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We'd like to take this moment to announce the official retirement of the SPINdex column. Well, we're just kidding, but a similar ploy did heighten media attention around Beanie Babies following a statement posted by marketer Ty Inc. that it would officially retire its entire line at yearend.

Ty has yet to confirm or elaborate on that statement, but the move sparked a frenzy of media attention around the pint-size plush collectibles at a time when Pokemon has taken center stage in the kids collectibles market.

Whether a stunt or not, the announcement put the Beanies back on top.

During the month leading up this column, news of the Beanie Babies' retirement generated 48 stories in the SPINdex sample of influential media outlets.

With a SPINdex of 463, Beanie Babies easily supplanted coverage surrounding the marketing of Pokemon, which ranked fifth for the month with eight stories and a SPINdex of 88.

The potential retirement of another marketing concept, the U.S. Army's "Be All You Can Be" tagline, ranked fourth for the month with a SPINdex of 146.

Placing second, just after Beanie Babies, was news of VNU's acquisition of Nielsen Media Research.

In third place, rounding out the top five, was coverage of Anheuser-Busch's recall of Budweiser in Europe, which generated media attention because of its

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