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Everyone makes mistakes—it's how you handle them that matters.

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posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 03:03 PM
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Everyone makes mistakes—it's how you handle them that matters.


www.the-scientist.com

...Bob Grant recently wrote a news story about a curious publication, The Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine. It sounds like a respectable journal, but it isn't. ...

The problem was this: The publication was invented to support Merck drugs and the AJBJM was entirely paid for by Merck, yet nowhere was the relationship disclosed. It was a stealth marketing campaign to Australian doctors under the guise of a regular journal.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.newscientist.com
www.nytimes.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
When Myth Trumps Science
Merck Makes Phony Peer-Review Journal




posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 03:03 PM
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Elsevier is a legitimate and until now, highly respected science publishing house. Merck teamed up with Elsevier to use the publisher's good name in science and medicine to conduct a stealth marketing campaign to doctors and sell drugs.

The scam was outed at the end of April, 2009. Merck ducked, and tried to avoid responsibility. [tsk.] Elsevier took the hit, accepted responsibility and is trying to make nice with everyone.


Not good enough, says Richard Gallagher at The Scientist. There were six other faux journals. Who sponsored them? "Who besides Merck colluded in "unacceptable practice"?" And where's the financial information? How much does it cost to buy a leading science publisher's integrity?



Sometimes, it takes a public outcry to make things right. Many scientists and science publishers want to act with integrity, but they're fighting a fast current. A lifebuoy might help.


www.the-scientist.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 3-6-2009 by soficrow]

[edit on 3/6/2009 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 04:34 PM
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this is very interesting. i have some textbooks by elsevier and would never have though that they were anything but straight science. As deplorable as this is, it's not really unusual outside the science field. I've been involved in the book publishing industry for years and one of the best ways to promote books is to start a magazine. With the right staff and vision, the magazine content is worthwhile and it's hardly noticeable that they heavily promote the books they publish, though often under a different imprint so it isn't noticeable. They also sell other products that way. Currently you have paper arts and scrapbooking magazines and newletters that provide excellent content on how to use the products, many of which they sell. Sewing and quilting is huge in this area. Yarn companies are doing pretty little magazine with patterns and pictures of the results, and you buy them at the newsstand or your yarn store.

Publishing is an incredibly tough industry. You see those prices on the cover of a book and think the publisher is getting rich but after discounting for the distributor and the price of paper and printing, royalties for the author and paying the in-house staff who edits and produces the book, then markets that book, then process the returns when books come back shopworn from the distributor or retailer and must be discarded. profit is microscopic. most publishers count on a few big sellers to carry the day, but chances are a science publisher like elsevier doesn't have many big bestsellers. Sad as it sounds, they are probably just trying to stay in business and pay their bills (and staff).

BTW, you know when you read in magazines or newsletters those lists of top books? I'm not talking about NYT bestsellers because i don't know how that works, but you will see a list of ten best books on home canning or something. More often than not, those are simply books for which the publisher was willing to pay a special fee to have it placed there. These books were not selected from others because of being better or judged by anyone. they are usuually just what the publisher is marketing at this moment and happen to be on the right subject or theme. it's a very tough business.

To go a different direction, isn't this technique of drug companies allying themselves with a "straight man" to promote products common? from pens and scratch pads given to doctors to free dinners that feature a highly respected expert talking about the product, they do all sorts of stuff to get their products sold.

I'm not defending this stuff but i do feel a lot of sympathy for elsevier.



posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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I wonder if making "Impersonating an independent body or publication," a crime would work.

Pharma industries do the same with support groups, setting them up and paying people to run them and push their drugs.

It's a disgusting but effective way of pulling the wool over people's eyes and directing them away from competing, (often natural,) treatments.



posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by Kailassa
 


How would you define independent, so as the criminalize the opposite of it? does that mean a magazine or newspaper couldn't accept advertising? No paid "product placements"? no more schwag at trade shows?



posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by earlywatcher
How would you define independent, so as the criminalize the opposite of it? does that mean a magazine or newspaper couldn't accept advertising? No paid "product placements"? no more schwag at trade shows?

I agree there's unlikely to be a simple answer to that.

I'd say when a company owns, either directly or indirectly, a controlling interest in a publication which pushes its own products, it should have to clearly indicate that fact on the first page of the publication.

