For What It's Worth

Honestly, lately I'm having trouble making sense of all of the numbers and concepts I come across in the average 24-hour media barrage. Let me share some examples:

  • Gas station advertiser Fuelcast (5,500 screens in 8 U.S. markets) and Bhottan, an operator of digital displays in various retail locations (500 screens across locations at Walgreens, Sears, Kmart, Albertsons and Stop N'Shop) have formed a new out of home network called Outcast and reach 25 million impressions a month. A rival, who shall remain nameless and is not PRN, claims that they generate upwards of 1 billion impressions per month via retail environments across a myriad of grocery and chain drug stores.

  • YouTube claims 5 billion videos were viewed in July with the average duration of 2.9 minutes.

  • Last summer a new law went into effect in Amsterdam prohibiting smoking in bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs to protect people from secondhand tobacco smoke. It is similar to bans that have swept across Europe since Ireland made pubs smoke-free in 2004. However, a contradiction exists. The ban extends to coffee shops in the Netherlands (720 in the country) that are renowned since 1976 for letting people buy and smoke marijuana or hashish without being arrested. Therefore coffee shop customers can still legally buy up to 5 grams of cannabis a day at a coffee shop and smoke it on the premises but cannot smoke a regular cigarette or mix the pot with tobacco, as many Europeans prefer -- without the risk of being cited by Dutch health inspectors.



  • According to government agencies as reported by USA Today, taxpayer liabilities have increased nearly $4 trillion in 2 years to $61.7 trillion which translates in $531,472 per U.S. household. Of course, this pre dates the implementation of a $700 billion rescue plan -- which, in some estimates, brings the per-household debt to $800,000.

  • Major League Baseball has pushed back the planned start of game six of the World Series (should it be required) so Fox can join CBS and NBC in airing a half-hour infomercial for the Barack Obama campaign on Oct. 29, The decision means the Obama campaign will spend close to $3 million to run the spot that night, from 8 to 8:30 p.m.

    Buffalo Springfield's hit 1966 single, "For What It's Worth," which was penned by Stephen Stills, most recently of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (sometimes) fame, expresses the cacophony best:

    There's somethin' happenin' here
    What it is, is exactly clear
    There's a man with a calculator, over there
    Tellin' me I got to beware

    (I think it's time we)
    Stop, people, what's that sound?
    Everybody look - what's goin' down?

    There's battle lines bein' drawn
    Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
    People risking speakin' their minds
    Gettin' so much resistance from behind

    (It's time we)
    Stop, hey, what's that sound?
    Everybody look - what's goin' down?

    What a field day for Wall Street
    Thousands of people from Main Street
    Carryin' signs and complainin' out loud
    Most sayin', what happened and cryin' foul

    (It's time we)
    Stop, hey, what's that sound?
    Everybody look - what's goin' down?

    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into our life it doth creep
    It starts when you're always afraid
    Step out of line, the man comes and takes your house away

    (We better)
    Stop, hey, what's that sound?
    Everybody look - what's goin' down?

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