Editorial: Why Fight the Inevitable?

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Why even expend the energy to oppose a national do-not-call list?

It would be better than having 50 individual ones to comply with -- and maybe the Federal Trade Commission's list will stop states from enacting their own. And what exactly does a DNC list stop?

The argument goes something like: "Well, no, Mr. Big Name Co., I don't understand your problem with the legislation. If most of the people you call are happy to hear from you, why worry? They won't add their names to the national list. It will only be for those of us who despise you and everything you stand for, especially since you keep interrupting our dinner! You're better off not wasting your time, right?" (Interpretation adapted from comments posted to an anti-telemarketing message board.)

Obviously, the biggest headache will come when complying with the FTC's list, the Direct Marketing Association's Telephone Preference Service list and those ever-multiplying individual state lists. Now, the DMA wants to create a watchdog committee to reduce unethical telemarketing activities among its members. Not sure why. Anyone doing unethical telemarketing probably isn't a DMA member in the first place.

Makeover by Martha

If Martha Stewart sticks with Kmart, she'll face a mighty big makeover: helping the retailer redefine its market as it comes out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Its competitors have their niches. Target touts a more fashionable line of merchandise and doesn't attempt to challenge Wal-Mart, the king of low prices. The Wall Street Journal placed much of Kmart's downfall on its dependency on weekly advertising circulars. Not only costly to "create, print and distribute, but by requiring stores to stockpile the promoted items every week to meet demand, they wreak havoc on inventory systems," the Journal wrote just before the retailer filed for bankruptcy protection.

However, Kmart's biggest mistake was to stop those circulars and change its theme to "BlueLight Always." This may have cut costs, but it also stopped traffic from customers who relied on the circulars. Martha certainly has her work cut out for her.

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