Tag Archive: Nick Naylor


NASDAQ: WEED?

“Marijuana may not be addictive, but money certainly is.” – University of Denver law professor Sam Kamin

ben

How long will it be before publicly traded marijuana-producer/seller companies are listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ?

Will pot company execs someday be ringing the bell and/or pounding the gavel on Wall Street?

Will they be issuing SEC-mandated 10-Q quarterly earnings releases (how high can this stock go?), uploading 10-K annual reports, producing material 8-K filings about mergers, acquisitions and restructurings and holding shareholder meetings?

Will there be handouts for investors?

Preposterous you say? Maybe not.

“…Advocates have waged savvy campaigns…presenting a clean-cut, besuited image worlds away from the tie-dyed stereotype.” – The Economist, “High Time.”

The argument has been made for Amendment 64 (e.g., Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act) in Colorado. Washington and other states that marijuana should be legalized, taxed and regulated.

Does that eventually include the SEC, the Securities Exchange Commission?

How about the FTC, Federal Trade Commission? And maybe even the Financial Standards Accounting Board, FASB. Will publicly traded marijuana companies report quarterly earnings using both GAAP and Pro Forma accounting?

If there are sky-high profits to be made as a result of legalization, taxation and regulation of marijuana, shouldn’t the Military-Industrial Complex crowd get its cut on the action?

marjijuana

If the trend continues toward nationwide marijuana legalization,(federal DOJ is not enforcing in states that vote for medicinal marijuana and other uses), logic dictates that after a few years in “test” markets such as Colorado and Washington, eventually companies may acquire these firms and add marijuana to their product portfolios.

Some may even decide to directly enter the production/marketing of marijuana sector, dominate market share and eventually spin out a marijuana division as a highly covered IPO.

Ready for NASDAQ: WEED?

What does this big profits specter mean to the backyard grower, who is looking to raise a few extra bucks? Has this person ever heard of the term, “economies of scale?” Once a Philip Morris … err … Altria Group, Inc. gets into the market with its legendary ability to produce and sell in massive volume could easily result in the dreams of these small growers going up in smoke.

Think of it this way, a company that markets cancer-causing Marlboros or essentially the burning and smoking of highly addictive doctored tobacco leaves is not going to have any moral qualms about the burning and smoking of pot leaves, particularly if there is a huge profit margin attached to these sales.

CNBC’s “Mad Money” Jim Cramer was posing the hypothetical question as to whether investors should add addictive “sin” stocks to their individual portfolios in 2014. Naturally, Altria Group or NYSE: MO was on the list. There was also Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO) that markets high-end whiskies, vodkas and liquors. Ditto for Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) that operates gambling resorts. Could these sinful companies be persuaded to dip into the marijuana market once the legalize-tax-regulate advocates have won the day?

Is the Pope, Catholic?

There may also be a genetically modified marijuana play for Monsanto (NYSE: MON) and a counter wholesome organic effort by Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM).  Think of the marketing and branding possibilities and the competing television ads during future Super Bowls. Move over erectile dysfunction.

Marijuana is not only consumed in smoked form, but in brownies and other pastries. There may be a great opportunity for General Mills (NYSE: GIS) that serves as the custodian of the Betty Crocker brand. Will this be the time to expand the reach of the company’s markets and upgrade the brand at the same time?

Marijuana brownies would completely change the way we think of the image of Betty Crocker with her apron.

Just as the fictional Nick Naylor from Thank You for Smoking embodies the image of the fast talking PR pro for the tobacco industry, will there be female and male counterparts for publicly traded marijuana companies? The legalize-tax-regulate crowd has already proven they can win the day, at least in some states, when it comes to marijuana. Surely future Nick Naylors can artfully defend the rising top and bottom lines and expanding gross margins of marijuana companies.

NickNaylor

Tobacco, booze, gambling and other perceived sinful companies have not only survived, heck some are very profitable with decent reputations and brands. Couldn’t the same be true for publicly traded and SEC regulated marijuana companies?

There is money to be made on Wall Street. Why shouldn’t SEC regulated publicly traded marijuana companies make big-time profits emanating from a newly legalized, taxed and regulated market?

