Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 6, 2013 01:32 PM
General Mills is in the center of social media firestorm over a Cheerios ad it posted to its YouTube channel. The ad, which features a mixed-race family, ignited a racist backlash, forcing the brand to disable comments on the video due to the nature of the responses.
Posted late last week, the ad, titled "Just Checking" features a caucasian mother, an African-American father and a mixed-race daughter. The spot touts the ongoing Heart Healthy campaign and remains true to the brand's ethos of family and old-fashioned Americana. However, the ad, which has over 2 million views on YouTube, garnered a number of racist remarks.
Despite the negative reaction to the ad, General Mills is standing behind its efforts. "We are a family brand and not all of the comments were family-friendly," Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios told USA Today. "There are many kinds of families, and Cheerios celebrates them all.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 6, 2013 09:02 AM
P&G makes race to succeed Lafley clearer with executive moves.
Apple plans to sell audio ads on rumored iRadio.
Verizon sees US government track phone records of its customers, report says.
Chili's is pleased with rollout of pizza and flatbreads.
Disney puts seven Radio Disney stations up for sale.
Edmunds.com launches price guarantee for online shoppers.
GM rejoins S&P 500 as US Treasury plans to sell more shares.
General Mills gets OK reception for potentially "controversial" ad for Cheerios.
Kimpton Hotels holds pet photo contest.
McDonald's experiments with breakfast and dinner after midnight.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 4, 2013 09:20 AM
Zynga cuts staff to pre-IPO level.
Lululemon brings back yoga pants.
Monsanto plans to quit lobbying on GMO issues in Europe.
Apple is accused by prosecutors of helping drive up e-book prices.
Birchbox rebrands its beauty and lifestyle subscription service.
Cadillac posts biggest sales surge since 1976.
Chipotle expands ShopHouse Asian concept.
Dunkin' Donuts to roll out glazed-doughnut sandwich nationwide.
eBay forms partnership with India's Snapdeal.
FedEx parks jets sooner to cut costs as economy slows.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 29, 2013 02:19 PM
Having scored a big hit with its Nature Valley Protein Bars last year, General Mills has gone searching for bigger shares of the better-for-you snack business. And it's enlisting some of its best-known brands, from Fiber One to Green Giant, in the hunt.
The Minneapolis-based CPG giant has done about all it can to overhaul its mainstay ready-to-eat cereal business in a more nutritious manner, including shifting nearly the entire portfolio to whole grains. But that category remains sluggish. Meanwhile, the company's Yoplait brand was caught flat-footed by the Greek-style yogurt craze and is still trying to catch up.
Focusing on its snack brands and on extending other brands into the snacking arena has become crucial for growth for General Mills. Snacks have been its strongest business for the last five years, with average annual sales growth topping 8 percent a year during that time.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 04:47 PM
Joining a long roster of freshened iconic-female CPG logos that includes Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Wendy of fast-food fame, Little Debbie is getting a modern makeover. The face of the snack-cake brand is being tweaked by owner McKee Foods for just the third time since the iconic logo was introduced in 1960.
The difference between Little Debbie and the other three females is that she's the only real person who is still working in a key role with the company whose eponymous logo she inspired. Debbie McKee-Fowler is still an executive vice president of McKee, a family-owned, Collegedale, Tenn.-based company that was founded by her grandfather, O.D. McKee. Grandpa was inspired by the angelic visage of his three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter to make her the fresh and appealing face of his new food enterprise.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 3, 2013 01:38 PM
Bowl by bowl, traditional ready-to-eat cereal is getting more nutritious and edging its way back into the healthful perimeter that more Americans are putting around their diets. Kellogg and General Mills, the industry giants, are making that a priority for their brands.
Kellogg, for example, plans to introduce new products infused with more nutrients to help bring back better-educated, higher-income adults to the traditional breakfast that so many of them enjoyed as kids. The new offerings include Raisin Bran with omega-3s and a multigrain version of Special K that will debut later this month in North America. Lately, Kellogg also has been promoting the simple goodness of some of its classic cereals because of their grain content.
CEO John Bryant told analysts that kids and lower-income adults are still spooning up plenty of cereal, according to the Associated Press, but higher-income adults have been cutting back. "I don't think they're really that price-sensitive," he said. "The real issue there is innovation."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2013 03:36 PM
As Kermit the Frog taught an entire generation, “It's not easy being green.”
Clorox’s Green Works is a case study in the steep learning curve of green branding. The line of environmentally friendly housecleaning products launched in 2008 with an endorsement from the Sierra Club, which helped boost its market penetration and credibility.
That $1.3 million contract ends in December and the brand chose Earth Day to announce a strategic marketing revamp, including a new tone of voice (embodied by its new manifesto, posted on Facebook and its website) and the removal of the Sierra Club logo from all Green Works packaging, a clear sign of the times as green cleaning products have been forced to reduce their premium prices and re-position the sell to deflect declining sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 10:34 AM
Three heavyweights of American industrialism were among those who spoke at a Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, and they had a lot to say about what they're doing to make their companies more sustainable.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell each held forth at the sustainability-focused confab.
Akerson was the most newsworthy. He is genuinely fond of the Chevrolet Volt and will defend it against all comers, Akerson threw a potential trump card on the table against critics of GM's groundbreaking plug-in hybrid who believe it's way too expensive for whatever environmental benefits it yields, especially given all the federal-government subsidies it gets: The company plans a price cut of $7,000 to $10,000 on the "next generation" of the car and even plans for Volt "to be profitable," Akerson said.Continue reading...