Many conspiracy theorists speculate on the origins and possible uses of UPC symbols and the likes of loyalty clubs at retail outlets... not to mention
what shady agencies may be collecting all that data.
The purpose is simple: information for targeted communications
. Now the "who" behind all that effort is revealed as well: Catalina
(ticker symbol / website ~ POS
Though Catalina Marketing is not a company that would normally even make the radar of a WallStreet analyst, much less a good conspiracy theory, it is
in fact the global leader in providing behavior-based communications on a mass scale, targeted to individuals as individuals.
The company was
founded on the premise that the combination of access to consumers and insight into their actual purchase behavior
would enable more effective,
cost-efficient promotions than traditional marketing approaches.
Catalina Marketing accesses consumers’ actual purchasing behavior at the Point-of-Sale
to understand their preferences and more effectively
communicate with them in key areas:
1) in-store- through incentives, loyalty programs, sampling and advertising,
2) at home- using direct mail, personalized to household preferences and
3) online- through interactive web sites with customizable features.
The breadth and depth of Catalina in it's reach to consumers is unpredented crossing industries and even competitor outlets. In the retail industry,
Catalina Marketing retrieves about 250 million transactions per week, across more than 21,000 grocery stores. On behalf of its grocery retail clients,
the company manages one of the six largest databases in the world, containing the purchase histories of over 100 million household IDs. And Catalina
Marketing International reaches more than 45 million shoppers weekly in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Japan. In the pharmaceutical industry
the company prints over one billion condition-specific informational newsletters in over 17,500 pharmacies each year. For manufacturers, this means
unparalleled access to consumers and unique insights about their preferences and buying behavior.
Both Catalina's triangle logo (with echoed dolphins at it's center) and business model of Consumers, Retailers and Manufacturers
familiar to members of ATS. The Illuminati Pyramid is commonly said to have at it's base the very people that both support it and are victimized by
it. In this capitalist version of the triangle, the framework is information and communications supported by the arms of Retailers and Manufacturers,
all based on the backs of consumers. One could easily slip examples into each arm of this business model, such as Wal-Mart or Kroger serving as retail
distribution outlets and the largest of Catalina clients that subscribe to the 'service' (like Phillip Morris) on the manufacturing arm. Of course
you and I, the consumers
both supply the information about ourselves willingly and consume the returned communications, largely in the form of
But let there be no mistake in the efforts of this self serving cycle. It is not merely tracking and collecting information on behavior; the goal is
. And it's very successful for the elite manufacturers that puchase category monopolies (like tobacco or cheese), extremely
profitable for the the participating retail outlets that both collect the information and distribute the coupons and, for all his involvement, the
lowly consumer is only rewarded some meager cents-off for changing to suit the wishes of the most succesful of the capitalist system lords.
So now you know how the 'players' interact and conspire to get their will into the targeted hands of each and every one of us... and how we
willingly, even eagerly, go along. The fact is for all our bashing of MicroSoft or Wal-Mart, we love monopolies. We can't get enough of them. In
reality, we almost can't not support them... by DESIGN.
So if you ever wondered what they do with all that information, the answer is they use it against you... specifically. And if you ever wondered where
all that data goes, the answer is hiding in plain sight in St. Petersburg, Forida.
[edit on 9-8-2004 by RANT]