Talk, the clich� goes, is cheap. This is not so for Iraqi citizens who talk to Western journalists, or who are just suspected of doing so. Western journalists working in Iraq report that Iraqi sources risk being tortured or killed for talking with the Western press. For some journalists, talk was not cheap. During the past 10 years, 341 journalists have been killed while carrying out their work, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists. Not surprisingly, Iraq has been the deadliest country for journalists during the past decade; 38 journalists were killed there and another 18 media support workers lost their lives. Talk isn’t always cheap in cable either. While the majority of people and companies in the cable business work well with the media, a few regard the trade press as the enemy. Representatives of several cable operators regularly make excellent pitches to this and other trade publications. In an absurdity worthy of Camus, the corollary is that in the same breath they say they’re unable to provide interviews with their executives for the resulting story. Marketing is an endeavor where you talk to trumpet your company’s successes. In preparing this CTAM Summit issue, we requested interviews with top marketers, the people whose job it is to blow those trumpets loudly. Right you are, several declined. In one sense, talk has never been cheaper or easier, thanks to the Internet. And as veteran marketer Chris Moseley says in her marketing column in this issue, it’s cable’s fault if it fails to solicit and listen to brand advice from consumers online. Some companies do listen, however. Music channel fuse, for example, regularly incorporates e-mailed programming suggestions into its lineup. Among the myriad shops on Boston’s Newbury Street is John Fluevog Shoes, which encourages avid customers to submit design proposals and others to vote for their favorites online. The result? Several of Fluevog’s top sellers were inspired by customer input. (Incidentally, back to Newbury Street, you can find other shopping suggestions in Stephen Warley’s alternative Boston guide in this issue.) While Summit’s theme is "The New World," basic ingredients of old-world marketing—clear and concise talking and listening—remain vital.

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