Eat, Prey, Spend

BPlogoThe movie "Eat, Pray, Love" is the story of a woman who travels the world in search of personal fulfillment, enlightenment and love. Despite the noticeably non-materialistic theme, though, Sony Pictures and Home Shopping Network (HSN) inked a deal to use the movie as a vehicle to hype an amazing amount of female-targeted merchandise. In the run-up to the film's August 13 release, HSN staged a three-day shopping event that showcased over 400 "Eat, Pray, Love" movie-related products including kitchenware, teas, jewelry, clothing, spices, shower gel, bed sheets, furnishings and cookware. Moviegoers are invited buy Eat, Pray, Love "I deserve Something Beautiful" T-shirts for a whopping $39.90 apiece, or an "Eat, Pray, Love" Sony Pocket Edition E-Reader with case for $229.95 (in three easy payments), a gelato maker, Sony laptop computers in movie-themed colors, gourmet candies, flat-panel TVs and much more.

Tobacco's New Target: Women in Developing Countries

As smoking rates decline in the developed world, tobacco companies are searching for new markets, and they are finding them in developing south Asian countries, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia. People in rural areas of Bangladesh see advertisements that are unimaginable in other parts of the world. Ads tell smokers that they are smarter, more energetic and better lovers than non-smokers.


Catholic Church Aggressively Influencing Health Care Reform Legislation

The Roman Catholic Church worked aggressively to get a last-minute amendment added to the newly-passed House health care reform bill that specifically prohibits abortion coverage in insurance plans that receive funding from the federal government.


Just Say "No" to Sex and the Public Option?

Heads are spinning after the discredited Senate Finance Committee blocked the public option from being part of the health care bill proposed by Senator Max Baucus of Montana and then voted for spending $50 million on the (also discredited) abstinence-only education program that President Obama had pressed to eliminate from the federal budget.


Merck Funds Friends, Gets Benefits

After receiving six-figure grants from the pharmaceutical company Merck, three medical associations promoted the company's Gardasil vaccine, "using virtually the same strategy that Merck employed in its marketing campaign." That's according to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which warned that Gardasil's marketing c



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