The Ethical Smartphone: Fairphone Shakes Up the Mobile Industry

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2015 03:46 PM

Even as Apple, Samsung and Sony dazzle us with their digital device promises, the reality remains that our smartphones use conflict minerals, child labor and below-par wages for the workers from the mines to the factories.

The Amsterdam-based social enterprise behind Fairphone—which bills itself as the world's first smartphone with social and environmental values—was just named the fastest-growing startup in the Netherlands by Tech5, which identifies Europe’s smartest, young tech companies.

“As a social enterprise, winning this award proves that purpose and profit can go hand in hand," Fairphone founder Bas van Abel commented on the recognition. He added that it was a tribute to those consumers “who have voted with their wallets and shown that there is a market for ethical electronic products.”Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

KPMG Tees Off to #BreakGlassCeilings with Golf Pros Lewis and Mickelson

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2015 11:59 AM

KPMG is teeing off against gender discrimination with its first TV campaign in more than a decade.

The ads promote the inaugural KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, a conference for women leaders held the same week, June 8-14, in Rye, New York. The championship offers a $3.5 million purse and will be broadcast on NBC and the Golf Channel.

“This is a critical business initiative for us,” said John Veihmeyer, global chairman of KPMG International, in the Wall Street Journal. “This tournament and this external visibility is such a natural outgrowth of a large number of things we’ve been doing internally over a number of years to sustain and continue to build a strong culture of inclusion.”Continue reading...

diversity watch

Walmart, Amazon, Apple and Others Come Out Against Discrimination

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2015 10:54 AM

Yesterday the Arkansas House of Representatives passed a controversial "religious freedom" bill following Indiana’s passage of a similar bill last week, and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has indicated he will sign it into law.

This prompted Walmart, the state's most powerful employer, to speak out in a statement by CEO Doug McMillon, in which he says the passage of HB1228 does not reflect the company's values. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: April Fools' Pranks, GoDaddy, RadioShack and More

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2015 09:08 AM


It's April 1st, which means many brands (like Target) will ignore John Oliver and attempt to fool nobody.

GoDaddy IPO values company at $4.5 billion.

RadioShack receives court approval to co-brand stores with Sprint.

Charter Communications buys fellow cable operator Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion.

HTC launches global campaign to support One M9 smartphone:Continue reading...


April Fool's Day 2015: The Best (or Worst) Brand Pranks From Around the Globe

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2015 07:07 AM

Domino's UK April Fools 2015 driverless driver

You may feel that companies shouldn't indulge in April Fools' Day jokes—but that's not going to stop those prepared to mock, despite John Oliver's plea to abstain.

Below, some of the brand silliness we've spotted today, with selfies and animals a big theme, starting with Google's cross-product pranking:Continue reading...


No April Foolin': Amazon Dash Button Leapfrogs the Shopping List

Posted by Bill Chidley on March 31, 2015 06:04 PM

Amazon Dash Button Tide

The shopper path-to-purchase just got shorter—a lot shorter. In a move that may smack of being an early April Fool's prank (it's not), Amazon today announced the Dash Button as a product replenishment system to Prime Members, which enables instant re-ordering of many of life’s simple needs.

The branded widgets work with 255 products from 18 brands, including Tide detergent, Keurig cups, Olay face cream, Huggies diapers, Bounty paper towels, Gillette Fusion shaving products and anything else that can typically trigger a trip to the store now can be ordered with the push of a button.

Place the gadget close to the shelf where you keep the items, push the button when you feel you are running low, and Amazon sends your phone an alert to place the order with your Amazon app. Initial players in the Dash Button program are CPG giants like P&G, Clorox, Kimberly-Clark and Kraft.

While still invite-only, device-makers are already developing with the Dash-based Internet of Things ecosystem in mind, including Whirlpool's smart washing machine and a coffee pot by Quirky.Continue reading...


Levi's Wants You to Wash Your Jeans Less Often This Earth Day

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 31, 2015 05:08 PM

Levi Strauss & Co. has saved 1 billion liters of water since 2011 through its Water<Less process, reducing water usage in garment finishing by up to 96 percent. 

This milestone coincides with the release of an update to its 2007 Product Lifecycle Assessment (LCA), analyzing complete product lifecycles, probing environmental impacts of cotton in key growing regions, apparel production and distribution, and consumer washing and drying habits in key markets.

The new LCA expands on previous research across the US, China, Brazil, India, Pakistan and Australia, as well as customer care data from new markets.Continue reading...


NYIAS 2015: Lincoln Aims to Take New York By Storm as Cadillac Reveals CT6

Posted by Dale Buss on March 31, 2015 04:06 PM

New York International Auto Show 2015

As the biggest market for luxury vehicles in the nation, New York City expects premium auto brands to show it some respect. And that's exactly what many of them are doing in the run-up to the annual New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) this week.

Both Lincoln—reviving the Continental next year after a 13-year hiatus— and Cadillac—with its CT6 reveal—are staging major vehicle introductions at the show, "trying to claw their way to something other than also-ran positions" in the US luxury-car market overall, noted Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for

Meanwhile, traditional powerhouses Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Jaguar and Land Rover will also unveil new models.Continue reading...

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