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corporate citizenship

GLAAD Celebrates Brands Doing it Right This Pride Month (and Beyond)

Posted by Rich Ferraro on June 9, 2014 09:12 PM

We asked Rich Ferraro, who has been tracking and writing about LGBT images in advertising and marketing for the past decade, to share with us some of the most innovative 2014 LGBT Pride campaigns. As Vice President of Communications & Programs at GLAAD, he oversees GLAAD's work to advance LGBT images and stories across media, including advertising, marketing and digital media.

"GLAAD regularly meets with brands and corporates to offer best practices and to advocate for LGBT inclusion both internally and in external marketing efforts," Ferraro told us. "We also track LGBT images in advertising and hold a panel during Advertising Week in New York City each year to discuss trends in LGBT advertising." We're honored to share his thoughts on outstanding brand campaigns this Pride Month and beyond,  and invite you to share your thoughts on the brands you'd nominate in the comments below.

This Pride month, mainstream advertising is coming out of the closet, with visible and innovative LGBT Pride campaigns from a diverse range of brands. Brands have found that it's a smart business decision to stand with LGBT people and the majority of Americans who support our community today. Apparel, travel, tech, and food brands are all displaying their LGBT pride and demonstrating that the industry has moved a long way from the days when LGBT advertising was limited to beer and spirits. 

The LGBT community now expects diverse, innovative marketing efforts that reach mainstream audiences. It's no longer enough for a brand to simply have a float in a Pride Parade. Nine brand campaigns we're GLAAD to see, and why:Continue reading...

brands under fire

Facebook Comes Under Fire for Lax Gun Policies

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 3, 2014 10:14 AM

It takes just 15 minutes to buy illegal weapons on Facebook, according to a report from VentureBeat. The investigation uncovered "dozens of pages on Facebook where guns are for sale, including semi-automatic weapons, handguns, and silencers."

Listed under Facebook pages like "Guns for Sale," "I Love Guns," "Guns, Ammo & Blades"—all of which have thousands of "likes," users can purchase various weapons and accessories with no ID or paperwork needed. “While the transactions don’t actually happen on Facebook, the social network is a remarkably easy way to find shady people willing to sell you a weapon—no questions asked,” VentureBeat notes. “The illegal transactions then take place in diners, dark parking lots, and isolated country roads—away from the prying eyes of the feds and local police.” 

Now, a Change.org petition is circulating asking Facebook and Instagram to "get out of the gun business." With nearly 93,000 signatures, the petition is backed by Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group co-founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.Continue reading...

health matters

Brown Out: FDA Lobbied to Ban Colas' Caramel Coloring Over Cancer Concerns

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2012 11:58 AM

When the news came out of the state of California a year ago that the stuff that makes your cola beverage brown has been linked to cancer, there were a number of consumers that likely didn’t put their change into the vending machine that day.

The amount of that compound (4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI) in soda would cause the state to need to put warning labels on all of its cans, NPR reports. This, in turn, led to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to lobby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “ban ammonia-sulfite caramel color,” according to NPR. Coke Clear, anyone?

While the cola companies and caramel manufacturers are obviously stating that there is no validity to these claims, the FDA is also chiming in that this could be much ado about not much. In any event, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, which account for almost 90% of the U.S. soda market, have tweaked their formulas in compliance with the Californian law — averting the need to add a cancer warning label.Continue reading...

brand accolades

IBM Turns 100 as CEO Succession Talk Heats Up

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 16, 2011 03:00 PM

The company that invented the memory and hard drive in your computer, the magnetic strip on your credit card, the punch cards developed for Social Security, the … well, a whole lot of things, International Business Machines (originally the Computing Tabulating and Recording Corporation) today turns 100.

The brand's marketers have created a rich array of materials to celebrate the centennial, including corporate citizenship projects, producing a terrific series of short films, making Watson a celebrity, producing an e-book and a hardcover book, a social marketing campaign, and (of course) a company-wide celebration. 

Some of the press coverage today looks at another significant number — the fact that CEO Sam Palmisano is turning 60 — which is the age that IBM CEOs generally retire. He’s been in the position since 2002.Continue reading...

doing good

IBM, Turning 100, Highlights a Century of Service

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 9, 2011 11:30 AM

IBM marks 100 years in business on June 16, a rare achievement by any standard — and considering that its business is technology, make that an astounding achievement.

To mark its centenary, the brand is launching global initiatives that will incorporate all 170 countries of operation, including hundreds of local grants to support employees' volunteer activities in support of "smarter planet initiatives" as a global "Celebration of Service" in which tens of thousands of IBMers, retirees and partners will participate.Continue reading...

tech innovation

PepsiCo Seeks Digital Innovators in Europe

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 8, 2011 05:00 PM

PepsiCo wants to get in on the virtual ground floor in Europe. The company is rolling out a program that it found success with in the United States last year: finding and partnering with up to 10 technology startups that can help spread the word about Pepsi and its products.

The beverage giant is looking to fund European startups that have “a ready-to-go product or service technology in social media and/or community-based marketing, mobile marketing, tablets, location-based marketing, digital video, gaming and/or learning.”Continue reading...

chew on this

From The Flip to The Melt, Appiness is a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 8, 2011 12:30 PM

Jonathan Kaplan, who gave us the Flip — the web-ready video camera sold to Cisco for nearly $600 million in 2009 before its demise this year — has flipped to a new business, a "Chipotle-style chain" of grilled cheese restaurants called The Melt.

You might say that Kaplan, the former CEO of Pure Digital Technologies, has an app-etite for innovative ideas.

Four outlets for his new gourmet sandwich concept (which comes with its own app) will be open in the San Francisco Bay Area by Labor Day, with a goal of 500 nationwide by 2015.

Backers have so far put $10 million in his coffers, including a $500,000 to $1 million stake by Sequoia Capital, whose previous investments were Apple, Google, YouTube, and PayPal.Continue reading...

no kidding around

Are Advergames Fair Game for Kids?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 2, 2011 04:00 PM

Chex Quest, from General Mills, was the first video game to ever be included in cereal boxes as a prize back in 1996. Fast forward 15 years to Create a Comic, General Mills' latest digital advergame designed to engage kids with the Honey Nut Cheerios cereal brand. 

In that brief span of 15 years, the playbook on marketing to children has been rewritten by all things digital, and marketers are increasingly using games, quizzes and mobile apps to woo kids into a social web where they essentially act as marketers themselves.Continue reading...

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