Greenpeace's Latest Big Win: Getting IKEA to Commit to Sustainable Palm Oil

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 21, 2014 02:31 PM

IKEA is the latest company to adopt a new sustainable policy for sourcing palm oil, marking one more big victory this year for Greenpeace.

“IKEA's decision to clean up its supply chain for products containing palm oil is good news," stated Joao Talocchi, Greenpeace USA Palm Oil Campaigner.

“Commitments over the past year from companies like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and General Mills have brought the palm oil industry to a tipping point. We’re now at the stage where it's unacceptable for companies not to address rainforest destruction with their suppliers."Continue reading...

brands under fire

Can Uber Reverse the Damage Before Driving its Brand Into a Ditch?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 19, 2014 02:09 PM

Uber can take pride that it pretty much created the global ride-sharing industry that didn’t exist when it launched only four years ago. Yet the company, valued at anywhere from $17 billion to $25 billion depending who you talk to, has made so many PR missteps that it shouldn’t feel too good about itself. 

Growing faster than its staff can keep up with has generated, it seems, a culture of arrogance—and a ton of bad news.

Among the flood of negative press, TIME and The Daily Beast have recounted the litany of PR disasters, including a driver that ran over and kill a six-year-old, accusations of sexual assault levied against its drivers, wage protests by its own drivers, claims of causing mayhem for rival Lyft by booking and canceling rides, and a driver who (reportedly) verbally attacked a cancer patient who canceled a ride a minute after scheduling it.Continue reading...

social media

Dave & Buster's Not the Only No Juan Ever Tweet Offender

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 18, 2014 07:55 PM

Earlier today, the Twitter account of U.S. restaurant brand Dave & Buster's posted, deleted and then apologized for a tweet it issued. The offending message? "'I hate tacos' said no Juan ever #TacoTuesday #DaveandBusters."

Outcry on the pun on the "said no-one ever" meme was swift and loud.

Adweek outright called the tweet "racist," as did many other social media users. The tweet landed in a long line of apologies from advertisers about inappropriate race jokes, from GM to Abercrombie & Fitch's "Wong Brothers Laundry Service—Two Wongs Can Make It White" a dozen years ago.

But the "no Juan" joke has been around for a long time. In fact, other brand names—some large ones too—have been tweeting it for months. One even just a few days ago. Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

FIFA Faces Skepticism Over World Cup Ethics Report

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2014 01:22 PM

FIFA generally likes to keep its focus on on-field competitions, but the latest controversy surrounding the soccer world's governing body has gone into injury time—and is likely to hurt a lot of people along the way.

On Thursday, soccer's governing body announced that, after an investigation led by former U.S. attorney Michael Gonzalez, it had found nothing ethically wrong with the bids for the next two World Cups, 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar, a particularly contentious host.

FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert (below) noted in a report on Gonzalez’s findings that, while not everything was handled perfectly in the bids, nothing that occurred could have impaired the vote for the Cups. That said, there are valid concerns that key information is missing about the Russian bid, since numerous computers involved had been destroyed and email accounts are no longer accessible, the AP notes.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

Nestlé Mexico Reneges Offensive Tweet, Weathers Withering Criticism

Posted by Catherine Straut on November 11, 2014 05:28 PM

Nestlé’s week has not gotten off to a good start. The food giant has faced a firestorm after a tweet from @CrunchMX, the Mexican Twitter account for Nestlé's Crunch candy bar, made a shockingly crude pun about the 43 missing trainee teachers that have allegedly been slaughtered in southwest Mexico.

The tweet, which said that the students who disappeared from Iguala were "crunched," was deleted quickly after it was published just after midnight on Sunday, the Washington Post reports—but not fast enough for it to go unnoticed. As the ensuing outcry increased, the company issued a series of apologies via Twitter that continues still. Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

On Veterans Day and Beyond, Brands Honor Military Veterans

Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2014 12:02 PM

The contributions of America's military veterans are as current as America's battles against ISIS and Ebola and as profound as D-Day and the Civil War. No wonder that more U.S.-based brands are rallying around vets these days, and not just on Veterans Day .

Starbucks has become one of the highest-profile brand advocates for veterans. It's partnering with HBO and Chase to help Bruce Springsteen throw a concert to honor vets that will run on HBO and other TV networks tonight.

CEO Howard Schultz also just released a book, For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, co-authored with journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Detergent Pods Defended as Report Highlights Need to Protect Children

Posted by Dale Buss on November 10, 2014 04:44 PM

A new report in respected U.S. medical journal Pediatrics has underscored the continuing danger to children from Tide Pods and other competing concentrated detergent packets, and calls for manufacturers to do more to protect kids from ingesting the products, according to USA Today.

But there are at least two reasons why the industry might be a bit skeptical about the latest anti-Pods broadside. First, the new study doesn't cover statistics in child poisoning this year but from 2012-13, which is an important bit of timeline information, considering that P&G and other manufacturers changed their packaging and took other important steps in late 2013 that apparently reduced the problem.

The other issue, of course, is—who's watching the children? Child-proofing the house is a time-honored discipline of parenting, but most people who responded to a recent industry survey on this issue admitted that they kept their unit-dose laundry packets "well within arm's reach of children," the Wall Street Journal reports.Continue reading...


Post-Fine Hyundai and Kia Aim, Ambitiously, for Global Green Leadership

Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2014 06:23 PM

Hyundai has lost much of its mojo in the U.S. these days, with a declining share in a booming market and a relative paucity of significant product and brand news—as consumers have continued to snap up everyone else's new vehicles at a thrumming, 1990s sort of pace.

But leaders of the Hyundai-Kia group in South Korea want to change that. Now, they're embarking on at least one big strategic step: trying to establish Hyundai as the U.S. leader in fuel economy. Yes, even though Hyundai and Kia were just slapped with $350 million in fines by the US government's Environmental Protection Agency for violations of the Clean Air Act for inflated mileage claims.Continue reading...

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