CULTURE POP: GENERAL MOTORS' WOES OUTLAST VIAGRA

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WHAT'S GOOD FOR GM: News that General Motors Corp. would need to curtail ad spending until it could replenish its strike-diminished inventory contributed to 449 stories in the SPINdex sample of influential media outlets during the one-month period leading up to this report.

The story overshadowed every other marketing event of the month, although the marketing of male virility drug Viagra did show amazing staying power. Viagra ranked second with a SPINdex of 1,588.

The World Cup, by comparison, ranked third among marketing events in the U.S., with a SPINdex of 1,143. Nonetheless, the World Cup did generate more marketing news than the record merger of AT&T Corp. and Tele-Communications Inc. Stories about the marketing implications of that merger, including the exploitation of the AT&T brand, scored a SPINdex of 822.

Placing a distant fifth were reports of a CBS and Fox plan to air basketball games starring NBA players that would compete with NBC and Turner.

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