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retail watch

The Fault in Our Books: Tesco Suspends Execs Amid Accounting Probe

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 22, 2014 11:02 AM

Somebody in the Tesco accounting offices has been optimistic—overly optimistic, as it turns out, resulting in an accounting error that has cost the company a whole lot of cash and trust—two things the world’s third-largest retailer can’t afford to lose these days.

After admitting that its first-half 2014 profit statement was overstated by about 250 million pounds, Tesco today announced it has launched an investigation into its accounting practices and suspended its UK managing director and three other associates while it retains Deloitte to go over its books.

For the third time in two months, Tesco has cut its profit forecast after the “major fault in its accounts” was found. Its first-half 2014 outlook of 1.1 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) a month ago has has now dropped to 850 million pounds ($1.38 billion).Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Alibaba, Climate Change and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 22, 2014 09:14 AM


Apple sets new record with 10 million iPhone 6 sales its first weekend, dispatching Tim Cook to Palo Alto and Angela Ahrendts to Sydney to meet fans, while pre-scheduled Joan Rivers endorsement backfires on social media.

Alibaba's next step, following world's largest IPO: helping US small businesses.

Jaguar taps Stella McCartney for XE launch at Paris auto show, where MINI will show new five-door hatchback among other auto brand reveals.

Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Nestle, PepsiCo and other food and CGP giants sign landmark agreement on children's marketing rules.

NFL changes player-conduct policy as P&G cancels breast-cancer awareness tie-in with league and '47 brand stands by league.


Air France pilots vote to extend strike.

BlackBerry makeover starts to take shape and show results.

Boeing receives single largest order from an African carrier, Ethiopian Airlines.

Citi sees New York audit of troubled Citi Bike program.

Daimler uses India as source of trucks for emerging markets.Continue reading...

branded content

Branded Content Watch: Origins On the Road, Miranda July Tells a Tale and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 19, 2014 06:52 PM

This week in branded content, Funny or Die continues to flex its content muscles as Moroccanoil hopes to inspire everyday consumers with super-duper supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Check out the latest branded entertainment and brand videos from Volkswagen, Origins, Canon and more after the jump.

The Project: The Way Too Helpful Neighbor (Volkswagen)

The Pitch: What happens when you drive the all-new Volkswagen Golf through a Target store?

The Verdict: There's a branded content arms race going on between Funny or Die and Vice, and as this VW video proves, Funny or Die owns the humor category. Also: nice cameo, Target!Continue reading...

week in review

Top 10 Stories of the Week: Scottish Brands Vote No, Coke Surge and more

Posted by brandchannel staff on September 19, 2014 06:45 PM

Our most-read blog posts of the week:

#1 Yes or No, Scotland's Vote for Independence Will Affect Brands

#2 Long Live the '90s: Coke Brings Back Surge in Amazon E-Commerce Tie-In

#3 U2unes Download: Apple and U2 Announce Next Big Gift to Music

#4 Alibaba IP-OMG: Putting the Potentially Biggest IPO Ever in Global Perspective

#5 Apple, Watch Your Back: Is Google Going More Boldly Into the Future?

#6 Nestle Scorched for Tapping California Water, but It Won't Be the Last Brand

#7 Bud Light's Whatever is a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Brand Campaign

#8 AB InBev May Gulp Down SABMiller as Heineken Holds On to Independence

#9 Urban Outfitters Ignites Social Rage (Again) with Blood-Stained Sweatshirt

#10 Omnichannel Glam: Q&A with Rent the Runway Co-Founder Jenny Fleiss

trademark wars

Trademark Watch: Taylor Swift, Apple, Spanx and more

Posted by Nicole Briggs on September 19, 2014 06:29 PM

By Nicole Briggs and Courtney Cantor Sohn

Taylor Swift gets unlucky in law with “Lucky 13”: America's sweetheart and her besties at American Greetings are battling it out in the courtroom with California-based Blue Sphere Inc. over trademark infringement and unfair competition for use of the name “Lucky 13,” which AG used for a Swiftian sweepstakes promotion. Blue Sphere owns a company called Lucky 13, and holds registered trademarks bearing the name for clothing, jewelry and paper products. The judge dismissed Swift and AG’s singing for summary judgment, so the case will move forward, and in a Swift-like way, she’ll probably just “shake it off, shake it off.”

