Tackling a Reader Comment: The Chinese Government and the Curious Case of Some Missing Data
This week, I attempt to address one of our reader’s security concerns. Below is the comment I received recently that I think needs some addressing (or address correction as the case may be). John Johnson (email@example.com) wrote:
Jim, I have a question not related to any of your current posts that I think is worth some discussion. Abacus was bought by Epsilon, who in turn is owned by Alliance Data Solutions. Alliance Data Solutions was recently bought by a private equity firm, The Blackstone Group. The Chinese government then bought a $3 billion position in The Blackstone Group. My question is: Who has my data?”
John, you bring up a good point. In fact, that makes me wonder who owns all of Abacus’ buyer files. So, I did a some research and once I got past a great deal of stonewalling, applied for top secret “eyes only” security clearance, begged my editors to have MI6 upgrade me to double 00 status, and found my magic decoder ring from 1967.
I clandestinely found out the following: After exhaustive research, the Chinese government has decided that its best avenue for taking over our government is to own the American catalog mail order buyer. Based on documents I uncovered, I found that it has an ultra covert operation in progress called “Operation Spiegel,” whereby right now it’s using spam e-mails and bogus catalogs to drive traffic to fake Web sites that have been cloned to look like our own top 100 multichannel marketing business’ e-mails.
This nefarious phishing operation makes us believe that we’re making purchases from our beloved Sundances, Sharper Images, etc., when we are, in fact, helping the Chinese government line its pockets while it plans the overthrow of our government.
What? A ‘C-USPS?’
I also found out much more than I ever wanted to about everything Chinese while I was searching for answers to John’s question. For instance, one memo I uncovered buried within thousands of documents clearly alludes to the fact that the Chinese government secretly purchased the U.S. Postal Service right before the last rate case. This explains a few things doesn’t it? Consider these other findings:
* the album Chinese Democracy by Gun’s N’ Roses was actually never recorded and the L.A. band is just using it as a rumor mill to generate exposure for its lead singer Axel Rose every few years;
* that even if you specifically order Chinese food without MSG, there are other flavor enhancers they use that contain MSG;
* that The China Syndrome was the last great movie starring Jane Fonda;
* that much of the overpriced china we buy for our fancy dinner engagements is actually made in China (think about it, O.K.?);
* and finally, Jack Bauer from Fox’s “24” was never held prisoner by the Chinese government; it was actually cleverly disguised as Tibetan freedom fighters. The one thing I learned that helped me understand John’s question fully actually came from the teachings of Confucius: ”Confucius say that, “If Abacus was created in China, then China own Abacus.” Of course, I could tell you more, but I’d have to kill you.
Make your voice heard by posting a comment below.
Speak to you next week.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing, a full service catalog and direct marketing agency. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-302-1719.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.