In In Search Of Stupidity Rick Chapman explains how the Intel Inside initiative works:
"Intel Inside consists of two key components. The first, and perhaps most significant on a long-term basis, is the marketing development funds (MDF) (or bribe, depending on your point of view) aspect of the program. Largely hidden from public view, Intel's MDF systems work by kicking back to manufacturers an average of 6 percent of the total average selling price of the company's worldwide monthly microprocessor shipments. In return, computer makers agree to display the Intel Inside label on their computers and in the advertisements.
The accrued MDF funds don't go directly back to the vendors. Instead, Intel deposits the money in an Intel-managed MDF that the manufactures must use to pay for print, Web, TV, or radio advertising for their Intel-based systems. If they don't use the funding within 12 months, they lose it.
All Intel Inside participants must submit every ad, regardless of the medium, to Intel for approval. Ads are checked for compliande with Intel corporate identity standards for:
- Prominence of Intel's logo
- Verbiage in the accompanying taglines
- Click-throughs to Intel Web sites for Web advertising
Intel also "manages" the percentage of the funds that vendors must use for advertising in each medium. Helping Intel manage the process is a 100 page manual of regulations that even dictates how ad copy must be written. Failing to follow Intel's guidelines and commiting even a minor infraction can lead to all MDF funds being frozen. Adding a product that uses a non-Intel chip to an existing line leads to forfeiture of all Intel MDF for that line. The vendor must establish a new product line to maintain access to its Intel Inside funds. "