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back to article Euro guidelines will allow Bluetooth spam

The Mobile Marketing Association has published its guidelines for advertising pushed over Bluetooth connections, and considers anyone who hasn't opted out to be fair game for spammers. The guidelines are now available for public review until 26 September, and take a distinct step beyond the UK's Direct Marketing Association (DMA …

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Stop

Bill Hicks said it best...

By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing... kill yourself...

Aaah, no really, there's no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan's little helpers. Okay - kill yourself - seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you're going, "there's going to be a joke coming," there's no fucking joke coming. You are Satan's spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It's the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.

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Flame

Spam them back

I am more and more of the opinion that people who do this sort of thing (especially the hated cold callers) should be treated in the same manner.

Specifically, people who are fed up of being spammed by bluetooth/cold-called/whatever, should get together, organize a "dial the bastards" day and then spend all day dialling people in the company concerned, prefereably the big bosses and the helpdesks. Maybe an 'opt-out' service could be offered which has one term of condition: stop bloody cold-calling us. Breach of that condition would lead to an increase in the number of "dial the bastards" days. With enough people involved it wouldn't cost much on an individual basis.

Wonder what cute word we can come up with to call this? Revenge perhaps.

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Oh No -not more junk

Tried to put my views but committee email rejects. I have yet to meet any marketeer that themselves like double glazing sales phone calls or junk mail but they always talk about a 2% hit rate as if to justify the 98% they upset. I talk about people like me who make it a policy never to buy anything that is advertised by invading my privacy through junk means without my permission. All they'll do is ruin Bluetooth as a useful tool.

Bring on the B ark

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Happy

Sorry am I missing something here?

"Switch bluethooth discovery off"

It cant be that difficult...

(QUickly checks to make sure mine isnt on)

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Bronze badge
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I'm keeping it off anyway

Helps save battery life. There is no point at all in enabling Bluetooth, except while you actually use it. These would-be Bluetooths spammers just gave me another good reason to continue this habit. The whole idea of Bluetooth marketing is D.O.A.

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Stop

permission

>>that they consider any handset left in "discoverable" mode to be implicitly giving permission for pushed adverts <<

so by that token anyone with an open wireless router is implicitly giving permission for you to use their internet connection, and more than that even - you are allowed to send adverts to each of their machines on their network :)

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You may wish to let the MMA know your feelings about BlueSpam

Feel free to do it here:

http://www.mmaglobal.com/modules/article/view.article.php/1170

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Smartphone = Computer

So, pushing crap onto my computer is potentially a violation of the law against Computer Misuse. Extradition to Guantanamo seems like a reasonable penalty for Bluetooth spamming. Actually, extradition to Guantanamo just for having a career in marketing seems reasonable to me.

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Unhappy

Thanks, but no thanks.

"it's hard to imagine that having your phone bleep every time you walk into a cinema or shop is going to endear anyone to the protocol"

This is exactly why my phone is now set to "Hide phone". I got pissed off with my local cinema chucking adverts at me every time I went to watch a film.

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W
Alert

Idiot tax, etc...

"while the technically literate might be happy to manage their own connections it's possible that most users won't understand the difference"

As has been said: ""Switch bluethooth discovery off" It cant be that difficult..." and "Helps save battery life. There is no point at all in enabling Bluetooth, except while you actually use it."

Having said that, it's still a scummy tactic and I echo Bill Hicks' sentiments.

Unfortunately, "29 percent of Internet users that admit to purchasing items from spam email" so spam works - sad but true: http://www.twistimage.com/blog/archives/spam-works-sad-but-true/

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Silver badge

Cinemas

Leave your phone on - and then when folk in the movie complain, point out that it's the cinema flooding you with messages and if they don't want the beeping, complain to the manager and get the public to stop them...

Only a small thing, but it may be a start.

Alas though, the cinema will just ask you to leave, they'll have your money by this time.

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Openly spamming

"it's fair to push messages out to them, then ask them to opt out if they're not interested."

That's Spam. No grey area for argument at all, they are openly and proudly proclaiming themselves to be spammers.

"they'd love to hear your comments"

Yes, I bet they'd love to get your details, But there is never any point talking to spammers.

