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sip on this

Big Soda Shrinks Calories, Pushes Personal Responsibility

Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2014 05:13 PM

Soda marketers have been fighting gradual declines in US soft drink consumption for several years now. But with the imprimatur of the Clinton Global Initiative, which is meeting this week in New York in tandem with the UN General Assembly, the big three soda-makers behind the American Beverage Association (ABA) have decided to wrap a calorie-reduction PR campaign and associated pledges around this seemingly inexorable trend.

Under the auspices of the organization founded by former President Bill Clinton, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group this week pledged to reduce beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent nationally by 2025. Such calorie consumption already has dropped by about 12.4 percent between 2000 and last year, and 23 percent for carbonated drinks alone, estimated Beverage Digest.

In a collective statement issued by the ABA, top industry leaders gathered at the CGI meeting and pledged "engage in consumer education and outreach efforts to increase consumer awareness of and interest in the wide array of no- and lower-calorie beverages and smaller portion sizes available."

Under the banner of the Balanced Calories Initiative, the beverage industry leaders will put special emphasis on promoting reduced-calorie beverages in highly-trafficked sections of stores, such as checkout areas, and in communities (such as the president's birthplace of Little Rock, Ark., and the greater Los Angeles area) where purchases of low- and no-calorie soda drinks track behind the national average.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Sponsors Pressure FIFA Over Qatar Bid Ahead of World Cup Kickoff

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 9, 2014 11:02 AM

The 2014 World Cup hasn't even gotten underway yet, but major sponsors of the event are already criticizing FIFA for its pick for the 2022 tournament host nation: Qatar. 

The selection of Qatar in December of 2010 immediately raised major concerns for a number of factors, including the punishing heat that the country suffers through during the traditional World Cup months of June and July; the country’s poor human-rights track record; the fact that Qatar doesn’t have much of a history with soccer; and that all of the stadiums for the event needed to be constructed (and will be white elephants after), among other issues that comedian John Oliver can explain for you.

Besides former US President Bill Clinton's total disappointment with the decision to skip the US and head to Qatar, investigators have now revealed that there were likely millions of dollars in bribes exchanged in order for Qatar to win the bid, The Guardian reports. The country has also come under fire for supposedly using "slaves" to help build the needed infrastructure for the event.

On top of everything else, the news of the illegal transactions now has official sponsors including adidas, Sony, Coca-Cola and Visa concerned about their association with the event. "Our expectation remains that all of our partners maintain strong ethical standards and operate with transparency,” Visa said, according to Associated Press.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Concession on Healthier Fare Also May Be Way To Jump-Start US Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2013 10:52 AM

McDonald's biggest nod toward better-for-you food is already placating some critics, and there's another benefit: Helping kids and their parents eat healthier fare at its restaurants may boost chain sales results that have become tepid lately in the US market.

In cooperation with a Bill Clinton-backed nonprofit, McDonald's has announced a sweeping new commitment to better-for-you eating that includes promoting only water, milk and juice rather than soft drinks for Happy Meals on its menu boards and in advertising, emphasizing nutrition in its packaging and advertising for kids, and offering side salads and fruit to accompany its value meals. 

"We think we can influence the purchase of fruits and veggies," McDonald's CEO Don Thompson told the Wall Street Journal. "We have a leadership role and we can be part of a solution. The average person eats at McDonald's three times a month."Continue reading...

social media watch

Walmart Takes Green Platform to Pinterest

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 19, 2012 01:18 PM

"Today, sustainability is sustainable at Walmart. The outside world recognizes our leadership and our ability to get things done," Walmart CEO Mike Duke has said. That's why Walmart launched The Green Room in January as a forum for NGOs, suppliers and consumers to learn and share sustainability-focused efforts.

To date, the microsite has garnered 164,254 unique visitors with nearly 268,807 page views, and close to 63% of traffic from referrals, 35% from Facebook alone. Now it's looking to Pinterest. Last month Pinterest users were invited to curate a pinboard of Walmart products and services that show what “living green” looks like, for a chance to win a $500 Walmart gift card in a contest held in partnership with the Mother Nature Network.Continue reading...

doing good

Clinton Global Initiative Shines Spotlight on Designing for Impact

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 24, 2012 04:17 PM

"Designing for impact” is the theme of this year’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting, the annual philanthropic TED-like session now underway in New York.

Former President Bill Clinton framed the discussion in his opening remarks on Sunday, as noted in TIME: “Today we want to talk about how you can design your actions in advance to make it more likely they will succeed.”

He went on to challenge Walmart to open a store in Libya creating jobs in the world's hot spot for trouble and woes. "If the new president of Libya asked you to open a store in Tripoli, would you consider it?" Clinton asked Walmart CEO Mike Duke, part of the opening panel that included U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Queen Rania of Jordan and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Duke's dry-witted response: his "small company from Arkansas" has operations in regions of sub-Saharan Africa, but no presence or plans for Tripoli.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced, "I'm going to sound an alarm to all the leaders. We are living in an era of insecurity, injustice, inequality and intolerance, and what should we do?" as he called on business leaders like Walmart to act "for humanity" and not just for profit.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Ford, Samsung and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 6, 2012 08:34 AM

In the News

Amazon teases new Kindle Fire devices during NFL kick-off while Kobo unveils new range of "e-readers for everyone."

Albertsons scales back retail operation with store closures.

Andy Roddick retires after U.S. Open loss, as Roger Federer is knocked out and loses world #1 title.

Ben & Jerry's sues over x-rated Ben & Cherry's.

Bentley moves US management team to VW HQ.

Bill Clinton helps seal Barack Obama nomination at DNC convention.

Billabong attracts $700 million bid from Bain Capital.

BP unveils new technology to boost oil production.Continue reading...

doing good

Have You (RED) The Latest About World AIDS Day?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 30, 2011 01:17 PM

The fight against AIDS is on track to achieve the first AIDS-free generation by 2015.

Tomorrow celebrates the 23rd World AIDS Day. Since its beginning in 1988, 30 million people have died from the disease and 2.5 million children younger than 15 are living with HIV. But in four years, the world can realize the end of HIV transmission from mothers to babies delivering a key milestone for the beginning of the end of AIDS.

Major brands are continuing their support with limited edition (RED) products to help raise funds for the charity.

Apple is selling a (RED) iPad and iPod Nano; Nike a (RED) collection including trainers, a destroyer jacket and backpack; Gap is selling a t-shirt by French fashion designer Isabel Marant; Lauren Bush's FEED project created a tote bag; and Converse made 500 pairs of (RED) Chuck Taylor All Star shoes with the ‘Ephemeral Pitches, and Notes, Rhythm and Phonetics’ print design from José Parlá.

For the third year in a row, Starbucks will make “your handcrafted beverage an agent of change. They will be turning all handcrafted beverages (RED) on World AIDS Day, December 1st, across the US & Canada, making a five cent donation on every handcrafted beverage sold."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, AP, GE & more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 30, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Apple's iPhone turns 4, while company reports worst first-half since 2008.

Associated Press to open bureau in North Korea.

Bulgari acquisition by LVMH approved by EU.

Clinton Global Initiative launches micro-lending drive.

Coca-Cola details environment and corporate citizenship progress.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg now worth $18 billion — more than Google's founders.

GE expands Olympics sponsorship through 2020.

Google champions UK tech hub.Continue reading...

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