The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 1, 2012

Plaque buildup leads to sales pitch

Independent firm lauds newsmakers

By Joanne Arbogast
The Daily Item

FREEBURG — These days, thanks to websites and electronic versions (e-editions), newspaper articles reach readers around the world instantly. You may receive congratulations for whatever it was that was published about you from friends, neighbors and quite possibly, a company called That’s Great News, based in Cheshire, Conn.

And it has gone a step further — it has created a very nice-looking custom wall plaque with your newspaper article on it and would like to know if you’d like to buy it.

The cost: $169 and up.

At least that’s the price That’s Great News gave to Dr. Edwin D. Freed, considered to be the first person in Beavertown to earn a doctorate degree and who recently wrote a book titled “Lincoln’s Political Ambitions, Slavery and the Bible.” His story and photo were featured on the History page of The Daily Item’s Scrapbook section on Nov. 2 and 4.

What That’s Great News is doing is not illegal but it can be disturbing to people unexpectedly receiving “congratulations” from a stranger who, in the same message, also wants you to make a purchase.

Though the company is legitimate, it doesn’t have qualms about invading your privacy by searching — and finding — your phone number, email and address and subtly insinuating ties to the newspaper (selling something the newspaper originally produced and has copyrighted).

Should you hear from That’s Great News, remember it is trying to sell you something — buyer beware. And more importantly remember, as That’s Great News has posted on its website, “That’s Great News is not affiliated with any newspaper or magazine publication.”