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Flame

useful = let's fuck it

Oh look, something useful that people use and enjoy, let's fuck it and make it annoying and make it acceptable practice .. like post (junk mail), email (spam), texting (text spam), driving (speed cameras), telephones (junk calls), local numbers 07dialaripofftomakemycompanylotsofmoney), internet (adds/flash adds/ java adds/billion top level domain names) .. need I go on?

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Dead Vulture

In the spirit of...

good journalism, could you please share the link between 'Euro guidelines' and this article?

I assume the MMA is the link, but the lack of clarification here gives this article a fairly Europhobic odour...

Ta,

E-

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Anonymous Coward

Opt In

Any advertisement that comes to a service that a user pays for should be Opt In the DMA has it right here.

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Anonymous Coward

Bluetooth is rubbish

Headsets have no encryption, cos they use a fixed pin 0000. This means that anyone can use your phone simply by sniffing your headset id. They can listen in on the microphone, and inject audio into the headphone. From up to a mile away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c-jzYAH2gw

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Silver badge
Flame

To put it simply...

...they and eff right off.

If my device is in "discoverable" mode it's because I will want to connect something to it. It is not open permission to load my phone (or whatever the bluetooth device may be) with crap. I was at a concert recently (in a Carling Academy) and something kept trying to push messages on to my phone. Damned annoying.

My home address is "discoverable" too. Does that mean they have the right to mail me their crap? Does it hell.

Unless I give a company explicit, opt-in consent, they should not contact unless it's an emergency. That's not how things are, but it's how they should be. I know that would kill the junk/spam companies and that is only a good thing IMHO.

Perhaps then the marketeers would then go and get a real job doing real work and not sending me tonnes of crap that I never read or trying to scam more gullible types.

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Boffin

What's the problem

Bluetooth eats the battery, so I leave it off until I need it!

Oh! I forgot about all the geeks walking around using a Bluetooth earpiece!

So the day's of the Bluetooth earpiece are now limited, as WiFi earpieces replace it!

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@ Everyone

Look at the above - 100% in agreement for once (!!!). Gotta be a first!

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The MMA are bias to advertisers however.

Not mentioning battery life, DPA and who the data goes to, or regulations that cover the TV adds where you get one ringtone and agree that a 4.50 per week goes with it till you cancel, or that opting out like in email scams merely increasing more as you have admitted to be a real email adress so who controls the same thing for this blue tooth, or that you can hack blue tooth regardless as seen on the BBC's TV real hustle program where one person in kings cross used a PDA to hack blue tooth into phone 15 a minute phone lines.

This is what I think the caveat on every building would have to be.

"The building you are now entering is taking part in Bluetooth scams and peddling junk because the advertisiers have saturated everything they can in an effort to have you buy there stuff. If you leave your device turned on and "discoverable" then we can't make any promises your information won't be sold to the highest bidder as it is very easy to be unscrupulous with a list of numbers, just as bank details from ebay and the government can be found on the internet. If you can't understand modern phones and the operating systems that now run them, or if you are of an age where eye sight and touch screens don't mix then we apologise but the building takes no responsibility in explaining to you how to use your device because that is not in the interests of the building's owner, nor is having this notice here telling you that we are selling your data and making a profit out of you entering.

As the systems and software used for tracking and targeting are not the property of the buildings owner, nor is it likely anyone on site has access to or knowledge of the software being run. Your number could and probably will be used for marketing purposes and these will be sold on, as under the DPA you cannot be expected to have given your consent to the scheme by merely walking into the building. Bearing in mind you cannot opt out of the scheme prior to whatever you are there for because the advertising group are also incapable of stopping accurately mobile phone text scams or email scams and have no physical presence on site. Also as precedence now exists by the ICO there will most likely be no judgement against his because the technology is too complicated for the normal person to understand..."

I also like the way they make Europe look like america, as if we want adverts that much, as if we watch TV and think... more adverts please... I am not getting enough bingo, cars, things I can't afford coming through my set top box.

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Anonymous Coward

@BigYin Discovery mode is a disaster

You know you don't need to be in discover mode to connect, it's needed for the intial pairing, once the two devices know each other simply turn it off. It's sucking down your battery transmitting a 'connect to me here I am' message.

If I were you I'd switch it off, it's broadcasting your device ID, the pin is trivial to crack (or defaults to something dumb like 0000), anyone can grab the contents of your phonebook, pictures, video, anything off your phone with nothing more than a laptop and some software. If the option is set they can make calls from your phone the same way a hands set free does.

Spammers are the least of Bluetooths problems.

