Posted by Abe Sauer on April 5, 2013 12:53 PM
Above, all of the name brand paper joss items available for this week's Qing Ming Jie or Tomb Sweeping Day when Chinese burn items to send to ancestors in the afterlife. Qing Ming is now big business.
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Apple still in trouble... China's anti-"fixie" rhetoric... infant formula saga... Celebrity China clout... PETA... counterfeit beer... Porsche... Startup Asia 2013... fly home to vote... "Baidu Glass"... W Hotels... McDonald's... Iron Man 3 to World War Z... cheap Bollinger... iPhone joss... "vulgar" Birkin brand... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 6, 2013 12:26 PM
In just one week, the EU’s sweeping ban on animal testing for cosmetics and personal care products goes into effect.
"All personal care products, from high-end to drugstore brands, will be subject to the rules," and "final products cannot be tested on animals and nor can any of a given products’ ingredients."
The European ban starting March 11th is a hard-won victory impacting companies and brands worldwide, and follows two decades of campaigning by organizations such as PETA, public protests, phone calls, and more than 20,000 e-mails.
“It’s enormously important because it started out as an ethical stand—animals should not die for shampoo—and brought about a whole new era of non-animal science,” Kathy Guillermo, SVP Laboratory Investigations at PETA, told brandchannel. “This ban shows that once an animal test is rejected, scientists can and will come up with a new and better way. We need to put the same limitations on household chemicals, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 27, 2012 02:34 PM
If Amy Sedaris pitching Downy in a perky new campaign rings a bell, it's because celebrities have been sudsing up for brands since the early days of Hollywood. Think back to the golden days of radio, when Jack Benny plugged Jello in his opening line, "Jello, everybody, this is Jack Benny," and Bob Hope promoted Pepsodent toothpaste. And in the early days of television, George Burns and Gracie Allen peddled Carnation Milk, Groucho Marx touted Prom Shampoo and Ozzie and Harriett shilled for Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix. Before he was President, Ronald Reagan stumped for Chesterfield cigarettes.
In today’s world of 24/7 social media, celebrity endorsement, backing and entrepreneurship (from Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop to Jessica Alba's Honest Company) have reached new digital platforms. This week Stamped, a mobile app and website that lets people share reviews of anything they like, announced new celebrity backers including Justin Bieber, Ryan Seacrest and Ellen DeGeneres, and investments from Columbia Records, Eric Schmidt and The New York Times Company, bringing its financing to over $3 million.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 10, 2012 10:18 AM
The old saying goes that the Chinese word for "crisis" (危机) is composed of two characters representing both "danger" and "opportunity." Though fallacious, this old trope could not better describe the manner in which cosmetics brand Urban Decay turned a self-created crisis into a public relations windfall.
About a month ago, Urban Decay announced that it would be breaking into China's cosmetics market. And why not? In 2011, China's cosmetic sales hit 110 billion yuan ($17.8 billion), a increase of nearly 19 percent over 2010. According to a 2012 report by Li & Fung Research Centre, during one month in 2011, Urban Decay's competitors Estée Lauder and Clinique saw sales increase by almost 10 percent alone.
Looking at all that money, what Urban Decay lost sight of was its core mission, amongst other things, was all about refusing to test on animals. (China, meanwhile, required animal testing to certify Urban Decay's products.) No surprise, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lambasted the brand's "Decaying Principles":Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 1, 2012 01:02 PM
Animal-rights activists have been after chain restaurants for years to stop penning up their pigs and their work is finally paying off. Burger King in April made the promise to unpen the pigs in its supply chain and Wendy’s made a similar promise a month earlier. Now McDonald’s, oft-criticized by animal welfare groups as the world's largest user of beef, is following up on its ethical pledge for more humane treatment of the chicken and pigs of America.
While Burger King says it can do it by 2017, McDonald's (on the heels of its recent "back to the farm" campaign) says it will need at least until 2022 until it can be sure that all of its suppliers aren’t penning up the sows, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Sow confinement has been standard agricultural practice for decades, based on the reasoning that the pregnant animals become aggressive around food,” the newspaper notes. This, of course, has not won too much favor with animal-rights folks.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 11, 2012 09:55 AM
A tough-to-watch, controversy-stirring videotaped event by Lush Cosmetics in the U.K. involved a performance artist undergoing animal laboratory tests in the window of Lush Regent Street London in April to raise awareness of their fight against animal testing in cosmetics.
Jacqueline Traides, 24, spent ten hours in the store window and was subjected to force-feeding, injections, hair shaving and other extreme discomfort while restrained. She later blogged, "It was somewhere after the fourth hour of this live act that I found my self asking the question ‘why exactly am i here?’. I realised then that it was not to Lush, nor to the onlookers but to the beings, animals and humans alike, that endure such suffering without choice."
Intended to shock, thousands of passerby signed the brand's petition on the spot, while the performance was also streamed live on a website where viewers could sign. "I hope it will plant the seed of a new awareness in people to really start thinking about what they go out and buy and what goes into producing it," said Traides.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 16, 2012 12:19 PM
Ben & Jerry's supports gay marriage in the UK with "Apple-y Ever After" ice-cream and Facebook app.
How do you promote a parking app at South by Southwest? Fake parking boots!
Of course there's a "woody" Toyota Prius.
Lingerie retailer Figleaves escapes outdoor ad ban.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 20, 2012 04:35 PM
As McDonald's looks to buff up its brand perception by responding to critics of its animal products sourcing, another US-based brand is under fire for its sourcing of animal products.
The North Face outdoor apparel brand confirmed to the Telegraph in London that it purchases goose down feathers from California's Allied Feather & Down, the world's leading supplier of down to the garment industry — which primarily sources its down feathers from foie gras producers in Hungary, who force-feed geese in a process deemed cruel by animal rights activists.
A North Face rep didn't deny knowledge of the source, tellng the Telegraph reporter, “All of the down we are supplied by Allied Feather is a by-product of the food industry which, as the largest purchaser of goose product, drives the practice of force-feeding. We are working with our partners to identify alternative long-term sources of goose down that is not a by-product of force-feeding.”Continue reading...