How does that sound to you?


Paid advertising already reduces the independence of whoever runs the media carrying it, enabling the advertiser to pressure the media into running or not running certain articles. But that particular evil would be impossible to eliminate, as advertising pays the bulk of the publication costs.



posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by Kailassa

Originally posted by earlywatcher

I'd say when a company owns, either directly or indirectly, a controlling interest in a publication which pushes its own products, it should have to clearly indicate that fact on the first page of the publication.

How does that sound to you?



I would LOVE this solution! It would simplify so many things. If we could only know who is backing this or that we can know how to take things. I don't think it would be a bad thing at all, just useful information.

so how do we make this happen?



posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 10:23 PM
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Great stuff earlywatcher and kailassa. Thank you.


I vote for full disclosure of any and all conflicts of interest.

I do know that publishers are in big trouble, as earlywatcher points out. BUT. I also think 'science' publishing is a kind of sacred trust - and needs harder rules and serious oversight...



posted on Jun, 3 2009 @ 10:49 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


I think if we really could know who is supporting specific things, it would be huge. remember back years ago when those studies were done to show how evil sugar was? and they were sponsored by competing markets? can't remember if it sas saccharine or cyclamate or aspartame, but it was deceptive. if we could just get this equivalent of ingredients labels on books and magazines, we'd all be better able to process them.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by earlywatcher

so how do we make this happen?

Hmm ...
It helps to have help, and a few committed people are more useful than a heap of hangers on. So talk to people, see if you can find some who care enough.

Work out what you want and why you want it. - In detail.

Print it out attractively, with pictures, on good paper.

Write out a petition and collect signatures.

I'm in Australia, and could easily enough see most politicians personally. Is that possible in America? Or would you have to contact them by mail or email?

Take it in turns to contact some politicians each week, sending them new material each time. See what you can do to get their support.

You might be able to get the support of reputable magazine publishers if they see this as a way to decrease "unfair" competition.

If you get to talk to anyone with power, stay relaxed, calm, confident and gentle, and don't make out this is too big a deal. Always hold in your mind the beliefs, even if they're not true, that the people you are dealing with want to help you and make you happy, and that what you want is to benefit them. And by showing them how they can help you, you will be doing them a favour.


By the way, I'm not an authority on this stuff. Someone else might have much better suggestions.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by earlywatcher
 


You said :
With the right staff and vision ...

'Science' ...

What a joke !!




posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 12:59 AM
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Don't Christian foundations or extremely right-wing Christian groups own most of the publishing companies that make most of American K-12 text books? I really don't think this is as uncommon as a lot of you think it is.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 02:21 AM
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reply to post by visible_villain
 


I think we'd like to think science is pure but i'm afraid that the people who give out the grants that pay for research might have an agenda. When it comes to books, I can see it would be useful to have an indication of a commercial outfit provided money for publication or marketing, but what about the research or subject matter itself? of if the author receives funds from certain foundations? should there be an indication of all these things? it's tricky.

I don't think science is a laugh but there are probably more compromises involved than most of us realize. we are so used to them, we might not even recognize them as compromises or contaminants.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 02:27 AM
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reply to post by CuriousSkeptic
 


I doubt if this is true. The textbook market is huge and very specialized. I'm sure there are huge christian publishers who specialize in it, but also secular presses who specialize in books intended for public schools. for the most part, books that will be used in the classroom will not be sold at retail. there is a lot of money in this part of the industry, probably plenty to go around.

however in the mainstream retail market, there is a huge christian segment. The most popular wholesaler to retailers is Ingram, and they have two segments: one secular and one christian. Many many books are published to both markets.

I can't remember right off hand if the main library wholesaler does the same thing. Libraries are a huge market, by and large the main market for hardcover books.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 06:31 AM
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this is just yet the trillionth reason to avoid the pharma corporations at EVERY cost!

only take chemical compounds that have been tested extensively for many decades!!!(Otherwise your conducting a very dangerous chemical experiment that in some cases can prove fatal)


they are willing to sell anything for $, even if it is poison

and they are willing to lie to our own doctors by posing commercials as hard science and fooling them into thinking the poison is good for us...

Merck


and gullible doctors



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 07:57 AM
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reply to post by earlywatcher
 


You said :
I think we'd like to think science is pure but i'm afraid that the people who give out the grants that pay for research might have an agenda.

might have ?