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Flame

Service listening == it's ok

So, accoriding to the MMA if a technical communications channel is listening for a conncection, it's Fair Game.

That certainly sounds like an invitation to DDOS them into the stone age, destroy their own Bluetooth servers under a barrage of static over PIN 0000 and wardial the directors' home telephone numbers all night, every night for a month.

Get to it, Anonymous, rather than all that faffing around with that nice Mr. Cruise.

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Coat

@ Paul Bristow:Bill Hicks said it best

I agree 100%. Marketeers, go fuck off. Preferably to somewhere where you can't get back from. We don't want your ads. Stick them where the sun don't shine.

Mines the metal lined one. No signal getting through that!

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Black Helicopters

two methods: annoy them and/or beat them

Well, I can think of two ways, how to really screw up their plans:

1) Stats are one of the most important tools for a marketeer, to identify if their marketing was a success or not:

A little BT-device, that changes it's MAC address very quickly and just keeps on receiving their messages (ideally tens-of-thousands of them). For one it will keep their sending device busy and prevent it from sending it to others, and secondly, since the device will just store the messages in /dev/null (for non-linux people: in the bin) it will completely screw up their stats.

2) A different little device that will (after identifying the senders MAC address) just hammer it with a DoS attack, so that it will not be able to send anymore.

DISCLAIMER: Since I am not sure about the legalities of this, I can only advise anyone to seek legal advice before attempting any form of disruption (specially by means of no. 2).

I do want to point out that that I am purely pointing out possibilities but not recommending or suggesting any of these methods .

BTW: non-discoverable mode, does not mean, that one cannot send messages to your phone. since the BT-stack is still active, a probe can easily reveal the MAC address and with a little bit of trial and error a message can easily be sent.

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Anonymous Coward

here we go again

I swear this site is turning into the Daily Mail for Digg users. Nobodies who know nothing about a subject but decide to rant and rave about it anyway.

Discoverable mode means "connect to me" ! Why be surprised when someone does it ?

You complain about advertisers but by leaving your phone in discoverable mode, you are *advertising* your presence to anybody in range with the explicit message "connect to me ! "

Or maybe they should redefine "discoverable" to mean "connect to me only if you've psychically divined that I do in fact want to communicate".

Say what you mean, and mean what you say, FFS !

Then again, you probably put a sign outside your house saying "Garage Sale Today" and act surprised and angry when people knock on the door.

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Marketing is evil?

How delightfully naive.

Ok, so all marketing goes away.

When you go to the store, all you see is rows and rows of identical containers. Everything comes in an identical container. Gray colored, nondescript. The only writing on the boxes is strictly utilitarian things like "Corn Meal Cereal", because to use any other terms would be marketing. But then, more than one company makes "Corn Meal Cereal", so how do you determine what to call the cereal the other company makes? Well, if there's no marketing, you can't call it anything other than "Corn Meal Cereal", and you can't change the box in any way, so really, there's no way for people to differentiate between your cereal and your competitor's. They could try yours and really like it, but next time they go to the store, they won't know if it's your box they're buying next time. So in a world with no marketing, there is no product differentiation. With no differentiation, there is no incentive to make a better product, because you'd never be able to SAY the better product is in fact better, because that would be marketing.

When you go the movies, instead of a title on the marquee, you see a 50 word synopsis of the film's plot, but with no adjectives, because usage of adjectives would be marketing. And there would be no trailers to help you decide if you should even go to the theater.

In the US, theres be no TV, radio, or newspaper at all, because they're supported by ad revenue, and without marketing, there are no ads, and therefore, no TV, radio, or newspaper.

When you log onto the internet, you don't see much, because websites are supported by ad revenue, and again, no marketing, no ads, no website.

The model of car you drive would be "Blue Sedan" and the manufacturer couldn't put their logo on it, because logos and name recognition are marketing. In fact, the manufacturer couldn't even have a name, because name recognition

Charity groups wouldn't survive, because the bulk of their income is from direct mail appeals, which are produced by marketing firms.

Reductio ad absurdum.

While I agree that the sheer volume of marketing out there today is quite excessive, if all marketing were all to go away, fundamental parts of our culture would break down. As much as you're annoyed by mass marketing in some forms, if all marketing were to vanish as is suggested by some people here, we'd live in an awfully boring and depressing world. If that's the world you want you have my full permission to move out into the middle of nowhere and build yourself a utopian hippy commune where all your naive little dreams can come true. When you're ready for reality, come on back.

