Marketing: Search for a Perfect Pitch

No matter what everyone else may think, we say the world's oldest profession is marketing. How else can you describe a pursuit that makes an appearance in the Book of Genesis? What we mean here is the part in which the serpent sells Eve on that apple. Even granting that she was an early example of insufficient sales resistance, that was a masterpiece of promotion.

Yet despite the comfort that comes from knowing that marketing has a long pedigree, it remains something we have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it's an essential engine of capitalism--one means by which demand...

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