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Shoppers at a store in Rome. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Companies have been using a secret scoring system to determine what kind of benefits and treatment a customer receives, based on the potential financial value of that customer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"There's no free lunch. The more profitable you are, the better service you will get."
— Sunil Gupta, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School, to the Journal

The details: The customer lifetime value, or CLV, isn't available to the public. But it could determine how long you're kept on hold over the phone or if you get a seat upgrade after calling an airline. According to the Journal, these scores are calculated by taking into account how much money a customer spends, the number of returns that customer makes, and their ZIP code, among other factors. People who are frequent online shoppers, have a cellphone, or have a bank account have "at least one CLV score, more likely several."

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Health

Johnson & Johnson says booster shot increases efficacy of COVID vaccine

Syringes and a vial of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in French Polynesia on Sept. 8. Photo: Jerome Brouillet/AFP via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson said in a press release Tuesday a global study showed that the protection offered by its coronavirus vaccine was strengthened by a booster shot.

Why it matters: While J&J has not formally applied for authorization to offer booster shots to the general public, it said it has shared the results of the study with the Food and Drug Administration and plans to share it with the World Health Organization and other health regulators.

1 hour ago - World

U.K. prosecutors charge third person in poisoning of former Russian spy

Emergency services members in biohazard encapsulated suits encasing the poisoning scene in a tent in Salisbury, England, in March 2018. Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

U.K. prosecutors said they had enough evidence to charge Denis Sergeev, a member of the Russian military intelligence service, in the 2018 Salisbury nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy, according to AP.

Why it matters: Sergeev is the third person to face charges for the nerve agent attack against Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, both of whom survived.

2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: More boycotts coming for Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Leaders of the Stop Hate For Profit social media boycott group are discussing whether to organize another campaign against Facebook in light of an explosive investigative series from the Wall Street Journal, Common Sense CEO Jim Steyer tells Axios.

The intrigue: Sources tell Axios that another group, separate from the Stop Hate For Profit organization, is expected to launch its own ad boycott campaign this week.