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hiring the right collections agency for your company

The other day, I got a call from the Justice Department. I had a moment of sheer panic before I remembered, I contacted them first. For over a year, I’ve been getting harassed by a collections agency. A dim-witted collections agency that thinks that I am someone else. Yup, they had the wro-o-o-ong number. A fact that I had repeatedly explained to the half-wit who called me the most frequently: “Dude. The only Nellie Oleson I’ve ever heard of was on the Little House on the Prairie.”

Clearly, there was some kind of mix-up. Someone was playing a joke on the debt collections agency. But no matter how many times I explained myself over the phone, they refused to believe me. Highlights from the phone calls I received include the collections agency (later revealed to be Northland Group) calling me a liar, calling me very late at night and oh yes, refusing to identify the name of their company. For a year, I was unable to report them because they had a blocked number. But they started calling…
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naked cowboy lawsuit makes headlines

Robert Burck, aka The Naked Cowboy, has won the right to sue M&Ms for copyright infringement. The Mars candy company has been running a series of ads depicting the candies dressed up as favorite New York icons, including the Statue of Liberty and King Kong. One of the ads features the blue M&M dressed like the Naked Cowboy, in underwear, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and playing guitar.

Burck, a native of Cincinnati, has trademarked his name and his look, meaning it's only available to use with his permission. The Naked Cowboy named Mars and Chute Gerdeman, the agency behind the M&Ms commercial, in his copyright infringement lawsuit. The lawsuit has been variously reported at being between $4 and $6 million.

The news story brings to mind Tom Waits, who changed copyright and trademark infringement lawsuits forever when he sued the company that makes Doritos. After the raspy-voiced singer refused to do a commercial for the chips (after refusing to do any commercials, ever)…

Why Coke is Losing the Cola Wars on the Oregon Coast

Stopping by the store to pick up a Diet Coke on the central Oregon Coast, I found one entire fridge door full of Pepsi and Pepsi products. I kept walking down the aisle, looking, looking, looking, only to find that 2 slots out of one row were devoted to Coke and Diet Coke- and the label was turned around on the Diet Coke when you peeped through the door.
It's the same with any store on the central Oregon Coast- and with most restaurants, who typically only serve Pepsi products. I always thought the reason why you couldn’t get a Diet Coke on the coast had to do with the close proximity of a Pepsi plant. Not at all, according to one local business owner.

“Coke doesn’t do anything for us, that’s why,” the store owner explained. “The Pepsi people come in and do the displays, provide merchandising, do everything. Coke doesn’t do any of it. There’s a Coke plant in Florence,” she explained. “It’s not like they have to come over the mountain.”
There you have it. A simple reason for why Cok…

new domain name lookup tool

The folks at Chinook Oregon Web Development designed their own darn domain name lookup tool.

I love the look of it… It’s really clean. Also it reminds me, I promised myself I’d work on my search engine over the summer. Stop by their website, give it a whirl, and let them know if you find any kinks.

Hopefully, Chinook will provide a widget for the domain name lookup tool soon. If and when, I'll post it here.

2008 Annual Communication Arts Competitions

The 2008 Annual Communication Arts Competition deadlines are rapidly approaching. Links and deadlines for the annual illustration, photography, design and advertising competitions:

Illustration Annual - Deadline: March 11, 2008 Hundreds of beautiful illustrations used for editorial, institutional and advertising are selected for their creative excellence by a jury of designers and art directors. We include a complete index and addresses of the selected illustrators.

Photography Annual - Deadline: March 11, 2008 Over 200 photographs from famous photographers and rising stars. Only 3% of the work entered is selected for this annual. The work is reproduced utilizing speci al techniques and the highest-quality printing available. A complete index is included with the addresses of the selected photographers.

Design Annual - Deadline: June 2, 2008 Juried by nine top designers and attracting entries from the USA, Canada, England and 40 other countries, the Design Annual features the best poster…