Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 10:42 AM
Tesla became the first company to completely repay the US government under the Obama administration's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, providing a much-needed green-loan victory for the federal government after the debacles of its lending to Solyndra, A123 Systems, Fisker and others.
But Tesla apparently went a bit too far in its news release by stating that it would become "the only American car company to have fully repaid the government." Tesla may have tried to exploit a matter of mere semantics, but Chrysler disputed Tesla's claim—and by the end of Thursday, Tesla was slapping back.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 09:25 AM
P&G CEO Bob McDonald retires from troubled tenure as predecessor A.G. Lafley comes back to the company to take the CEO post.
Google faces antitrust probe over dominance in online display ads.
AT&T imposes new wireless fee and adds iPhone to pre-paid GoPhone program.
Apple faces potential setback in e-books case.
Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay scouts into its ranks.
Campbell Soup's parent acquires Plum Organics.
Daimler and Ford strengthen technology ties.
Dodge banks on Fast & Furious 6 tie-in to rev flagging Dart sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2013 06:25 PM
In the weeks after the attacks on September 11, then President George W. Bush, who brilliantly took a megaphone into his hand at Ground Zero and pledged to get whoever had done this to America, had an approval rating of 90 percent, according to Gallup. The numbers went down, of course, and he ended up with an average of 37 percent in his full second term.
So Walmart, which is on the hot seat these days for its strategy for improving working conditions at factories in Bangladesh as well as its not-so-great financial results, is hoping one of Bush’s main aides, Dan Bartlett, can help them with their own approval ratings. The 41-year-old and his wife along with their four young sons will be moving to Arkansas as he is taking on the role of executive vice president of corporate affairs, according to The New York Times.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 23, 2013 05:46 PM
It’s been a big week in the twitter-verse as the micro-blogger, now transmitting close to 400 million messages a day, has made three decisive moves forward.
First, Twitter announced the implementation of a two-factor authentication technology to boost security for its users after recent hacker attacks on the Financial Times, The Onion and the Associated Press accounts. The lack of added security reached a crescendo of criticism in April when a fake tweet about a non-existent White House explosion, sent from the AP account, caused havoc in US financial markets.
The two-factor authentication feature, which is voluntary for users, sends a second, one-time log-in code via text message, making it harder for hackers to break-in to an account with just a main password. Both Jeep and Burger King have been victims as well. Criticized for not putting such measures into place earlier, a Twitter rep said the rollout was delayed due to required updates to its SMS architecture. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple offer it already.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 23, 2013 04:28 PM
The picture for Ford and other automakers in the US market continues to look pretty good, but Europe remains a very challenging market. So Ford is launching a major new European advertising campaign this weekend tied to the "Super Bowl" of the continent's favorite sport, soccer.
Ford of Europe is leveraging the hugely popular 2013 UEFA Champions League Final football match on Saturday to begin a new effort—one of the biggest so far under its worldwide "Go Further" positioning unveiled last year—that emphasizes technologies available across all or much of Ford's product lineup rather than focusing, as usual, on individual nameplates.
A TV audience of 150 million people across Europe is expected for the finals at London's Wembley stadium, where perimeter boards at the game also will direct viewers to a new website that includes entertaining videos and information about the featured technologies.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2013 03:04 PM
It’s been seven years since Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries told Salon.com that his company is only interested in outfitting the cool, hip, skinny, “all-American kid(s) with a great attitude and a lot of friends.” He’s been paying the price for his exclusionary comments, though, for the past few weeks since Business Insider republished the quotes in a story about how A&F didn’t carry any women’s XL or XXL sizes.
The A&F brand has been taking a beating since. YouGov’s BrandIndex charted 18- to 34-year-old’s thoughts on the brand versus fellow retailers H&M and American Eagle. The latter two went up slightly while A&F’s numbers plummeted. Jeffries, no doubt, is regretting his comments from way back when (or at least is annoyed that BI brought them to the world’s attention again). On May 15, Jeffries posted a note to the company’s Facebook page that went for the old “quote has been taken out of context” argument and claims that the company is “strongly committed to diversity and inclusion.”
That may be so, but Jeffries may have missteppeed again Wednesday when a group of teen activists showed up at the doorstep of the Columbus, Ohio, headquarters of his company. They were taken in, People magazine reports, and had a meeting with company execs but Jeffries didn’t bother to stick his head into the proceedings even though this has been a PR disaster for his company.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 23, 2013 01:54 PM
Almost one month to the day after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing 1,127 people, American retailers and their international counterparts remain at odds over the plan to improve labor conditions, with legal liability still at the top of US concerns.
Gap, one of the largest American retailers implicated in industry accidents in Bangladesh has said in recent weeks that it was close to signing the proposed agreement, if only clauses regarding arbitration were removed. “In the United States, there’s maybe a bigger legal risk than there is in Europe,” said Gap CEO Glenn Murphy, according to The New York Times. “If we were to sign onto something that had unlimited legal liability and risk, I think our shareholders should care about that.” Calling the language of the agreement "vague and unclear," Gap, along with Walmart, Target, JCPenney, Sears and other major US retailers have bilked at signing the accord, despite the fact that over 30 global brands had signed on by the proposed May 15 deadline.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 23, 2013 12:38 PM
It didn't work for JCPenney. But will a new strategy on pricing work for PepsiCo?
PepsiCo is adjusting its pricing strategy for its beverage brands in some sections of the United States in an effort to wean consumers off the habit of buying soda only when it's on sale, Reuters reports. Pepsi's "Hybrid Everyday Value" strategy involves narrowing the gap between soda prices on holidays and regular days by cutting discounts on holidays. With Memorial Day approaching, there's no better time for PepsiCo teo see if this new approach migh work.
Under the new plan, the price for a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans of Pepsi would settle somewhere between $2.50, which is how low it can get now with holiday discounting, and $5.99, which is about as high as the current "everyday" price gets.Continue reading...