (Technology Advisor to Governor Jeb Bush and Online Campaign Lead for the Obama Presidential Campaign), you will gather the latest cutting-edge practices to start adopting into your own marketing strategies for 2012 and beyond, including:

  • How to maintain your branding identity while marketing across multiple online channels;
  • Ways to strike the right balance between your lead generation, branding and thought-leadership efforts to maximize the impact of each (without compromising any);
  • Best practices for competing in the dynamic “SEO game” and techniques for ranking your web properties organically;
  • The latest ways companies are incorporating social media into their marketing efforts.
I hope to see you there.






Marketing Goes Almost Painfully Local

August 2, 2011

Pay attention, you might just overhear something

One of the most memorable business stories I hav e heard was when a consultant friend of mine flew to a large customer to quote on a substantial project. He was traveling with his business partner and happened upon a shuttle bus to the rental car company with his competitor and a partner. None of these consultants had ever met but my friend and his partner had the luck to keep quiet as he overheard the other two people on the shuttle bus finalizing their pitch and setting the price for the project.

Anthropomorphized Ads Go Mainstream.

July 29, 2011

Anthropomorphism or assigning human characteristics to nonhuman objects is alive and well in the world of advertising. Perhaps the best example of advertisements which embody this technique are of the “Mac Vs. PC” variety where the Mac character is young and hip and the PC is cross between Bill Gates and Seinfeld's George Costanza.

Back in 2007, voicemail transcription service PhoneTag, formerly SimulScribe put out an anthropomorphized video as well which is a take-off on Apple’s ads.

 

Living in a Post-OS World

July 28, 2011



Two of the major drawbacks to a perfect cloud-based existence where the browser serves all your needs are speed of remote apps/services and UI flexibility. It just so happens, two news items have coalesced recently to help usher in the post-OS world. You see, while the tech pundits debate the idea of a post-PC world, companies like Google are going a step further and hoping to get rid of the operating system on the tablet, PC, smartphone and just about any other computing device you use.

HTML5 is one of the primary drivers of the flexible new UI allowing truly customizable media to be shown to users.



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