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Bronze badge

JunkMailers

Clearly not everyone loves the marketing junk mailers. Adverts may sometimes be of some use or interest, unwanted junk is never of value. I tired to read the MMAGLOBAL stuff and reply to their consultation, the mail link is wrongly formed and does not work, posting a reply does not work, hopefully their bluetooth crapmail will be just as successful.

Michael, interestingly I hardly ever go to the cinema, could that be down to the marketing?, I rarely watch TV, though the remote, aka the crap zapper is of some value.

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They do read their mail

I am pleased to advise that the MMAGlobal site say that they have corrected the error in their email response address and that they should now be able to receive mailed in feed back. I should praise them for their near instant response.

Richard

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@alan

Discoverabe Bluetooth cannot possibly mean "connect to me" if, according to the Plod, connecting to the WLAN equivalent (an open and unencrypted SSID) is worthy of criminal charges.

Whilst I expect to see advertising/marketing material in shops, I do not see why I should have to tolerate intrusion into my private life my phone, email, bluetooth, or any other medium. If I want to buy something, I'll go looking for products on my own terms. I assume that any company that resorts to pestering by phone or spam, their products or services must be utter crap.

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Anonymous Coward

Cool

And if they don't opt out of a certain cracker system, one assumes they will allow anyone to crack their IT systems. Sure, I love that logic. And I am sure as the little spammers are sleeping they won't mind someone getting a megaphone and blaring out the fact they don't want their spam outside their house waking up the entire neighbourhood.

Oh and let me try and stop gagging on the response to marketing is evil, like marketing is the only thing capable of making a product look good or writing English.

People have been displaying products ever since there were products to display, oh we are not going to lose that ability if all the marketing people dropped dead tomorrow :)

Except the quality of the marketing techniques would be improved considerably, marketing is a great example of specialization creating a dis-economy of scale.

Oh and it goes on, no TV you say, yes I am sure marketing can affect the physics of transmission, people will still want to be on TV, and hey some may even want to entertain.

Marketing is not required, everyone knows that, apart from the people who just do marketing. Sellers will still sell, and they will use their ideas to sell you don't need to hire anyone else.

In Rome they use to have people who would wash your buttocks after a decent crap, marketing is sort of like that - most people learn how to wipe their own bums eventually.

Oh, and the garage sale sign analogy, blow me another one with bells on; the analogy is closer to you open your door to a friend, and a salesman leaps from the bushes, pushes your friend out of the way and flashes you in YOUR sitting room.

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Black Helicopters

discoverable?

I noticed that lots of people buy stuff using cards and if you queue behind them the numbers are "discoverable"

I'd like to inform you all that unless you opt-out I will take this discoverability as consent to you receiving the bill for my next vacation.

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Stop

Marketing must be stopped!

@Michael

I think you seem to have blurred the lines between "marketing" and other forms of product promotion. Having a logo of your company on the product is not marketing. Having a snappy brand name is not marketing. Having funky packaging is not marketing, nor is describing your products marketing. It's cutting it close, but having bilboard adverts and tv adverts or even internet adverts are not really marketing. If you simply put your product out there and draw attention to it, that's not marketing. Cold calling, spam, and any other technique that puts pressure on people to buy whatever tat your flogging IS marketing, and that's what's evil. Taking a substandard product that people in their right mind wouldn't chose over the competition and then hiring naive graduates who think your cold calling company is a genuine way to make £££'s and getting them to pressure you into buying said substandard product is what people have a problem with and want stopped, not companies promoting their products in a respectable way. Marketing people have no respect for privacy, your free will, or anything beyond trying to get their next bonus, and that's what people want stopped, not *All* product promotion.

I was once one of those naive graduates and spent 3 days working for a marketing company. It was hell, aboout as close to a legitimised pyramid scheme as it was possible to get (only without roping in more people). Every sale the company director took a %, my line manager took a % and I got a tiny tiny %. I also couldn't believe the "psychological tricks" that they taught you to try and change people's minds, that seemed to assume that everyone thought like they did. Interestingly, they've done tests to see if people really do think in the way that they teach you in marketing school. In fact the only peopel who think like that are marketeers themselves and psychopaths.

Never trust ANYONE who gets paid by percentage!

