brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 18, 2013 04:52 PM
In the wake of the PRISM scandal, brands are continuing to jockey for their place among the most transparent as the government slowly concedes to releasing more surveillance data collected through the top-secret NSA program, which was made public by whistle blower Edward Snowden.
Requests by Facebook, Microsoft, Google and the like to release data requested by the government have been answered this week. While the initial accusations that the internet companies allowed the NSA to troll data through a wide-open back door was ruled false, the companies still wished to clear their names in conjunction with the thousands of written data requests with which they are charged to comply with per federal laws.
To date, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft have disclosed the number of requests received over certain blocks of time. Facebook published its first transparency report, where it said it received up to 10,000 requests between July and December 2012. Meanwhile, Apple said it faced up to 5,000 federal, state and local requests between December 2012 and May 2013, Microsoft reported 7,000 requests from July through December 2012, and Yahoo reported the most, with 13,000 requests for data in the past 18 months, the BBC reports.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 11, 2013 04:56 PM
Google has bowed to pressure initiated by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and removed ads and search results for numerous websites selling pharmaceuticals without prescriptions.
The internet giant was issued a litigation hold letter that alerted the company to preserve evidence of anything it takes down, threatening possible legal action. This isn't the first time that Google has been scrutinized by the federal government for the content that lands on its search pages, including ads for illegal drugs and pharmaceuticals, as well as counterfeit goods.
Hood, co-chairman of the National Association of Attorneys General's intellectual property committee has targeted the company for not being proactive in its monitoring of ads and search results, although the company has previously been fined for a similar offense. "This behavior means that Google is putting consumers at risk and facilitating wrongdoing, all while profiting handsomely from illegal behavior," Hood said.Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 12:22 PM
In what Yahoo hopes to be a life-altering deal, the aging internet company acquired social media site Tumblr for $1.1 billion, affectively gaining the attention of millions of users that visit Tumblr monthly (that is, if they all don't jump ship first).
Purchase rumors began to swirl last week after the company's CFO Ken Goldman spoke of Yahoo's "aging demographic" and their need to be "cool" again. With the acquisition now official, Yahoo will suddenly be knee deep in the content-consuming, uber-engaged millennials that it craves, but the question is whether Tumblr's core users will stick around for fear that Yahoo will alter the blogging site—or whether advertisers and brands can handle the rough-and-tumble world of Tumblr.
However, CEO Marissa Mayer was quick to assure users (with her first Tumblr post, of course; she also launched her own Tumblr and showed a sense of humor over the "WFH" debate) that Yahoo would "not screw it up" and had no plans to tamper with the site or its crew. Mayer's post, in the copyright-flouting spirit of Tumblr, used an image that without first getting its creator's permission.
Founder David Karp—who is slated to become Forbes' youngest billionaire—will remain at the head of the company along with his team. According to Mayer, it seems the only major plans Yahoo has for Tumblr (besides not screwing it up) are more opportunities for native advertising (aka advertorials or sponsored content, which Karp & Co. have been testing in the wake of earlier stumbles) in addition to implementing Yahoo search on Tumblr to start mining all that juicy millennial user data.Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 17, 2013 03:39 PM
As it explores new revenue streams and strategies to build out its web platform, Yahoo may be looking to invest in a platform that is sure to bring it plenty of the millennials it craves.
According to a report by All Things D, sources close to Yahoo! have said that the company may be considering a "strategic investment in or outright buy" of social blogging mecca Tumblr. After all, the startup, which is valued around $800 million, is one of the most popular social platforms and has become increasingly a part of branding arsenals as companies take advantage of its photo-heavy community.
Update: The acquisition was approved by Yahoo's board on Sunday, and announced via a press release, David Karp's Tumblr post and Marissa Mayer's first Tumblr post on Monday morning. The tl;dr version: Yahoo promises to leave the Tumblr brand independent and "not screw it up," leaving Karp as CEO and its staff intact. Yahoo will get access to Tumblr's 300 million monthly unique visitors; Tumblr gets the backing to continue its product roadmap and Karp's vision.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 7, 2013 03:35 PM
Since last year’s launch of Aereo, the disruptive streaming service that allows consumers to watch TV online as well as on mobile devices for a small monthly fee, there has been a lot of legal wrangling between the company and broadcasters of every stripe.
Two of the major players in the fight have been Barry Diller, whose IAC unit backs Aereo, and Rupert Murdoch, whose U.S. broadcast network FOX has threatened to move to cable to avoid losing out on streaming fees.
CBS head Les Moonves has also said his network could go the cable route if Aereo is allowed to continue unchecked. While CBS has previously taken legal action against Aereo, the tables have now turned as the streaming site moves to block future suits from CBS and its affiliates.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 30, 2013 03:50 PM
Hailed as the "internet's highest honor" by the New York Times, the Webby Awards assess thousands of entries every year in an effort to recognize outstanding brands, initiatives, designs and individuals across the internet.
This year's awards garnered 11,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries, with people in more than 200 countries voting online in the People's Voice awards.
The 2013 winners include special honors for music artist Frank Ocean, the Obama for America 2012 presidential campaign, and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who spearheaded online activism in support of gay rights.
Brands taking home awards this year include Change.org, Google Maps and Glassdoor. brandchannel's parent company, Interbrand, was nominated in the Best Visual Design- Function category for its Best Global Brands 2012 website.
Here's how some other top brands made out this year:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 15, 2013 02:28 PM
You want to make Reddit sensation Grumpy Cat really grumpy? Try using her name on a product without prior authorization.
The owners of the cat that took social media by storm five months ago have filed for a trademark for the name "Grumpy Cat" as well as the cat’s likeness. After all, their little kitty, whose name is actually Tardar Sauce, has since gotten her own website, Facebook fan page, retail space, an appearance on the Today Show and her own commercial for Friskies cat food, according to SmallBizTrends.com.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 21, 2013 11:01 AM
Following the countdown, the launch plans of a Kim Jung-Un lookalike are thwarted by a crashed browser. The dictator grabs a rifle, intent on immediately executing the cadre responsible for the embarrassment. But the fast-fingered lackey whips open a Liebao browser and saves the day. "Use Liebao. Launch Victoriously" reads the tagline. Then everyone starts Gangnam Styling because… of course.
Poking fun at ally North Korea is just the latest little stunt by China's Kingsoft to promote its new Lieboa (猎豹; Cheetah) browser. But is the world ready for a Chinese face on its Internet?Continue reading...