Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 15, 2013 02:28 PM
You want to make Reddit sensation Grumpy Cat really grumpy? Try using her name on a product without prior authorization.
The owners of the cat that took social media by storm five months ago have filed for a trademark for the name "Grumpy Cat" as well as the cat’s likeness. After all, their little kitty, whose name is actually Tardar Sauce, has since gotten her own website, Facebook fan page, retail space, an appearance on the Today Show and her own commercial for Friskies cat food, according to SmallBizTrends.com.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 12:19 PM
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Meet Monty, Porter and Ginny — three dogs trained by Mark Vette to drive cars in a novel partnership between a local SPCA branch in New Zealand and the automaker that puts a whole new spin on "adoption drive."
The cruising canines were selected by SPCA Auckland as the first crew for the Driving Dogs campaign, and started training two months ago with MINI New Zealand's instructors. Beginning with mock car controls, Monty (the Neil Armstong of the group) graduated to a real car where he spent hours behind the wheel – much like any nervous teenager, practicing his driving skills, while accompanied by a human instructor.
This week, Monty drove the car on his own on Campbell Live on New Zealand television, and social media exploded.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2012 05:08 PM
Apple has found an unexpected, underserved cohort of consumers who can't get enough of the iPad — animals.
According to the Associated Press, six orangutans at Miami's Jungle Island are using iPads as part of an experiment in communication and mental stimulus. Their adoption habits pattern that of humans.
"Our young ones pick up on it. They understand it. It's like,`Oh I get this,'" said Linda Jacobs, who oversees the program. "Our two older ones, they just are not interested. I think they just figure, `I've gotten along just fine in this world without this communication-skill here and the iPad, and I don't need a computer.'"Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 25, 2012 03:50 PM
Fast-food brands aren't going to get out of the meat business any time soon. But Burger King wants to be the first big U.S. fast-food chain to at least do that with chicken and pigs that don’t spend their lives caged up.
The plan is for the 7,200 Burger Kings across America to be using 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2017 and also only buy pork from “suppliers that can demonstrate documented plans to end their use of gestation crates for breeding pigs,” according to a press release.
The animal welfare announcement comes as the chain is promoting the chicken strips on its new U.S. menu in a celeb-laden (now adding Steven Tyler? Update: yes, Tyler) advertising campaign.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2012 05:09 PM
Amazon.com, ranked at #9 among U.S. retail brands on Interbrand's new Best Retail Brands report, has found itself in hot water with environmentalists.
The Seattle-based company “allows” (or at least has turned a blind eye to) its Japanese website to "traffic in whale and dolphin products,” according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Whaling has been illegal since 1982. Britain's the Mirror states that “animal rights groups found 147 illegal items advertised including whale curry, whale bacon, whale stew and tinned whale hamburger” on the site. That's right: whale burgers.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 20, 2012 11:51 AM
In honor of Presidents Day in the U.S. today, here's a look back at McDonald's 2005 Super Bowl spot, "The Lincoln Fry," which featured a likeness of Abraham Lincoln found in an iconic McDonald's French fry and a viral campaign that included a fake blog.
Seven years later, McDonald's is trying to be Honest Abe with more corporate transparency in a bid to boost its brand perception, including being more open about its treatment of animals, as the cover of Ad Age this week attests. Read our coverage of McDonald's transparency moves below:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2012 04:01 PM
McDonald's is taking another step to mollify critics as it agrees to push its pork suppliers to stop confining sows in small pens. These "gestation stalls," as explained above, are "not a sustainable production system," the chain said, and there are alternatives that "are better for the welfare of sows."
The move is the latest by McDonald's to engage some of its many critics, demonstrate concern about issues such as animal welfare where it's deemed possible for the business, and make some changes. Recently, for example, McDonald's decided to stop using ammonium hydroxide in its burgers after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver criticized the use of the filler ingredient as "not fit for a dog."
McDonald's announced its move in conjunction with the Humane Society of the U.S. The stalls confine adult female hogs whose offspring are raised and slaughtered for bacon and sausage, giving the sows enough room only to stand up and sit down. They're among the practices criticized by Chipotle on Sunday in its lengthy ad during the Grammy music awards.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 6, 2012 07:27 PM
McDonald's USA released a video today addressing its animal welfare practices and standards, following animal rights and food activists' complaints over its poultry contractor compliance and food sourcing. The outcry over farm practices has also drawn celebrities including Ryan Gosling and Jamie Oliver to lobby the quick-serve food giant to lead the fast food industry by raising the bar on ethical food practices, while the restaurant chain defends its sustainable supply chain policies.
Discussing the issues in a new video above: Todd Bacon, McDonald's USA Senior Director of Quality Systems, suppliers (a group that McDonald's has been featuring in its farm-to-front-counter advertising campaign) and animal welfare experts incuding Dr. Temple Grandin, the well-known animal behaviorist who is a member of the chain's Animal Welfare Council. Watch the video and weigh in with a comment below.