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21593467-colorado-embarks-unprecedented-experiment-high-time

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/01/economist-explains-1

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21573135-americas-first-market-recreational-marijuana-will-be-far-free-tax-and-tax-again

http://www.stockpickr.com/rhinostocks/portfolio/sin-stocks-january-2014/

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1156521-5-marijuana-stocks-going-crazy-and-this-could-be-just-the-beginning

http://time.com/4044698/willie-nelson-pot-brand/

 

peta

“Worse than being misquoted is not being quoted at all,” – Former White House communications director, political pundit, and 1992 GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie saved a group of young school children visiting his Trenton office last week from a creepy, crawly spider.

He smacked it good, scraped up its remains and tucked the corpse in his suit pocket.

It didn’t take long for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to publicly scold the governor for his insensitivity to one of the smallest of all of Darwin’s creatures.

“He probably did it without thinking,” PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk said.  “Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth.”

Soon after late-night-television comedian Jimmy Kimmel had a field day at the expense of the collective worth of both Christie and PETA.

PETA was thrilled. One would suspect that Christie and his gubernatorial handlers were not so thrilled.

To PETA, “All Press is Good Press”…even negative coverage.

Just get the name spelled right.

What does animal rights group PETA and “Worse-than-being-misquoted” Pat Buchanan have in common?

Not much.

Having acknowledged the obvious, both historically have demonstrated the ability to draw gobs of media interest, and both harbor the concept that attention…any attention…is far better than being ignored.

And when it comes to employing attractive female public nudity to draw photographers and videographers, it is no contest between PETA and Pat. Sorry Pat. Keep your shirt on.

PETA’s naked philosophy is simple: Exposure = Discussion = Awareness.

And you just thought Pam Anderson was wearing that lettuce bikini because she likes…lettuce bikinis. There is a method to her undress.

Marci Hansen, who spent five years as a guerilla marketer for PETA, assessed the NGO (non-governmental organization) that has at times been accused of crossing the line between being infamous and being notorious. PETA does not seem to mind being compared to the antics of Greenpeace as long as it succeeds in stimulating a conversation on protecting animal rights.

The goal of social marketers…not to be confused with social media…is to participate and even to lead a conversation online or through conventional media. The PETA strategy is to be at least a part of the conversation, if not the conversation itself, with the goal of safeguarding animals. Does every tactic work? No. Does PETA learn from its tactics? That seems to be modus operandi behind the equation: Success + Failures = Refinement.

Hansen extolled that just having the facts are not enough to win the argument. PETA needs to be good at playing the game…and prolific at drawing attention. Pam Anderson works. Pink works. Sir Paul McCartney works. Good Charlotte works…even labeling Burger King as Murder King works.

Has all of this helped or hindered Marci’s career? It seems the answer is yes and no.

Should aspiring public relations pros work for a notorious NGO even though this kind of association may spell curtains for those seeking employment for firms with a fiduciary eye on expanding the top line and maintaining a solid bottom line? In our segmentation society, where everybody and everything is sliced and diced, labeled and categorized, does the PETA imprimatur potentially spell doom for one’s chances in conventional public relations?

In answering this question, consider that  Marci is the co-founder for SheerID, a Eugene, Oregon-based software technology startup instantaneously verifying student or military status for those offering online discounts to these large…there’s that word again…segments of society.

Marci was gracious enough to lecture a small gathering of students, and reflected that she experienced some difficulty as a result of her PETA past, but also said that many are looking for someone who understands guerilla marketing and other means to draw media attention.

In a world in which the flack-to-media ratio is 3.6-to-1.0, securing attention from the dwindling number of reporters, editors, analysts etc. is getting ever tougher.

The answer to all of these questions boils down to talent and perseverance. Marci has a combination of both in spades. Does this mean that someone should rush off to tell the PETA, Greenpeace, Amnesty International stories and not have a second thought about it, even though she or he may be a true believer?

As the Wizard of Westwood John Wooden once said: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

One thing is certain, working for an infamous, bordering on notorious, NGO is far better than shilling for the absolute nadir of public relations advocacy, Big Tobacco.

Ain’t that right Nick Naylor?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/05/07/jimmy-kimmel-on-chris-christies-spider-squashing-skills-video/?wpisrc=nl_pmpol

http://www.peta.org/

http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/05/06/watch-n-j-governor-saved-school-children-from-spider-peta-isnt-impressed/#ixzz2T1jBKVSj

http://www.sheerid.com/our-team/

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