brand news

Brand News: Uber, Aston Martin, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 2, 2014 09:34 AM


Uber is banned across Germany by Frankfurt court.

Aston Martin hires new CEO, Andy Palmer, from Nissan.

McDonald's boosts food-safety efforts in China.

RadioShack and shareholder talk about saving company from bankruptcy.

Apple fixes bug but denies iCloud link to celebrity nude photos leak following internal investigatiion.


1-800-FLOWERS acquires Harry & David.

Aflac ties campaign to college football.

Alfa Romeo sets return to US after 20 years.

American Apparel ads banned in the UK.

AOL brand CEO Susan Lyne steps down to attract women-led startups to venture arm.

Arthur Andersen name returns to tax consulting.

Buick launches new campaign to build on success of "Hmmm" spot. (More in our Q&A.)

Burger King sees tax history come under scrutiny.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Food Fight! Edible Flower Bouquet Brands Stalk Each Other's Trademarks

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 4, 2012 04:02 PM

You want to send somebody some lovely-looking fresh-cut fruit arrangements? No problem! There are a few companies that can help you out. Two of them aren’t just competing in the marketplace. They’ve also got a battle going in the courtroom.

Toward the beginning of last year, got into "creating and delivering fresh-cut fruit arrangements,” a business that Edible Arrangements was already well-established in with its “flower-shaped-melon-on-a-stick bouquets,” according to Reuters.

1-800-Flowers had some logos made up for their new brand extension and went ahead and registered them as trademarks. But two days later, Edible Arrangements filed a complaint that said the logos were too similar to their marks.

Now 1-800-Flowers is hoping a judge can make a judgment on the logos, according to the site, and pointed out in its own complaint that the term “bouquet of fruits” has been used by others in the past 20 years without confusion.

Christopher Buccafusco, an assistant professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, told Reuters that copyright of such things often depends on its originality, so “if Rodin carved a sculpture out of watermelon, it would be just as protected as one made out of marble.”Continue reading...

branding together

American Express Promotes Twitter Sync at SXSW with Jay-Z

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 8, 2012 11:15 AM

American Express announced an innovative social media integration with Twitter this week, enabling US cardmembers to turn customized Twitter hashtags into savings via Promoted with the tagline “Sync. Tweet. Save.” the social marketing promotion is the most direct use of Twitter to date by a brand that creates a real utility for customers: couponless savings loaded directly to their synced cards and automatically delivered in a credit statement.

“With Twitter, we’ve really hit the trifecta. We have a great platform in Twitter,” said Ed Gilligan, Vice Chairman, American Express. “We know our cardmembers are engaged in Twitter. We’ve been working with them to think about how can we help them move from conversations to commerce. To turn a tweet into a transaction.”

Brands trying out Amex Sync include Best Buy, McDonald’s, Whole Foods Market, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Century 21, The Cheesecake Factory, Dell, FedEx Office, FTD, Gulf, H&M,, Sports Authority, Ticketmaster, Virgin America and Zappos. They'll be closely watching the analytics on this test, with the Amex Synch API offering also supplying reports to merchants about customer spending, online and offline.

And if they're in Austin for SXSW on March 12th, they can celebrate at a concert featuring Jay-Z.Continue reading...

search and destroy

Blooming Pity: Valentine's Day Florist Wars Turn Ugly Online

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 15, 2012 05:41 PM

This year's Valentine's Day flower-ordering rush didn't bring any bouquets for the brands. On the second biggest day of the year for sending flowers, after Mother’s Day, disappointed U.S. customers took to Facebook and Twitter in droves to voice their outrage at 1-800-FlowersFTD and ProFlowers. No wonder a website call exists.

But a lesser known story occurred when Chez Bloom, a florist in Minneapolis, MN checked-in online at about 4 P.M. on Valentine’s Day. Chez Bloom's Twitter account posting a few tweets complaining about the incorrect information, but there's no doubt the misinformation impacted sales. Call it the war of the roses.

Owner Laura Chase told brandchannel, “It was a very busy and successful day, too busy to check online, until late afternoon when I went looking for any reviews of our deliveries. I Googled Chez Bloom and up came this screen shot." (Take a closer look below.)

"I Googled all the other local shops I could think of – and same thing appeared," Chase continued. "It’s a good thing I took a screen shot because by 5PM it was taken down. I nearly fell off my chair. They also had TV ads saying local florists were sold out, and showing a deceptive ad with a kit that had to be assembled. It’s beyond despicable. We were not sold out. We’d like to know how many others were treated this way. It’s maybe a class action lawsuit.”

We called ProFlowers and spoke with Jen Caroll, Director PR and Corporate Communications.Continue reading...

games people play

Kiip Hopes to be a Keeper for Gamers and Branders

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 18, 2011 01:00 PM

Kiip (pronounced "keep") has opened a new mobile doorway for advertisers to reward gamers. The premise underlying the seven month-old start-up: beat a level or get a high score and Kiip sends you free food and goods from brand partners for games you’re already playing. It's like Vegas for gaming high-rollers! Without the Vegas or high-roller part.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

FTD and 1-800-Flowers Should Have Nipped Valentine's Woes in the Bud

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 18, 2011 02:00 PM

Valentine's Day is the one time of the year you want to say it with flowers — and not to apologize.

Yet FTD and 1-800-Flowers both spent Valentine's Day on virtual bended knee, apologizing to the thousands of customers each brand managed to irk on what should have been their biggest sales day of the year.

1-800-Flowers, which launched the first Facebook store in 2009, somehow managed to not deliver thousands of floral arrangements that were ordered online, and is now vowing to make it up the intended recipients and the purchases. A character named Tina Flowers on its Facebook page is reaching out to disgruntled customers to make up for the mishap.

And FTD found itself in the doghouse this Valentine's Day after partnering with a brand recovering from its own PR disaster — Groupon.Continue reading...

social media watch

Facebook Ubiquity: Baseball, Commerce, Credit

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2010 01:00 PM

"Take me out to the ball game" has new meaning as Facebook (and Twitter) change the way fans 'watch' the World Series. As the World Series opened in San Francisco baseball fans in the stands were outfitted with smartphones and laptops while virtual fans congregated on social networking sites to share every pitch, hit, strike and out. CEO Bob Bowman cites Facebook and mobile as an increasingly important hub for fans, telling USA Today: "Baseball is well suited to constant updates for every pitch, and the smartphone is the ideal vehicle to view live entertainment."

Facebook is also an increasingly important player in the emergence of e-commerce store-fronts, which began over a year ago when 1-800-Flowers launched a store powered by Alvenda – the beginning of sales transaction within the FB environs. One drawback, however: Alvenda uses Adobe Flash.Continue reading...


With Rightcliq, Visa Offers Shoppers a Virtual Mall

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 5, 2010 11:35 AM

Visa is joining the race to make online shopping more interactive, fun and engaging with a free tool, Rightcliq, which the credit card giant is pitching as a social e-commerce service. The app enables users' personal information and payment card information to be auto-filled and stored on its secure servers and on merchant checkout forms.

Registered members can create and share wish lists in a ‘Wishspace’ that also tracks purchase history and delivery, solicits feedback from friends via email or Facebook, and displays specials from merchants such as 1-800-Flowers. It's being aimed squarely at two key demographics: shopping enthusiasts and trendsetters.Continue reading...

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