Last spring, New Jersey's gubernatorial administration cut funding for the state's radio, TV, newspaper and digital tourism campaign. The campaign is apparently coming back this year, however. The vacation industry garners about $38 billion for New Jersey, making it the second or third largest slice of the economic pie. The state's tourism foci are almost entirely on the East Coast. Atlantic City is the top destination for tourists visiting the state. Cape May County, second place, generated $16 billion, or about 41%, of the state's tourism revenue last year.
Gabapentin, which Pfizer markets as Neurontin, is being used for just about everything these days: it helps you sleep, it mitigates obsessive-compulsive disorder, it helps numb the pain when you rupture a disk, and it's an anti-epileptic. Pfizer has been ordered to pay $142.1 million in damages for violating racketeering laws because of the way it is marketing the drug. A U.S. District Judge in Boston last week upheld a jury's finding in favor of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals around Pfizer's promoting the drug for unapproved uses. The finding, under RICO, agreed with Kaiser allegations …
The Detroit Free Press
The Library of Congress has sifted its archives to find out when the weight-loss obsession began. It found that a century and a half ago people were already looking for a quick solution to girth. What changed was industrialization, since before the second half of the 19th century being plump meant you were prosperous. That all changed with trolleys, cars, and machinery replacing muscle power. La Parle Obesity Soap, whose makers claimed it could wash away fat, sold for a dollar a bar in 1903. Today two-thirds of Americans are overweight.
The Detroit Bureau
Nissan Motor has passed Honda Motor to become the second-largest Japanese automaker. Thanks to the booming China market, where Nissan has had a growth spurt, the company had a 22% increase in volume last year. Nissan sales in China increased by 36% to 1.02 million units, or 25% of its worldwide total.
Los Angeles Times
In December, investors quadrupled the company's worth to $3.7 billion. Now the company has to prove it can ring the cash register. Former Twitter COO Dick Costolo, who became CEO in October, has helped roll out ad programs that have brought in 80 major brands. The company has turned down offers from Google and Facebook and plans to compete with them for ad dollars.
The 2011-12 season may end up history and not in a good way if the NFL and its players don't resolve their dispute. Players and team owners' collective bargaining agreement ends March 3. And there will quite likely be no more games until a new one is inked.
The Detroit Bureau
General Motors won't need that $14.4 billion in low-interest loans from the Department of Energy after all. The company says it has enough cash in its coffers to pay for R&D on battery-powered vehicles and other technologies. The automaker will also expand the production capacity and volume for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in. Original plans were for 10,000 of the vehicles this year to go to a limited number of dealers. The company, however, says it will increase production to at least 25,000 Volts in 2011 and get the vehicles to all dealers before the end of the year.
Facebook's newest product for advertisers lets brands spotlight conversations a user's friends have with a brand. "Sponsored Stories" comprises the same sort of content already on Facebook's news feed, but brands can now make it more visible. The stories can be built around users' interactions with brand applications, likes, location and page posts. "It's about taking the word of mouth recommendations and endorsements that are happening across Facebook every day and increasing the distribution of those," said Jim Squires, a product marketing lead at Facebook.
The Girl Scouts of the USA still officially prohibits members from selling cookies online. The reason: face-to-face business skills still matter. But the not-for-profit organization, which has been selling cookies to raise funds since the 1920's, will allow scouts to use social media to get the word out about cookie sales.
As marketing has become a digital affair, the silos between CMO and CIO functions need to come down. The five big reasons have to do with the explosion in social media and therefore a vast new territory wherein CMO's can use CIO navigation skills for gauging consumer sentiment; the fact that separate silos for information and marketing mean fractured definitions of ROI; and it's hip to be a geek, so CIO's have a reason to talk to the marketing side.