sustainability

Sustainable Brands: The Greening of Apple Under Lisa Jackson

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 4, 2014 10:44 AM

Apple places high priority on its environmental credentials, including launching a microsite on its eco-responsibility, releasing "Better," an Earth Day video narrated by CEO Tim Cook, and placing ads about its sustainability progress in newspapers worldwide proclaiming “There are some things we want every company to copy” in a not-so-veiled jab at Samsung.

But Apple's biggest green commitment happened just over a year ago, when it hired former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency director Lisa Jackson to help clean up its act. According to the company's 2014 environmental responsibility report, she’s doing a good job—even while there is still room to grow. Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: General Mills, Subway, Clear Channel and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2014 09:35 AM

TOP STORIES

General Mills sees profits drop 25 percent on decline in US sales.

Subway deploys mobile payments to all 26,000 US locations in partnership with Softcard, the mobile wallet formerly known as Isis.

Sony warns of $2 billion loss and trims mobile unit.

NFL lobbied to meet with women's activists as sponsors face protests and weigh pulling out, and the Minnesota Vikings switch course and bar Adrian Peterson. (Update: Nike has dropped its sponsorship of Peterson.)

Scotland's looming independence vote prompts Richard Branson and other business leaders to make contingency plans. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

Absolut licenses Andy Warhol images for holiday campaign.

Adobe helps bring 3D-printed shoe to life.

Airbus sells some defense businesses.

Allstate hosts college-football Twitter challenge.

ALS Association tries to avoid pitfalls after monetary success of Ice Bucket Challenge.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: World Cup, Alibaba, Citigroup, Lindt and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 14, 2014 08:33 AM

TOP STORIES

Alibaba files highly anticipated US IPO.

Citigroup agrees to announce $7 billion settlement with US Justice Department.

GM faces federal criminal case over alleged misleading statements.

Lindt makes biggest acquisition ever with Russell Stover purchase.

Germany's 1-0 World Cup win makes star of "Super Mario" Gotze (Google's nod, above).

MORE BRAND NEWS

AARP woos marketers with spending power of Americans 50+.

Apple denies China security allegations, may be seeking fresh ad direction.

Brand USA comes under fire by conservatives.

Burberry shareholders revolt over CEO Christopher Bailey's pay.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: LEGO, Tesla, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 8, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

Crumbs Bake Shop closes its doors.

Greenpeace criticizes LEGO tie-in with Shell with LEGO-animated short film.

Samsung warns of slumping profits on weaker demand as it looks beyond hardware.

Tesla sued in China for trademark infringement.

Walmart embraces smaller store formats. 

IN OTHER NEWS:

ADM buys Wild Flavors.

Abuelo’s refreshes menu and look for 25th anniversary.

Air New Zealand pulls in-flight safety video featuring scantily clad models.

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley media mogul conference kicks off.

Alibaba sees red flags raised by deals by founder Jack Ma.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple/Beats, Pepsi Max, Samsung Wearables and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 29, 2014 08:29 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Apple execs explain Beats acquisition as HP remains a Beats partner through end of the year.

Samsung announces prototype Simband personal health tech monitor with open cloud service.

BMW sees China as biggest electric car market, as Mercedes-Benz gives Chinese officials unprecedented access.

Pepsi Max unveils Idris Elba-directed short film (above) as part of #FutbolNow campaign.

Fender names U2's Bono and the Edge to its board.

MORE BRAND STORIES

Amazon tells customers to shop elsewhere in Hachette spat.

AriZona iced tea brand founders fight over brand value in court.

BlackBerry CEO defends strategy.

Bridgestone set to become Olympics sponsor.

Cadbury grapples with brand jihad in wake of pork discovery.Continue reading...

mobile brands

MWC '14: With QWERTY Keyboard in Hand, BlackBerry Plans Out Return to Greatness

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 25, 2014 06:42 PM

If there's any news worth reading about out of Mobile World Congress this week, it's that BlackBerry is essentially rising from the dead. 

After falling from what was once the highest point on the smartphone mountain, the Canadian mobile brand looks to be making a comeback with new products, services and partnerships. But a big part of BlackBerry's comeback strategy isn't looking to the future—it's pulling from the past. 

Along with lower-priced devices aimed at emerging markets in Asia, the brand “plans to offer a retro-styled device with a keyboard” and trackpad, the Wall Street Journal reports. It may seem antiquated, but the phone also has built-in Menu, Back, Send, and End buttons—all requests of longtime customers looking for that "classic" BlackBerry feel. 

"We are definitely here to compete and make up some lost ground," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said, the Journal reports. Chen continues to be excited about the challenge BlackBerry has ahead of it: “This is like the third shift, sitting there, by myself…and trying to figure out where the problem is,” he said. "It could be devastating—you could be wrong. You could be working on a problem in circles and looking at the wrong places. But it could be really cool too.”Continue reading...

mobile brands

Intel Sets its Sights on Mobile at MWC '14

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 25, 2014 12:33 PM

After a broad presentation at January's Consumer Electronics Show, debuting consumer facing products like a charging bowl, and some more in line with Intel's usual business in computing, the chip company has set out to make a global impression on the mobile market at Mobile World Congress. 

Intel is using the MWC 2014 stage to outline its product roadmap and broader strategy to gain a bigger piece of the mobile industry market in 2014, including the launch of a 64-bit Atom processor, previously code-named Merrifield, and a 64-bit mobile Atom processor, code-named Moorefield, both of which are key ingredients in next-generation smartphones and tablets.

Matt Dunford, global Chief Benchmarking Manager at Intel, said these improvements maximize overall performance above that of Apple's A7 chip in the iPhone 5S, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800, and the battery life is superior to both as well.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Apple Redeems Its Public Image with Improvements in Supply Chain, Sustainability

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2014 05:41 PM

Apple’s reputation as a tech innovator may be tarnished of late, but its corporate social responsibilties are shining more brightly as the company’s eighth annual supply-chain report said the company’s hardware factories do not use tantalum, a metal used in electronics, that is mined in areas currently engaged in warfare.

Warlords in the Democratic Republic of Congo profit from the sale of ores containing tantalum, as well as tungsten, tin and gold and grass-roots activists have called on corporate tech giants to keep "conflict minerals" out of their supply chain.

The report also uncovered fewer cases of child labor than last year: 23 underage workers as opposed to 74. Apple has been roundly criticized for using minors in its global supply chain for parts for iPhones and iPads which are made in 451 plants operated by various suppliers that collectively employ nearly 1.5 million people.

Apple relies heavily on Asian partners like Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group and has been criticized for not interfering with mandates for excessively long workweeks at its supplier factories, of which several were cited for not paying workers for overtime and no providing insurance. However, according to the new report, Apple says that its suppliers have achieved an average of 95 percent compliance with its standard maximum 60-hour work week.Continue reading...

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