"Valentine's Day Conspiracy"

In a dark, smoke filled room, sat a council of representatives.

"Dear members of the Coalition of Florists, Candy Makers and Greeting Card Manufacturers, we have gathered here today to discuss a matter of great importance!", said the gray haired gentleman who sat at the head of the table.

"As you know, the economy is collapsing and a recession is imminent. Extra cash is hard to come by and people are not willing to spend. The hardest hit by this are, of course, all of us. It is no secret that what we sell is superfluous and unnecessary, and the world would not be a worse place without us."

"Gentlemen, now it is time to take things to the next level! I have a solution which will ensure unprecedented sales of our merchandise, but it will take a massive and concerted effort from all of us, and our friends in political circles".

Hushed whispers began to spread around the room. Finally one member spoke up, "Mr. Hall, what is this solution that you speak of?"

"Mr. Archie," said Mr. Hall, "I propose that we institute one day in a year, which will be declared as the day of love. We will subtly encourage boys and girls, young and old, to profess their undying love for each other. Of course, our marketing machine will make sure that we spread the message out unequivocally -- the only way to profess your love to someone on this day is by gifting them cards, candy and flowers. Are you all with me?"

"Hear! Hear!" the crowd began to chant.

"Do you have any particular date in mind?" asked Mr. Hershey.

"As a matter of fact, indeed I do. I propose a day that is exactly nine months before Children's day which falls on November 14. I assume everyone is well acquainted with the significance of the time '9 months'", said Mr. Hall, to a loud laughter in the room. "If my calculations are correct, that gives us a date of February 14th. Our marketing guys have done some research on that date and found that it is the birthday of one St. Valentine. Since we need a catchy name for this day any way, I propose we call it Valentine's Day!"

After some amount of order had been restored in the room, Mr. Ferrero asked, "Mr. Hall, why did you mention that we need the help of our friends in political circles for the success of this Valentine's Day?"

"That's a great question! You see, our target audience is mostly the youth aged 14-24, who, given the current economy, are the most likely to spend any cash that they may have, without consideration for the greater picture. Also, this is the category that is rebellious by nature and will tend to oppose any marketing aimed at it. This is where the reverse psychology comes in. By getting political parties to oppose the concept of Valentine's Day for 'corrupting the youth', we virtually guarantee that the youth will take to it in a big way, just to 'show them who is boss'".

"That is bloody brilliant!" said Mr. Cadbury. "Let's get this thing started right now!"

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