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@Michael (Evil Marketing?)

"In the US, theres be no TV, radio, or newspaper at all"

Well, that part's true anyway, at least worth considering.

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Jobs Halo

iPhones immune

Knew there had to be an upside to the iPhone's seriously deficient Bluetooth, which will only pair with headsets and hands-free car kits. Not that anyone sane would leave BT on unless they were using it, anyway. Oh, and it's only discoverable when you're in the settings menu for turning it on and pairing, apparently. So the marketing scumbags a) can't see my phone and b) if they could it would ignore them.

Cue fanboi accusations etc etc etc. Yawn...

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@Bygjohn

Cue fanboi accusations etc etc etc. Yawn...

You referred to the functionality of your iPhone as "seriously deficient" and expect anyone to call you a fanboi? Dream on! ;)

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@ AC 09:50

>>>I think you seem to have blurred the lines between "marketing" and other forms of product promotion. Having a logo of your company on the product is not marketing. Having a snappy brand name is not marketing. Having funky packaging is not marketing, nor is describing your products marketing. It's cutting it close, but having bilboard adverts and tv adverts or even internet adverts are not really marketing. If you simply put your product out there and draw attention to it, that's not marketing.

How about I draw YOUR attention to the definition of Marketing:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/marketing

-the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

-the commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and distributing a product or service

-The activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service. It includes advertising, selling and delivering products to people. People who work in marketing departments of companies try to get the attention of target audiences by using slogans, packaging design, celebrity endorsements and general media exposure. The four 'Ps' of marketing are product, place, price and promotion.

>>>Cold calling, spam, and any other technique that puts pressure on people to buy whatever tat your flogging IS marketing, and that's what's evil.

All advertising puts some amount of pressure on a person to purchase a product. Otherwise it wouldn't work. And if it didn't work, people wouldn't do it. So regardless of whether the pressure is to keep up with the Jones', or whether it's to not drive a 30 year old car, the pressure is there to some degree with all product promotion.

>>>Taking a substandard product

This is an opinion, so I'll ignore it as a valid argument.

>>>that people in their right mind wouldn't chose over the competition and then hiring naive graduates who think your cold calling company is a genuine way to make £££'s

Again, people wouldn't do it if it wasn't profitable. Assuming the consumer is not misled in an unlawful way, irrespective of your opinion on the subject, this method of making money is in fact "genuine".

>>>and getting them to pressure you into buying said substandard product is what people have a problem with and want stopped, not companies promoting their products in a respectable way.

What people want has no bearing on whether or not a given marketing channel is a valid one, and doing something someone else doesn't like certianly doesn't make a person "evil". Besides, clearly there are enough people that don't mind this methodology, because they buy often enough to make it worthwhile.

>>>Marketing people have no respect for privacy, your free will, or anything beyond trying to get their next bonus,

While you claim my definition of Marketing is too broad, yours is far too narrow. You seem to be taking issue with people who call you out of the blue and try to convince you to buy a product. Marketing is so much bigger than that, I find it almost humorous how much you're generalizing.

>>>and that's what people want stopped, not *All* product promotion.

Here's the quote driving my comment: "By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing... kill yourself..." I'll draw your attention to the term "anyone". Any means all.

Or this one: "Actually, extradition to Guantanamo just for having a career in marketing seems reasonable to me." While I observe the tongue being firmly in cheek on the Gitmo part, the underying opinion is still valid, that marketing people are bad. And frankly, that's just tosh, and anyone who actually knows what marketing is knows that. It's only uninformed wankers, who dislike a particular form of marketing that think marketing is bad.

>>>[personal story]

Sounds to me like you were in cold calling. So again, you don't like one form of marketing and generalize that (by means of your crap definition of marketing) to mean all marketing is bad. Bollocks.

>>>Never trust ANYONE who gets paid by percentage!

I expect you to never purchase a home or car. I expect you to never go to a sit down restaurant. I could go on, but really, your penchant for generalization to the point of hilarity just makes me...well...laugh. Taking one thing you don't like, then using a horrible (not to mention flat out wrong) definition to say that all things in that category are bad, is just poor argumentation. I don't like telemarketers myself, but I'm not naive enough to extrapolate that out into saying all marketing is bad.

If you genuinely think that logos, brand names and flashy descriptions aren't marketing, then clearly, you need to go back to that school you attended. Or maybe...a better one??

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