Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2013 06:10 PM
Amazon pounced on the opportunity to add Viacom programming to its Prime streaming lineup last month after the broadcast giant couldn’t work out an extension deal with Netflix. That loss is likely costing Netflix big-time as it saw the exit of popular kids shows like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Blue's Clues, the very type of content that parents desire when they need to use the electronic babysitter.
However, Netflix battled back this week by signing a deal with DreamWorks Animation, in turn setting itself up to stream a whole host of new kid-friendly content based off of the studio's popular big-screen hits. In another move that seems orchestrated to remind folks, particularly parents, that Netflix still has scads of family programming, it has launched a new site, Netflix Families, that highlights “information on the best ways to stream and videos on how families use Netflix,” as well as feeds of curated content perfect for kids, the company said in a new release.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 18, 2013 05:38 PM
Chrysler was looking for a fig leaf, and the federal government just gave it one. The company ended a dispute with US car-safety officials by agreeing to inspect older-model Jeeps and install a piece of equipment that would help them fare better in low-speed crashes.
The company stunned the industry recently when Chrysler defied a call by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million remaining 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Libertys that the agency said faced a heightened risk of fire from rear-end collisions because the vehicles' fuel tank lies behind the rear axle.
Chrysler insisted the vehicles weren't unsafe and had a performance record in crashes comparable to competing vehicles. A recall of all of the units in question would have cost Chrysler several hundred million dollars.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 18, 2013 04:52 PM
In the wake of the PRISM scandal, brands are continuing to jockey for their place among the most transparent as the government slowly concedes to releasing more surveillance data collected through the top-secret NSA program, which was made public by whistle blower Edward Snowden.
Requests by Facebook, Microsoft, Google and the like to release data requested by the government have been answered this week. While the initial accusations that the internet companies allowed the NSA to troll data through a wide-open back door was ruled false, the companies still wished to clear their names in conjunction with the thousands of written data requests with which they are charged to comply with per federal laws.
To date, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft have disclosed the number of requests received over certain blocks of time. Facebook published its first transparency report, where it said it received up to 10,000 requests between July and December 2012. Meanwhile, Apple said it faced up to 5,000 federal, state and local requests between December 2012 and May 2013, Microsoft reported 7,000 requests from July through December 2012, and Yahoo reported the most, with 13,000 requests for data in the past 18 months, the BBC reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 18, 2013 03:41 PM
Starbucks customers will still be able to order all of their favorite high-fat, sugary concoctions at their favorite coffee house. It's just that they won't be able to plead ignorance anymore to just how many calories are in that Venti Caramel Macchiato or luscious chocolate brownie.
The company said it will become the latest restaurant chain to put up calorie boards at its locations across the United States, jumping ahead of a US-government mandate under Obamacare that's expected to require bigger chains to make similar disclosures nationwide by the end of the year. New York and California already require nutrition boards.
Starbucks also will post calorie counts on the goodies in the pastry case. "Menu labeling is yet another step to extend our commitment to wellness, ensuring our current customers and partners (employees) have the information they need to make informed decisions and understand all the ways that they can customize their Starbucks beverages to be within their desired calorie range," stated Mary Wagner, SVP of global research and development for Starbucks.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2013 02:56 PM
Brazilian soccer fans are some of the most dedicated in the world, but an ad campaign from Ogilvy Mather let them know there was one more thing they could do if they wanted to be sure that their heart beat for their team forever: be an organ donor.
The “Immortal Fans” campaign, which just took top honors in the Promo & Activations category at Cannes Lions, focused on the Sport Club Recife team. In the spot, actual patients that were waiting for organs spoke to fans directly, saying things like, "I promise that your eyes will keep on watching Sport Club Recife" or "I promise that your lungs will keep on breathing for Sport Club Recife."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 18, 2013 01:41 PM
7-Eleven has said it will implement "aggressive actions" to take over stores owned by some of its East Coast franchisees that allegedly used a slave-like system to exploit immigrants from Pakistan and the Philippines.
But will it be enough to adequately address the outrage and legal issues created by how nine owners and managers of 7-Eleven stores across Long Island and in Virginia allegedly made tens of millions of dollars by stealing most of the wages of workers at 14 stores? Could 7-Eleven have done more, sooner, to thwart or prevent such a situation? And how might the brand overall suffer even if there was credible corporate deniability in all of this?
The many giant western retailers dealing with the burnt and crumbling garment factories in Bangladesh can attest to the tar baby that horrific practices and conditions can become for a brand even if there is no direct culpability for such problems.
US authorities charged that the franchise owners paid the workers using stolen Social Security numbers of a child and three dead people while stealing most of their wages. When 7-Eleven headquarters sent the wages for distribution, the government said, the employers stole up to 75 percent of the workers' pay. They also allegedly forced the immigrants to live in houses they owned and pay the owners rent in cash.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2013 12:46 PM
Marriott is going all-in on Millennials. The Bethesda, M.D.-based company is launching a new logo and tagline, "Travel Brilliantly" in its latest attempt to attract the growing market of young travellers looking for luxury at a value.
The international hotel chain recently announced it will bring its European hotel brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, to the States to attract younger business travelers, while it is also planning to introduce a Millennial-friendly hotel brand, Moxy, across Europe in a partnerhsip with IKEA.
What's in it for Marriott? According to the Washington Business Journal, “younger business travelers who make three or more business trips per year are a $35 billion market.” The chain hopes to attract the sought-after demo with a new, simplified "M" logo, a mobile app, offering different dining options, and allotting more open spaces in its hotels that can be used as public workspaces as well as streamlined rooms.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on June 18, 2013 11:36 AM
Late last week, Vice magazine promoted a new pictorial spread from its Fiction issue. The problem? The photos depicted a handful of famous suicides by legendary female writers with appalling attention to detail, right down to the hosiery that hung Taiwanese author Sanmao.
The youth culture publication is well-known for its edgy content and no-holds-barred attitude—a reputation that has repeatedly made headlines and garnered unfavorable reactions from readers and critics, even as it partners with the likes of CNN and HBO.
While the brand has successfully turned itself into a more respectable news source over the years, partnering with brands and producing documentaries like its much talked about Basketball Diplomacy stunt that brought Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters to North Korea to wrap its first season on HBO, Vice still gets its kicks from content like the "Last Words" spread, which, after much protest, was pulled from its website on Tuesday and replaced with a statement from the editorial staff:Continue reading...