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June 26, 2007

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/26/07

Brands Matter

Intangible capital doesn�t appear on company balance sheets, but it accounts for one-third to one-half the stock market value of the Fortune 500. One particularly important form of intangible capital is brand equity.

Three Federal Reserve economists estimated that by the late 1990s some $250 billion of all corporate spending was devoted to brand building. That�s about 2.5% of GDP spent trying to win the attention and trust of consumers.

There�s A Message Here!

It used to be when people got into financial trouble they would pay their mortgage and let their credit cards slide. Not any least not for subprime borrowers.

A new study by Experian, the Costa Mesa-based credit bureau and information services company, shows that subprime borrowers are now paying their credit cards first and getting behind on their mortgages. This finding represents a significant departure from conventional behavior.

Having little invested and with prices dropping, their actions imply what they think about the present real estate situation.

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New Electronic Radio Rating System Gaining Favor

Radio industry leader Clear Channel Communications has agreed to use a new electronic rating system in the top 50 U.S. markets. The electronic audience measurement system is aimed at replacing a decades-old system of paper diaries.

Many broadcasters, including CBS Radio (number-two in the national market), have already reached deals to use Arbitron�s Portable People Meter, a pager-like device that detects audio codes embedded in radio broadcasts.

People Meter ratings, while more expensive to produce than the old paper diary method, provide far greater detail about radio listening and don�t have to rely on the memory of listeners.

U.S. Advertising Spending Declines

Advertising spending in the U.S. slipped 0.3% in the first quarter of 2007 to $34.9 billion, compared with the year earlier quarter. Ad-tracking service TNS Media Intelligence notes that last year�s first quarter was boosted by Winter Olympic Games-related spending.

But even factoring out the temporary increase of that event, �the core growth rates have slowed further from last year�s lack-luster levels,� reported TNS CEO Steven Frederiks. Hardest hit were network TV (down 7.2% to $6.1 billion) and national newspapers (down 5.3% to $810 million). At the same time, internet display advertising jumped 16.7% to $2.7 billion.

TNS doesn�t track spending on some major categories of digital advertising, including search and other unconventional marketing areas, such as public relations and event marketing.

Mayors Urge More Marketing Spending As U.S. Tourism Drops Off

Troubled by steep declines in international tourism, mayors nationwide are urging the federal government to spend more money on marketing the United States and to make the entry process friendlier and faster.

Responding to a survey by Travel Business roundtable, mayors from the country�s top travel destinations said tourism�a driving force of the economy�needed to be a top priority.

The number of overseas visitors to the U.S. has dropped 17% overall since its peak in 2000 and 20% in the top 15 cities...costing more than $100 billion in lost visitor spending through 2005, according to the Commerce Department.

Tourism boosters blame lackluster marketing efforts. This year the Commerce Department will spend $3.9 million on marketing to foreign tourists. In comparison, Malaysia will spend $117.9 million. As a result, tourism boosters believe that the U.S. is likely to cede China in the next couple of years its position as the third-most-visited international destination. France and Spain are the top international tourism destinations.

Several factors are to blame, they say: America�s declining image abroad, the difficulty and time it takes to get a visa and the perception that U.S. ports of entry are unfriendly, understaffed, and overzealous about security.

Of the mayors polled, 73% said that entry procedures and treatment by U.S. immigration and customs officials reinforce negative perceptions of the country, according to the survey results released. Officials from the State Department said they agreed with the mayors and travel industry, and have taken extra measures to expedite visa processing.

Currently, visitors from 27 countries, mostly in Europe as well as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, are not required to obtain visas to travel to the U.S. However, visitors from other countries must obtain them.

Community Currencies Keep Profits Local

A walk down Main Street in this New England town of Stockbridge, may well bring to mind the pictures of Norman Rockwell who lived nearby and chronicled small-town American life in the mid-20th Century.

So it seems fitting that the artist�s face adorns the 50 BerkShares note, one of five denominations in a currency adopted by towns in western Massachusetts to support locally owned businesses over national chains.

There are about 844,000 BerkShares in circulation, worth $759,600 at the fixed exchange rate of 1 BerkShare to 90-cents, according to program organizers. The paper scrip is available in denominations of one, five, 10, 20 and 50.

In their 10 months of circulation, they've become a regular feature of the local economy. Businesses that accept BerkShares treat them interchangeably with dollars: a $1 cup of coffee sells for 1 BerkShare, a 10 percent discount for people paying in BerkShares.

Named for the local Berkshire Hills, BerkShares are accepted in about 280 cafes, coffee shops, grocery stores and other businesses in Great Barrington and neighboring towns, including Stockbridge, the town where Rockwell lived for a quarter century.

Great Barrington attracts weekend residents and tourists from the New York area who help to support its wealth of organic farms, yoga studios, cafes, and businesses like Allow Yourself to Be, which offers services ranging from massage to �chakra balancing� and Infinite Quest, which sells �past life regression therapy.�
The BerkShares program is one of about a dozen such efforts in the nation. Local groups in California, Kansas, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin run similar ones. One of the oldest is Ithaca Hours, which went into circulation in 1991 in Ithaca (NY).

U.S. law prevents states from issuing their own currency but allows private groups to print paper scrip, though not coins, according to Lewis Solomon, a professor of law at George Washington University, who studies local currencies.

Universal Law-Of-Reciprocity Key To Trade Exchange Success

Every trade exchange owner in the world should not only be aware of the law-of-reciprocity, but using it, in the operation of their business.

Trade exchange owners are invited to e-mail for more information on how you can become �the exchange of choice� in your area. When e-mailing Bob Meyer, put �Law of Reciprocity� in the subject line.

Hotel General Managers

Here�s The Easiest $100,000 You�ll Ever
Bring To The Bottomline!

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor�s cash agreement for AV services, here�s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of hotel rooms and/or trade dollars.)

Your hotel�s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail: (Please type in AV Services On Trade in the subject line of your e-mail.)

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.


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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today�s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital�which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our �Secondary Capital Section.� Check it out...

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