Its essential meaning holds good, however, and its use was never more apposite than in the current debate about Barack Obama's US election victory.
There is an unseemly rush to assert that "it was my medium wot won it for Barack". The myriad claims that this was the first Presidential Election victory that could be attributed directly to the internet are balanced by those asserting that it was the extra $80m spent on TV advertising, including the half-hour TV ad in the final week, that made the difference. All merit closer - and more sceptical - examination.
I was as joyful as the next person at Obama's victory and shed almost as many tears as Jesse Jackson. So, please forgive me if I reduce this inspiring, charismatic and talented man to a description as the "product".
As products go, it would be hard to imagine one of higher quality. However,we know that the better product doesn't always succeed. Other factors are crucial - market context, distribution and communications.
Obama benefited from the anti-Republicanism caused by two terms of George W and, in the final stages, the world economic crisis.
That's a very receptive market in which to be representing change. People could also "sample" Obama easily. You could hear and see him and gauge the quality of the man, thanks to 24-hour news channels on TV and radio, not forgetting the huge impact of live rallies and events and live broadcast debates.
Celebrity endorsements played their part, as did satire, such as 30Rock's Tina Fey and her devastating impersonations of Sarah Palin on TV. Print coverage also added to the debate and the online versions of all these media offered additional and endlessly accessible exposure.
The social networking and conversational qualities of the internet then captured that excitement and channelled it into fundraising and viral persuasion.
The resulting funds raised, a whopping $640m, were then used to buy crafted advertising messages across all media.
Obama's election victory was a classic integrated marketing campaign - each element played its role and the combinations magically generated more than the sum of their parts. Lessons there for us all.
But at the heart of it was the authentic, quality "product" of Obama himself.
No amount of puff is ever going to make a turkey fly.
Tess Alps is chief executive of Thinkbox, firstname.lastname@example.org