brands under fire
Posted by Ben Berkon on May 24, 2013 04:46 PM
Mega tech manufacturer Foxconn has been in the negative spotlight a lot over the past few months. Despite once being the main manufacturer for Apple products—as well as a significant player for Hewlettt-Packard, and to a lesser extent, Sony, Dell and Acer—Apple recently decided to take their iPhone 4S and iPad mini business to Taiwanese competitor, Pegatron. Apple has also promised to eventually bring a chunk of their manufacturing work back to the United States to help create new jobs.
Unfortunately, Foxconn was thrust back into the spotlight recently as reports of three employee suicides surfaced. While Foxconn is hardly the only Chinese or global company to be accused of archaic and dangerous labor conditions, the recent suicides mark a new low in the category, especially since the company had previously come under fire and had supposedly reformed many of its practices.Continue reading...
week in review
Posted by Michael Waltzer on May 24, 2013 04:30 PM
Our most-read blog posts of the week:
#1 Has Apple Lost Its Groove?
#2 Kellogg's Special K Makes a Bid for Healthy Foodies with New Nourish Line
#3 Procter & Gamble Reviews Marketing ROI
#4 Walmart Hopes 'Gamification' Can Engage Employees and Turn Things Around
#5 Ford's EcoBoost Brand Threatened by More Performance Problems, Complaints
#6 Mercedes-Benz Sets the Luxury Bar Sky High with S-Class Reveal
#7 Tech Hungry Target Eyes Crowded Streaming Space with Launch of Target Ticket
#8 Coke Squashes Another Round of Secret Recipe Rumors
#9 Nike Introduces New Jerseys for Team England in First-Time Partnership
#10 McDonald's Tries 'Less Is More' with New Menu Reductions
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 04:20 PM
Corporate mea culpas seem to be all the rage these days. But not at McDonald's. And not by CEO Don Thompson—or Ronald McDonald, for that matter.
Presiding for the first time over an annual meeting of McDonald's, Thompson spent a good deal of the time not discussing McDonald's sluggish growth or intensifying menu shuffling but simply defending the chain against charges that it's a bad corporate citizen because it sells and markets its food to kids.
Several speakers associated with Corporate Accountability International, a nonprofit corporate watchdog, grilled Thompson about the topic, accusing McDonald's of targeting kids, targeting children of color, undermining children's health and of contributing greatly to the country's obesity problem.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 24, 2013 03:36 PM
Google is on the move, expanding its two-month old Google Shopping Express, its challenger in same-delivery service to eBay Now and Amazon Prime. The service is rolling out in the San Francisco Bay Area and beta tester sign-up is now open.
Mashable reports the delivery service has "been doing well enough and worked out the kinks to expand a little more." The expansion will include more products from retail partners, improved 360-degree images for product browsing and a bigger fleet of third-party couriers. Despite the success, the service faces some steep competition. “Google faces tough competition from more established businesses and startups in the space—not to mention the fact that Google has a mixed track record when it comes to commerce,” notes Mashable.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 24, 2013 02:42 PM
Millions of credit cards are swiped each day in America, meaning Visa and MasterCard are raking in big bucks from retailers daily under the current fee structure. Following a dispute over the swipe fees, Visa and MasterCard were prepping to pay out a $7.2 billion settlement to retailers, but now, the brands and the National Retail Federation have denied the settlement and instead have decided to sue the credit companies.
Macy's, Target, Office Max, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Saks, and about a dozen other big retailers have banded together and sued Visa and MasterCard, Reuters reports. Walmart and 18 other retailers didn’t get in on the suit, but will “consider pursuing separate legal actions over damages.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 24, 2013 01:25 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Shanghai's Gangnam Bar... Maxi pad branded-content... Huang Xiaoming for Busen... Mocking Forrest Gump... Hershey and Nestle... Lenovo PC profits... China buys Fisker... Gatsby, Tesco woes... Hello Kitty melons... Art Basel hits Hong Kong... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 24, 2013 01:01 PM
"During the past year, much attention has been focused on me from several angles, which has been a distraction that is not in our best interests. When we get to a point where too much attention becomes a distraction, it's time to change that dynamic."
That statement to Procter & Gamble employees (as reported by Ad Age) by Bob McDonald was cited as the primary reason he's stepping down from the consumer packaged goods giant after 33 years and making room for his predecessor, A.G. Lafley, to retake the reins.
Here's a look back at the past year for McDonald and P&G, as reported on brandchannel:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 12:10 PM
Procter & Gamble's board is hoping that A.G. Lafley can pull a Steve Jobs and return to the helm of the CPG giant to make vast improvements, quickly.
Lafley is abruptly coming back to the CEO post from which he retired in 2010 after 33 years, this time to replace the soon-to-depart Bob McDonald, according to a P&G press release. Yet there will be enormous pressure on Lafley from the start to demonstrate that such a move—uncharacteristic of the conservative culture at P&G—was justified.
The changing of the guard, which will see McDonald formally exit on June 30 while Lafley returns as Chairman, President and CEO "effective immediately," surprised most P&G investors and employees, especially as the bombshell dropped before the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the U.S. But perhaps it became inevitable when McDonald, after improving the company's financial and market performance for a while last fiscal year, stumbled in late April by reporting weak sales growth, following on a tumultuous year for the company and its embattled leader.
During his four years at the top, P&G had lost a step to rivals such as Unilever in terms of market share and profitability. Despite the fact that McDonald had launched the popular Tide Pods product line, a $10-billion cost-cutting program and had managed to improve P&G's position a bit during the second half of 2012, he couldn't do enough, quickly enough.Continue reading...