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This Just In: December 9 - 16 

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Stale Sell

Summary: Big news! Retailers want your money! Reporter: Robin Taylor, WPXI Channel 11 Airtime: 1 minute, 26 seconds on Dec. 2 Highlights: * When Taylor reveals something we could never had guessed: "The whole concept of marketing is to get you to spend more than you planned to. And that's exactly what retailers are doing this season. They're tempting you with deals you just can't resist." * When Taylor continues to market her story, trying to get us to watch more than we bargained for: "During the holiday season, it's easy for spending to get out of hand quickly, because shoppers are in a festive mood and are more likely to splurge." * When Duquesne University professor Audrey Guskey gives these examples: "The sales clerk will say to you, 'That's a beautiful sweater. Would you like a necklace to match that? Or would you like this pair of pants? It's a perfect color with this.' And so of course, you say yes." * When Taylor continues, "The Christmas music, the lighting and the displays all play into the festive atmosphere. And so do the prices." * When Guskey explains, "Psychologically, when you see the word 'sale,' it really grabs your attention, especially for bargain hunters." * When Taylor asserts, "There's a sense you just gotta have it because it's such a great deal. And that's what retailers are counting on. ... Their goal is to get you to spend double, or even triple what you anticipated. And many of those temptations are near the checkout." * When Guskey says, "During this holiday season, you should really be on a budget. And like Santa, make your list and check it twice, and only buy items that are on your list. Otherwise, you're gonna really go beyond what you had expected to pay." * Taylor's conclusion: "Now, I don't wanna spoil the fun, because I'm tempted too. But you need to ask yourself, 'Do I really need this for myself or for someone else?' If the answer's no, put it back. You may thank yourself in January." What We Learned: The only thing shoppers can't resist is temptation. Unanswered Question: This is a story labeled "Shopping Schemes," but I fail to see what the scheme is. Clearly, the enemy here is us. News Value: $0. There just isn't one iota of valuable information here. And while Audrey Guskey is a knowledgeable source, she's appeared in so many news stories about marketing, she could make a video anthology. Is she the only person in the whooole city who knows anything about the topic? If so, she should ditch WPXI and just do her own show. 

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