Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Dump 10 Facebook ‘friends,’ win a Whopper

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JAPAN BURGER/If ever you needed a reason to clear the dead wood from your Facebook posse, here it is: Burger King will give you a free Whopper hamburger every time you cut 10 of your “fair-weather web friends.”

But beware. While Facebook lets you anonymously eliminate your “friends,” the Burger King application notifies them when you “sacrifice” them in your quest for free fast food.

The Whopper Sacrifice ad campaign, spotted by Adweek, sends a message alerting your former friend that the sentiment you carry for him or her is nothing compared with the sizzle of a Whopper.

According to the Whopper Sacrifice web site, more than 12,000 friends have been bitten the dust — all for a (roughly) $2 Whopper.

“These companies make me feel secure”

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Worried about the safety of your personal information? On second thought, maybe you’re not — if you shop with your American Express card, surf eBay or use an IBM system.
 
Those three companies are consumers’ picks for the top most trusted when it comes to protecting their customers’ privacy, according to a survey by TRUSTe, a consumer privacy protection organization, and the Ponemon Institute, an independent research group. 
 
Consumers reported that identity theft is the No. 1 factor influencing their view of how companies handle privacy concerns, with only 45 percent of respondents saying they felt they had control over how their personal information was used or shared. That’s down from 56 percent two years ago.
    
The worries over data security are real — companies from discount retailer TJX Cos to Bank of New York Mellon Corp have had major data breaches compromising the personal information of millions of consumers.
    
The top ten list is rounded out by Amazon.com, Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Postal Service (which shares the No. 6 spot with Hewlett Packard), Procter & Gamble, Apple, Nationwide, and Charles Schwab.
    
The survey, now in its fifth year, polled nearly 6,500 U.S. adults to determine their view of the most trustworthy companies and brands when it comes to protecting personal information.
    
Companies including Disney, AOL and Dell made it to the top 20 list, with Yahoo, FedEx, Facebook and Verizon joining that group for the first time since 2004, when the Ponemon Institute began conducting research on the topic. It was also the first time for Apple, at No 8.

Google, whose growing dominance of the search market has prompted questions over how it uses its data, found itself ousted from the Top 20 list this year, as were Countrywide and Bank of America.

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