Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Wind of Change is Blowing. Well, Something Blows.

" 'Ello, 'ello, 'ello? Admiral's right: 'eavy weather brewin' at Number 17, and no mistake!"
-Burt (Mary Poppins)

As you read this post, the FDA is actively taking testimony from leading Web companies and pharmaceutical interests about what they'd like to see in "a brave new world of digital drug ads."

According to a Los Angeles Times story, "we're going to need an entirely new FDA division dedicated solely to surfing the Web and policing all that digital content -- and that won't be cheap." The story goes on to say: "It will be up to federal officials to strike the right balance between digital commerce and keeping people safe."

Speaking only for myself, these ideas - leaving it up to the Feds and creating a new FDA division - do not get me excited, unless by excited you mean scare me half to death. And it frustrates me to think, are we really so uncontrollable as an industry? Are we so driven by greed that we will take the chance of letting the government step in?

The answer of course is yes. Greed continues to fuel our nation's economy. Just check the latest numbers on the bonuses Goldman Sachs is awarding to its employees; they have already set aside $16 billion for staff bonuses and expect to add another $7 billion before the end of the year. Meanwhile, they expect us to be overjoyed by the $500 million initiative to help small businesses directly and through universities. Here's an idea, keep the $500 million for bonuses and invest the $23 billion in small businesses.

Yeah, right.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, CNN is reporting that "three marketing firms and hundreds of their online partners made more than $1.4 billion using misleading sales tactics, according to a report issued Tuesday by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D., W.Va.)." According to the report: "The three [online marketing] firms previously have settled lawsuits brought by consumers or by states on behalf of consumers, and recently made changes to their marketing practices. Lawmakers suggested that may not be enough and that legislation may be needed."

Awesome. More government intervention. More laws and regulations. Apparently the World Wide Web, much like the Wild, Wild West will require Federal troops to get tamed. Wouldn't it be nice if we could clean up our own mess and self-regulate instead of pushing the limits and forcing the government to step in? LOL, I'm so funny.

"I'd like to make one thing quite clear: I never explain anything."
-Mary Poppins

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