Gotta Order 6,000 Twinkies, Charlie!

If you’re buying oats, you’ll probably want them new and clean. Sure they’ll be cheaper once they’ve been run through a horse, but yuck, right?

Put another way: You get what you pay for.

Longtime readers may recall my marketing agency being named San Diego County’s greatest grocery store.

This 2009 honor by the US Commerce Association Review Committee offered us an award, plaque, and press release suitable for local media outlets for just $200.

We popped some champagne and returned to work.

The REAL fun started when we learned the committee rented out their mailing list to credit card processors, magazines, uniform companies, and website developers. For two years we were hounded for business, unable to remove ourselves from countless prospecting lists.

Eventually the disruptions dissipated…until this week, when I learned we’ve been selected for the 2019 San Diego Awards in the category of Grocery Stores.


This “honor” is delivered by the San Diego Award Program. For only $229.98 we’ll receive a Hand-Polished Optical Crystal award, aluminum wall plaque, and a pre-formatted press release.

All this for bragging rights for a business I’m not in. And isn’t it peculiar that a Google search for San Diego Award Program only reveals press releases from previous “winners.”

My website screams words like marketing, communication, and branding. So, while amusing on one level, these inquiries are ultimately a nuisance wasting everyone’s time. My contact information, scraped from a directory, incorrectly categorized and never confirmed, continues haunting me.

Meaning if you’re renting a mailing list and just considering the price, your list may have already been run through a horse. Buying a list without verifying sources and content is, at best, foolish and, at worst, a waste of money.

Paying a bit more to rent from established mailing list firms, trade associations or magazines is always the wiser move.

Of course not all small lists are stinkers. If you know someone personally, it may make sense to rent their house list.

But taking the bait from a stray email offering “Every American kidney donor on a single mailing list” at a ridiculously cheap price is just asking to market to “Kid Knee Playground Safety Co.”

I’m betting they won’t buy anything from you.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

My grocery career revolves around returning cans to Albertson’s. Learn more at

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