Allow me, if I may, to add a point that seems to be lacking in this thread.
I understand that the majority of this board finds MM to be a less than stellar tasting product with a premium price. And I tend to agree. But I think you need to realize that MM took the stand years ago to be an industry leader and not an enthuiasts favorite. MM is a business and the business is selling bottles. Which it does well. And since the product cannot really stand on its own, it needs advertising to support it. And their marketing plan is no different than others that plan to be market leaders. Is Budweiser the "best " beer out there? They say it is. But the hard core beer drinkers I know won't touch it. Does that mean Budweiser should go back in and re-work the recipe to supply a product that is in favor with the hardliners? absolutely not. They are already selling more product than any other beer. MM is doing the same thing. We can wish all day long that MM would make a better product and taste more like the VW lines, but why would they want to follow the VW business plan if they are already selling so much more product then VW? remember, that is the goal. Selling product. McDonalds has a similar plan. Not the best burgers, but they sell the most. Thats the plan. Don't hate them for it. Just don't but into it if you don't like the product.
and also remember, we here on the board are the 1%'ers. We are more knowledgeable and emotionally tied to our bourbons than 99% of the population. I wouldn't build a business plan around us, I'd plan it around the more "impressionable" 99%.
Sorry for the ramblings....