Best Global Green Brands 2014

branding together

Big Tobacco Grows as Reynolds, Lorillard Merger Seeks New Industry Opportunities

Posted by Dale Buss on July 15, 2014 04:46 PM

Reynolds American and Lorillard are combining to make for a tougher competitior in a declining industry. But will the combination of the two tobacco giants be able to do more than that?

After a year of talks, Reynolds agreed to buy its smaller rival, Lorillard, for $27.4 billion, creating a company whose tobacco brands include classics such as Camel and Pall Mall as well as Natural American Spirit and Grizzly smokeless tobacco. Reynolds also has launched the Vuse e-cigarette.

But even in a business as crippled as selling cigarettes, the combining parties had to make some antitrust concessions. They sold a group of brands—including Cool, Salem and Winston cigarettes and Blu e-cigarettes—to another player, Imperial Tobacco, for $7 billion.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Big Tobacco Gets Bigger, Alibaba Gets Mad Men and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 15, 2014 09:24 AM

TOP STORIES

Reynolds American buys rival Lorillard to create new tobacco giant in $25 billion deal.

Crumbs Bake Shop files for bankruptcy as investor group makes plans.

PepsiCo brands take spotlight at Tuesday's All-Star Game, as Nike's Jordan Brand spot honors Derek Jeter.

Alibaba, pre-IPO valued at $130 billion, makes entertainment push with Lions Gate streaming TV deal bringing Mad Men to China.

Metallica stars in ESPN's latest SportsCenter ad.

MORE BRAND NEWS

ANA takes aim at bot fraud with help from advertisers.

Apple denied Touch ID trademark by USPTO.

BMW shares battery technology with rivals.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Amazon, Infiniti, Applebee's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2014 09:41 AM

TOP STORIES

Amazon is sued by FTC over in-app purchases by children and seeks federal approval for testing of 50-mph drones.

Reynolds American is in merger talks with Lorillard to create No. 2 tobacco company.

Johan de Nysschen leaves Infiniti; could Cadillac be his next stop?

Applebee's files trademark for "No Tech Tuesday" as it rolls out tabletop tablets nationwide. 

Volkswagen halts sales of new Golf and GTI to check safety defect.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Airbus promises 14 percent fuel-efficiency boost in new wide-body jet.

Alibaba starts to move down path toward IPO.

Crumbs Bake Shop may get financial rescue lifeline.

Dum Dums creates drumming app.

Exxon spars with state of Pennsylvania over fracking.

Fiat re-ups partnership with “Funny Or Die.”Continue reading...

health fallout

US Order Could See Big Tobacco Apologizing for Years of Deceit on Tobacco Health

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 13, 2014 06:44 PM

Big Tobacco is finally seeing the error of its way—not by its own volition, of course. The US Justice Department has worked out an agreement with America’s tobacco companies to offer up apologies for all the lies they have fed the public over the years about cigarette smoking. According to the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, the statements will “say the companies ‘deliberately deceived the American public.’” An average of 1,200 people die daily because of smoking, the Washington Post reports.

It has been 50 years since US Surgeon General Luther Terry told tobacco companies to put warning labels on cigarette packaging and 18 years since Dr. Jeffrey Wigand told 60 Minutes how his employer, tobacco giant Brown & Williamson, knowingly added carcinogenic and addictive additives to its cigarettes. Wigand’s tale became the hit film, The Insider, but it didn’t stop the Big Tobacco train from still rolling through its path.

The forthcoming “apology” comes after years of legal wrangling. The original order came in 2006 as the result of a case that had originally been filed in 1999. Judge Gladys Kessler found then that the companies were guilty of civil racketeering and lying to the public, USA Today notes.Continue reading...

uphill battles

Big Tobacco Nets Huge E-Cig Sales as FDA Contemplates Regulations

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2013 05:40 PM

So much for the imminent end of Big Tobacco. E-cigarettes, which create a smokeless vapor by heating a liquid containing nicotine, have apparently given the industry quite a boost just as the anti-smoking movement was making note of several victories. 

Lorillard pulled in $63 million in sales from its Blu e-cigarettes in its most recent quarter, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. That helped Lorillard claim $1.8 billion in sales overall, 10 percent more than the year before. Almost 4 percent of the tobacco giant’s revenue is now coming from e-cigarettes, as the company estimates that it now owns half of the e-cig market in the US.

Lorillard is reaping the benefits of an ad campaign that it ran in the last year featuring Jenny McCarthy and is getting “strong repeat purchases.” As it is now, Businessweek reports, the global marketplace for e-cigs is $2 billion, but that is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2017. In fact, e-cigs will outsell traditional cigarettes before the century is half over. Put that in your e-pipe and smoke it.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Volkswagen, Google, Intel and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2013 09:25 AM

In the News

Apple is pressed for $150-billion buyback by Carl Icahn as the new #1 Best Global Brand is estimated to be sitting on top of 10% of all US corporate cash.

Volkswagen plans to use augmented reality to service cars.

Google is accused of wiretapping in Gmail scans.

Intel commits to women's digital education.

BlackBerry reveals even more doom in restructuring.

Bravo signs four major new brand partners to integrate in Top Chef.

Campbell Soup sells European simple-meals business.Continue reading...

ad watch

E-Cigarettes' Airtime May Be Short-Lived if US Feds Decide to Regulate

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 4, 2013 02:38 PM

It’s been more than 40 years since Big Tobacco aired a commercial on television, but they're back with their billions to convince consumers to try a confounding new product: e-cigarettes. 

But the industry's answer to public smoking bans may not have that long to sell themselves on televison. USA Today reports that the US government is making moves towards regulating the devices, which are purported to be a better alternative to regular cigarettes. 

The battery-powered devices made to resemble real cigarettes use nicotine but don’t create smoke or ashes that can be offensive to others. The devices are predicted to bring in $1.7 billion in revenue this year and at least $10 billion by the end of 2017.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Facebook, Disney, T-Mobile and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2012 08:59 AM

In the News

Ancestry.com acquires Archives.com for $100 million.

Anheuser-Busch warns UFC about fighters' inappropriate comments.

Apple now gets one-fourth of its revenue from China as CEO emerges from Jobs's shadow.

Bausch & Lomb shifts focus from contact lenses.

Bottega Veneta launches personalized fashion.

Burberry passes New York Times critique of designer lines for kids.

Burger King faces higher costs after decision to go cage-free.

Chrysler quadruples first-quarter profits and slow-walks investment in China.Continue reading...

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