In what Rebecca Boyle at POPSCI calls "a 21st-century version of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket," Nestle has put a GPS-tracker in select Kit-Kat candy bars in the U.K. as part of their "We Will Find You" (gulp) promotion. When the wrappers of those candy bars are opened, the GPS device will turn on, notifying Nestle. The company will then send out a “prize team” to locate the customer and give her a check for £10,000 (about $16,000 U.S.). POPSCI notes that while Nestle may be the first company to do this with candy, they’re not the first company to use GPS to track down their customers: "Unilever added a GPS device to a box of laundry soap it sells in Brazil, and stalked 50 shoppers to their front doors to give them prizes." Time will tell if the campaign has Kit-Kat consumers singing "Give Me a Break."
A new study from Carnegie Mellon estimates that publishers stand to make more than $400 million from converting out-of-print books to e-books. (The study predicts theoretical sales of $740 million in the first year — with about $460 million accruing to publishers and authors.) But, here’s the rub: it may be difficult to digitize many of the 2.7 million potential e-books out there due to murky legal status. “In some cases ownership has reverted to authors; in others, new royalty rates need to be negotiated; and in still others it’s simply unclear,” writes Ian Salisbury. In one case where rights had reverted back to the author, romance novelist Barbara Freethy reissued more than a dozen of her old titles as e-books. She has since sold 2.7 million copies and topped the New York Times e-book bestseller list. While it’s an unusual case, it’s got publishers rushing to follow suit.
According to a new Gallup survey, 60% of Americans say they trust the mass media “not very much” or “not at all.” It’s the highest percentage since Gallup starting asking the question in the ‘90s. Republicans and Independents were the least trusting of the media, with Democrats trusting the fourth estate more. Interestingly, Republicans are among the top consumers of the news they distrust. See the Poynter site for a chart listing specific news organizations’ credibility ratings by party.