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French and Indian Zombies @TheEconomist

November 29, 2012

Someone on The Economist’s editorial staff must like zombies because there are three articles with the word in the Dec 1st print edition – two about India’s zombie banks and one about eye tracking devices used for French marketing:

In “Ratan Tata’s legacy“:

Family firms, which still control about 40% of India’s stockmarket profits, professionalised their management and listed their shares. … Some, unwilling to relinquish control by issuing shares, have piled on debt, and now that they are in trouble, are bullying state-run banks to “extend and pretend”—roll over their loans rather than write them down. Such firms thus become state-supported zombies.

and

In “The capex conundrum” (also about Indian banking):

The real cost is that zombie firms will stagger on and be unable to fund new investments.

and

In “The eyes have it” (about unconscious eye movement and French advertising symbols):

ELIMINATING “zombies” on product packaging is good for sales—but first they must be discovered. In French marketing lingo, “zombies” are logos, images or phrases on packaging that shoppers dislike, without even realising it, says Eric Singler of In Vivo BVA, a marketing consultancy based in Paris.

And see also,

Last week in Democracy in American blog at The Economist: “The zombie DMV” referring to common wisdom about DMV bureaucracy as a Paul Krugman-style “zombie idea”

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