Apple keeps USPTO busy: Between filing trademark applications for Apple Watch and Apple Pay, and patents for CarPlay, Touch ID and Deep Audio among others, Apple has been busy on the IP front. Apple Watch and Apple Pay came as a surprise, as the media-coined names “iWatch” and “iPay” never came to fruition. And yet, even though Apple Watch and Apple Pay are descriptive of the goods and services with which they seek registration, a no-no in the trademark registration world, they just may be able to see it through. By filing for design mark with their Apple logo, and disclaiming any right to use the words “PAY” or “WATCH,” they have added a distinction to the marks.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Dirty Money: NFL's Image Problem Likely to Affect its Charitable Efforts

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 19, 2014 05:37 PM

Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off in October and it appears that at least one brand will be using it to punish the NFL for its role in an ongoing player misconduct controversy. 

P&G’s Crest brand has pulled out of A Crucial Catch, the league's breast cancer awareness initiative with the American Cancer Society, CBS Sports reports, in the wake of the domestic violence accusations and criticism of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The brand planned to have one player on each team acting as an ambassador and wearing a pink mouthguard while also engaging with fans on social media. While Crest's involvement with the campaign is no more, P&G says it still intends to donate the funds to cancer research on its own.

The decision came after the league was widely criticized for its handling of the suspension of Ray Rice for domestic violence, an incident that had a snowball effect on players and teams throughout the league. Radisson Hotels has suspended its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings after Adrian Peterson was arrested for reckless child injury. This all happened, the Sacramento Bee notes, the same week the league released a report that “shows one of four players will develop neurological disease during his career.”Continue reading...


Microbeads Burst Brand Bubbles Amid Growing Environmental Concerns

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 19, 2014 04:04 PM

Microbeads are part of many American's morning hygiene rituals, but what consumers may not know is that those very beads are, made of polypropylene or polyethylene, widely used in plastic shopping bags, are harming wildlife and are polluting food systems and waterways. 

Washed down bathroom drains, the beads, which don't dissolve, evade treatment plant filters and absorb toxins from pollutants like pesticides, oil and flame-retardants causing toxic run-off into large bodies of water like the Great Lakes, which contain 20 percent of the world's surface fresh water.

L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble both market products with microbeads and two Colgate brands, Max Clean and Max Clean Smart Foam, also contain them. Now, Procter & Gamble, maker of Crest, has pledged to eliminate microbeads from its toothpastes Pro Health and 3D White lines by March 2016.

"While the ingredient in question is completely safe, approved for use in foods by the FDA, and part of an enjoyable brushing experience for millions of consumers with no issues, we understand there is a growing preference for us to remove this ingredient. So we will," the company said in a statement.Continue reading...

car talk

Google, Auto Brands Clash Over Visions for Self-Driving Cars

Posted by Dale Buss on September 19, 2014 02:10 PM

Google and automakers are pursuing somewhat different visions of what "self-driving cars" mean, but each side is going all-out to execute their strategy, and the end result is likely to be mostly autonomous vehicles within several years.

Each week brings new developments that seem to bring this new horizon forward but at the same time sharpen the distinctions between how the tech giant is approaching this vast new arena of commercial possibility and how the auto industry's traditional players are.

This week, for example, Audi and Mercedes-Benz as well as Google received the first permits issued by the state of California for testing of self-driving cars on all of the Golden State's roadways. The permits are designed to help keep California the inarguable bellwether of new automotive technology as it has been for decades in prompting improvements in fuel economy and emissions controls.Continue reading...

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