This year alone, 29,500 individually designed beer labels have been submitted for approval to the Trade Department's Tax and Trade Bureau. And every single one of those label designs was approved or denied by a single man: Kent "Battle" Martin, a man who is the bane of the beer industry for his power to reject labels for the flimsiest of reasons.
Battle has rejected a beer label for the King of Hearts, which had a playing card image on it, because the heart implied that the beer would have a health benefit.
He rejected a beer label featuring a painting called The Conversion of Paula By Saint Jerome because its name, St. Paula's Liquid Wisdom, contained a medical claim--that the beer would grant wisdom.
He rejected a beer called Pickled Santa because Santa's eyes were too "googly" on the label, and labels cannot advertise the physical effects of alcohol. (A less googly-eyed Santa was later approved.)
He rejected a beer called Bad Elf because it featured an "Elf Warning," suggesting that elves not operate toy-making machinery while drinking the ale. The label was not approved on the grounds that the warning was confusing to consumers.
Identified only as Mr Huang, the liquor maker was unable to keep up the illegal practice after customers noticed the unusual side-effect of drinking the spirits, which were marketed as 'nutritional healthy liquor', according to China News Agency.
Huang, who founded Nine Springs Ecological Agriculture Development Company in Hubei province, was said to have purchased 1kg of Sildenafil – marketed as Viagra and Revatio – on the internet in January and added it to his alcoholic beverages without mentioning it on the label.
Online drug vendors typically employ a range of corporate retailing techniques. This includes providing mission statements, "oaths to customers" and detailed "terms and conditions" advising international shipping times and purchasing procedures. In a further stark contrast to the conventional drug trade, many even offer full or partial refunds for drugs that are found to be sub-standard or are intercepted by customs...
At the more extreme end of socially progressive marketing strategies used by online dealers are those that involve the promotion of drugs on the basis of supposedly "ethical", "fair trade", "organic" or "conflict-free" sources of supply:
"We are a team of libertarian c0caine dealers. We never buy coke from cartels! We never buy coke from police! We help farmers from Peru, Bolivia and some chemistry students in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. We do fair trade!"