long arm of the law
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 22, 2013 06:25 PM
Airbnb, an online booking service that allows anybody to rent out any premises for as little as a night, sounds like a great idea that leverages the "sharing economy.” Investors think Airbnb is pretty slick too: Two years ago, the San Francisco company was valued at over a billion dollars and today its value has more than doubled.
But is Airbnb about to experience a crash landing? A judge in New York City has just ruled that an Airbnb user broke an “illegal hotel” law when Nigel Warren rented out the bedroom of his apartment in the East Village for three days. The law “restricts residents from renting out apartments, or rooms in them, for fewer than 30 days, unless they are also living in the home during the guests’ stay.”
Airbnb representatives appeared in court along with Warren, arguing that “certain language” in the code allowed him to make the room available to a renter. But judge Clive Morrick indicated that “Airbnb renters did not have access to all parts of the apartment, specifically the room of Mr. Warren’s roommate, who was still living there while Mr. Warren was away and renting out his room.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2013 03:53 PM
When you’re a 6-10 pro basketball player, you are used to getting things your way. But Los Angeles Clippers power forward Lamar Odom, husband to Khloe Kardashian, may not win the current battle he’s thrust himself into.
Odom and designer Jonathan Garcia launched a clothing line, Rich Soil, back in 2009 and one of its T-shirts caused so much of a stir that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo actually sent him a letter to tell him to stop selling it, the Associated Press reports. Cuomo expected Odom and his pal to stop sales within five days.
The problem? The shirt looks an awful lot like a logo for a New York State farming program. The Rich Soil shirt features a very similar Statue of Liberty that sits behind familiar-looking crop rows, encircled in a similar font reading "Rich Soil New York" as opposed to the program's "Pride of New York." Check out a side-by-side here.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2013 02:49 PM
The nanosecond a so-called student athlete in college takes money of any kind related to his or her sport, they are suddenly considered professionals and cannot play in college anymore, so says the NCAA, who laid out the rules that lets the organization instead profit from things such as jersey sales with player names.
The NCAA’s coffers have also been lined by its relationship with Electronic Arts, which has been making video games based on college teams and athletes for years. However, a few former players aren't happy about being duped out of revenues from those sales, and one of them, former Rutgers University quarterback Ryan Hart, has now made some legal headway.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Tuesday ruled that Hart can try to cash in on some of the money EA made from the 2004, 2005 and 2006 versions of its college football game. The 2-1 decision overturned a decision by a lower court that said that it was OK for EA to use Hart’s likeness without him getting any kind of royalties due to First Amendment rights.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on May 20, 2013 01:39 PM
Hyundai is reportedly close to settling 38 federal lawsuits filed after it overstated the fuel economy of its cars. Such a turning point might suggest a grand statement by the brand seeking to sweep that nasty episode behind Hyundai for good with a hearty mea culpa.
But just as Hyundai marketing stewards have done from the beginning of this shameful interlude that began in November, they're making sure they communicate primarily with the offended parties—Hyundai owners—instead of with the general public. Hyundai simply continues to carry out the remedy it came up with last fall of an apology to those owners, changing of internal procedures about estimating mileage, and a reimbursement to its customers consisting of debit cards for gasoline purchases to help make up for the mileage they "lost," around $88 for each year they've owned the vehicle with overstated mileage.
"We're focusing on the owners," Steve Shannon, CMO of Hyundai of America, told brandchannel. "We think we're doing the right thing. Every day a certain number of [reimbursement chits] come in and we send them a debit card, and the owners tend to be very pleased with the fairness of the settlement."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 14, 2013 07:01 PM
As it stands, 1,127 lives were lost in the factory collapse in Bangladesh and over a dozen international retailers have signed on to the binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement as the May 15 deadline looms.
In a move that was hailed as "game-changing," H&M, Bangladesh's largest producer, signed on to the agreement on Monday, which promises to ensure independent inspections of all factories and financial aid to improve factory safety. “With this commitment we can now influence even more in this issue," said Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability for H&M, in a statement posted on the fast-fashion retailer's corporate website.
While H&M's decision may have influenced other signatories like Italy's Benetton, Spain's Mango and Britain's Marks & Spencer, it has yet to affect the decisions of North American retailers including Gap Inc. and Walmart.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 13, 2013 11:48 AM
"No fatties." That's the underlying concept of the latest outrage about fashion brand Abercrombie & Fitch.
But what's the bigger threat for the brand? Some controversial comments the CEO made seven years ago, or cultural irrelevance? The fact that Abercrombie has to go back more than a half decade to gin up some outrage about its brand may demonstrate that the brand's most significant days are in the past.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 06:48 PM
The social media airwaves are alive with fury as a seven-year-old comment reignites a firestorm over positive body image and branding.
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries made his position clear back in 2006 and has stuck to it ever since. “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
Jeffries' prejudice was reignited after a blog post reminded the public that the brand doesn't carry sizes XL or XXL in its women's products, a decision that is not only outdated but one that is being challenged by direct competitors like American Eagle and H&M, both which carry extended sizes for women and men.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...