Posted by Abe Sauer on March 7, 2014 11:23 AM
Everyone knows the shrill shriek of the US' emergency broadcasting system. And while it may be a drill, it's no joke. The FCC is looking to hit Viacom, ESPN, and NBCUniversal with fines for running ads last year for the film Olympus Has Fallen because the ad featured the emergency alert system tones.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 26, 2014 03:11 PM
In celebration of the fourth anniversary of her Let's Move movement, First Lady Michelle Obama is pressing forward on her ambitions to curb junk food marketing to kids. In an announcement with US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Obama introduced a proposal to ban advertising of sodas and unhealthy snacks in public schools.
"Our classrooms should be healthy places where kids are not bombarded with ads for junk food," Obama said at a White House event, according to NBC.
Vilsack said the new rules eliminate marketing for products that can’t be sold in schools. "If you can't sell it, you ought not to be able to market it," noting that companies spend $149 million a year marketing food and drinks to kids in public schools.
According to the FCC, the heaviest marketers are candy and snack food manufacturers and beverage companies and fast-food chains, offering enticements like coupons for pizza for reading books. Still, only two states, California and Connecticut, have banned sodas and junk food from public schools, the former in 2005 and the latter in 2006.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2014 09:20 AM
Facebook sees growth anxieties drive WhatsApp purchase.
Sbarro closes 155 company-owned units.
Walmart offers weak forecast and plans to accelerate rollout of small stores.
Aereo suffers a defeat in court.
Audi gives TT Roadster a fresh look.
Budweiser unveils World Cup teaser.
ConAgra seeks to revitalize Healthy Choice brand.
Fiat gives buyers an iconic track experience.
Ford splits with TV pitchman Mike Rowe.
FCC plans to overhaul rules to rescue net neutrality.
Gap announces voluntary minimum wage boost.Continue reading...
brand take over
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2014 12:07 PM
Following a failed takeover bid by Charter Communications, Comcast announced it would acquire Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal for $45.2 billion. If the merger is approved by regulators, Comcast will return to its top spot as the largest cable operator in the world.
The merger, which could send waves through various television networks, national sports markets, TV technology and streaming companies is already a cause for concern among consumers and other pay TV companies, including satellite television networks, as well as AT&T, Verizon and Google, all of whom have made inroads into the cable and internet-providing business.
At about $159 per share, Comcast stands to adopt Time Warner Cable's 11 million pay TV customers, highly concentrated in Manhattan and Los Angeles, where it owns two sports networks and has lucrative deals with local sports teams. As part of the deal though, Comcast said it will divest about 3 million of TWC's customers to appease regulators.
As far as Comcast is concered, gaining regulatory approval from the federal government, including the FCC, shouldn't be too hard since Comcast and TWC aren't actually direct competitors (as far as carved-up cable provider boundaries go). The approval would follow Comcast's nearly $17 billion buyout of NBCUniversal from GE last year.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 4, 2014 01:56 PM
President Obama has scored some major progress on his ConnectED initiative thanks to a little help from some major brands. The program, which was launched in June, advocates for high-speed internet and education technology in every classroom, as well as training teachers on the benefits of tech in the classroom by 2017.
The President has challenged the FCC, Federal agencies, Congress, the private sector and communities to rise to the test. As announced today as part of the White House's ConnectED (or #ConnectED) initiative, US companies are answering the call by committing more than $750 million to deliver cutting-edge technologies, devices, free software, teacher professional development, and home wireless connectivity.
“Today, fewer than 30 percent of schools have the broadband they need to teach using today’s technology; under ConnectED, 99 percent of American students will have access to next-generation broadband by 2017. That connectivity will be the bedrock of a transformation in the classroom experience for all students, regardless of income," the White House said in a press release.Continue reading...
masters of their domains
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 16, 2014 03:58 PM
A bunch of bright, shiny, new toll booths may soon be erected on the information superhighway and it doesn’t appear there is much consumers can do about it. A federal court ruling on Tuesday that struck down "net neutrality" rules would allow companies like Verizon, Time Warner Cable, AT&T and other internet service providers to change the way they treat different websites.
The ruling, in favor of Verizon, means that one site may be allowed to load content faster while another's is slowed down. Such a situation means that consumers and companies may be paying more to get what they have now: the ability to travel to any site and expect it to download high-quality content at the same speed, the so-called “open Internet.”
What’s been called “net neutrality” may soon be disappearing, which isn’t a good sign for brands like YouTube and Netflix, whose businesses are built upon serving up high-quality video content at fast download rates for little to no cost to consumers. It is good for the aforementioned web-service providers, though, who can surely find new ways to pad the growing amount of consumers who pulled the plug on their cable providers so they could do all their TV watching online.Continue reading...
long arm of the law
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2013 08:03 PM
When the sure-to-be-contentious races get fully underway for 33 Senate seats, 38 state and territorial governorships, and all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives later this year, political advertising will probably feel inescapable. Signs, T-shirts, and door knockers will be out in full force. Robocalls are sure to come early and often. Whatever creative way politicians can find to get their names into the brains of those who will head to the polls on Nov. 4 will be used.
However, there will be at least one safe zone on the media landscape that folks can hide from the onslaught: public television and radio. The US Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that public radio and TV stations cannot run ads from political candidates and corporations.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 22, 2013 09:14 AM
IKEA under investigation in France for snooping on workers.
Walgreens opens nation's first energy-net-zero retail store.
Microsoft heats up gaming-console wars with debut of Xbox One.
Air New Zealand launches "Middle Earth" campaign tied to release of The Hobbit movie.
Acer brings back founder without pay to help struggling PC maker.
Amazon amps up for winning holiday as executive predicts quantum leap in online alcohol sales.
Apple wins a patent retrial against Samsung.
Bauer Media launches digital brand aimed at wealthy young women.
Beam and Cinnabon to introduce co-branded vodka.
Caterpillar is probed for possibly dumping parts in the ocean.Continue reading...