When it comes to books, I can see it would be useful to have an indication of a commercial outfit provided money for publication or marketing, but what about the research or subject matter itself? of if the author receives funds from certain foundations? should there be an indication of all these things?

Any 'medium' which 'steers' 'public perception' is involved in the same 'control grid.'

It's not what 'we the people' would prefer - it's simply the way it is ...


it's tricky.

The only 'tricky' factor is for each of us to deal with our own refusal to face the facts ...


I don't think science is a laugh

You just have not lived long enough yet, my friend ...




posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 08:40 AM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
this is just yet the trillionth reason to avoid the pharma corporations at EVERY cost!

Would you go as far as avoiding immunisations
on the basis of this attitude?



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 08:57 AM
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Stealth Marketing...

Great Story, soficrow...
, as I am sure that this is pretty much the 'wave of the future'...as more corporations become more established within the current available avenues so to speak the only way to gain an edge will be to surriptitiously market their product and industry within the personal lives (and entertainment) of the prolatariat...

Marketing a Disease For A Drug

What if a drug company paid for the marketing to convince you that basic symptoms were actually a psychological disorder and required medication?

Edit for grammar.

[edit on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 09:03:03 -0500 by MemoryShock]



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by MemoryShock
 


It's a doubled edged sword. people constantly go to doctors for treatment of symptoms they find unpleasant. sometimes they come from underlying conditions that can be treated medically with a drug but often they are just annoying things that most of us toleratel, but drug companies are happy to develop remedies for them. I think this is also a side effect of the way our insurance works. people don't pay for these doctor appts and their insurance covers the cost of drugs developed to "treat" these annoying but not medical conditions.

Personally I have benefited greatly from certain medications. I contracted TB while in college and it was treated. I have benefited from vaccines, from antibiotics, from treatments for asthma. There are lots of great drugs out there along with the ones i tend to consider unnecessary, but they appear to be necessary to people who take them.

I don't know how we can ever separate marketing that creates a need from letting people know of a solution to an existing problem. This confusion is everywhere. Just yesterday I was reading about how Al Gore owns a company that will make huge money from green legislation.


An environmental start-up backed by Al Gore's venture capital firm aims to take advantage of coming U.S. climate change legislation by helping companies like Coca Cola and even cities cut pollution. Hara, a 25-employee company that debuted in 2008, provides online software to help companies reduce their carbon footprint -- a $2.5 billion market that will grow 10-fold if the proposed energy bill, which will require companies to get permits for emissions, becomes law, Chief Executive Amit Chatterjee said.


reuters

the article has much more info, of course. Al Gore has been hugely influential in pushing cap and trade to stop global warming. one could say he defined the need for this legislation, and low and behold, he will earn big money. So should al gore's agenda be included in stealth marketing? I would love to start a thread on this, but so far I haven't had much luck generating interest with my threads, so will fit it in here.
more likely to be read in one of soficrows threads!

I think it is a huge problem that everything we do has to hinge on money. money to finance activities. money to finance our lives. it's not that drug companies prevent support groups for natural remedies, but they aren't going to finance them either. they will finance what brings money back to them. any volunteers can do support groups for natural remedies but they are often too busy trying to earn thelr own living.

everything in our lives, from the content of hollywood movies to the books that are published has become enmeshed with marketing. a handful of conglomerates own all major media in the world. i assure you they promote their own products, which includes music, movies, books, magazines, internet, newspapers, here's an old chart that expresses this. can't find any really good new ones.

mediamoguls

do you think any subject gets by them, that they don't want made public? I don't think so.

I don't think stealth marketing is regulatable.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by MemoryShock
Stealth Marketing...

What if a drug company paid for the marketing to convince you that basic symptoms were actually a psychological disorder and required medication?



Thanks MShock.

Good question.


Chronic physical disease is rampant throughout the world - and infectious - but they've managed to convince most everyone that the symptoms are:

a. Just psychological;
b. Lifestyle related; and most importantly,
c. A matter of Personal Responsibility in Health.


So - nobody can sue the corporations responsible for infecting them, the health insurance companies are off the hook - AND - Big Pharma gets to make a killing on mood medications too.

Super-good strategy, yes?



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