brand speak

Intuit Shows Why Branding Sometimes Means Saying Sorry

Posted by brandchannel on January 27, 2015 06:12 PM

Intuit CEO Brad Smith LinkedIn apology

Are you usually late to the game when it comes to tax season? This year, being tardy may have been to your advantage.

Intuit has issued a public apology on its corporate blog and on LinkedIn for a recent change that forced TurboTax desktop customers to pay 50% more for tax preparation software. After customers complained in droves, Intuit president and CEO Brad Smith is not only accepting complete ownership of the brand's mistake, but also issuing refunds for any customer who purchased the software. 

"Companies, like humans, are a work in progress," Smith wrote on LinkedIn. "Even with the best of intentions, we find ourselves in situations where we mess up, letting down the people who count on us."Continue reading...

chew on this

Choc Block: US Chocolate Lovers Protest as Hershey Bars Cadbury UK Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 26, 2015 11:19 AM

Neil Gaiman Cadbury chocolate US

Cadbury has already alarmed chocolate fans with fears that changes to its iconic, Easter-ready Crème Eggs would trickle overseas.

While Mondelez-owned Cadbury is trying to calm those fears at home in the UK, including releasing a new commercial promoting the limited-edition creamy egg concoction, America's Hershey chocolate conglomerate "won kudos for not changing Cadbury's Crème Egg recipe after the UK's decades-old version was tinkered with," as Fox News puts it.

It turns out that overseas chocolate lovers, at least in the US, have cause to worry after all, because Hershey is no longer willing to share shelf space in America with British chocolates that have any resemblance to its products whatsoever.Continue reading...


BP Debuts 'Regular' Ad Campaign As It Fights Record Water Pollution Fine

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 20, 2015 02:34 PM

BP Bachelor US TV commercial January 2015

BP today debuted its first regular US ad campaign—meaning commercials that are not, for a change, aimed at repairing its image—since the 2010 Gulf Oil spill, a catastrophic event that it's still fighting in a legal battle as it faces the largest water pollution fine in US history.

The voiceover on the new commercials, both featuring bearded car-refuelers in plaid shirts: "You have places to go. Let us worry about getting you there. BP Gasoline with Invigorate®. Fuel the journey."

Watch the spots below and let us know what you think in the comments.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Sony, Brand Perception Sinking, Will Reschedule 'The Interview' [Update]

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 22, 2014 12:09 PM

Sony The Interview Movie Poster

Update: The Sony attack was denounced at the UN today, where U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power called the situation "absurd," while PEN urges Sony to release The Interview... Sony is threatening to sue Twitter unless it shuts down a user who's sharing leaked emails via his account... North Korea was hit by an Internet outage (going "suspiciously haywire") which the U.S. has denied while a South Korea nuclear plant operator has been hacked, according to the Wall Street Journal. Earlier:

As a Saturday Night Live skit that saw Mike Myers reprise Dr. Evil only rubs in, Sony had been feeling heat from cyberhackers claiming connections to North Korea over Seth Rogen's The Interview movie, wreaking havoc that even the hackers likely didn't see coming.

In the wake of the massive cyber hack, countless embarrassing details about Sony's businesses and employees are now open to the public. President Obama criticized the company for "setting a bad precedent" by deciding to not release the film in theaters on Christmas Day, while the White House weighs how to respond on a national level.

And in its latest blow, consumer perception of the brand has fallen to its lowest level in six years, according to a new report from YouGov BrandIndex.Continue reading...

executive decision

At Long Last, American Apparel Announces a New CEO

Posted by Catherine Straut on December 16, 2014 06:05 PM

American Apparel is changing course after weathering years of controversy over its leadership. Today, the LA-based clothing company announced that it has appointed veteran fashion executive Paula Schneider as Chief Executive Officer. Schneider will assume the role early next month.

The board of directors is hoping the move will bring stability to the brand, which has been in flux under the guidance of an interim CEO ever since former President and CEO Dov Charney was fired this past summer.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Uber Woes Pile Up World-Wide; Cause Marketing to the Rescue?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 10, 2014 12:34 PM

Lately, it seems that wherever Uber operates, it brings trouble—and lots of it.

Adding to its mounting PR crisis: allegations of an Uber driver sexually assaulting a woman in India, Uber getting banned in Spain, Thailand suddenly not allowing residents to use taxi services whose drivers use their own personal vehicles; Portland, OR filing a lawsuit against the app, and a laundry list of other incidents have been giving the brand one public-relations black eye after another in a very short amount of time.

No wonder the Wall Street Journal's headline today reads "Uber Under Attack Around the Globe."

Even with all the bad press, however, the brand is spending a lot of time and money to salvage its reputation.Continue reading...


Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Exits After Years of Controversy and Sinking Profits

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 9, 2014 02:52 PM

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries

Abercrombie & Fitch, the brand that defined youthful cool for a decade, is finally parting ways with its longtime CEO Mike Jeffries, who today retired ("effective immediately") with a $27.6 million retirement package, as Bloomberg reports.

The abrupt announcement follows the company's latest alarming quarterly earnings report, and a downward trend that has driven A&F's stock price over the last three years to lows not seen since the depths of the recession six years ago.

Investors cheered the latest retail CEO departure this year, sending ANF stock up nearly 10 percent. Too bad the board didn't do it a year or more ago when it became painfully clear to consumers that Jeffries was completely out of touch with American youth.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Honey Maid's 'Wholesome' Lessons: 5 Questions with Gary Osifchin of Mondelēz

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 9, 2014 12:20 PM

Honey Maid This is Wholesome gay dads

As 2014 draws to a close and we reflect on the campaigns of the past year, Honey Maid’s groundbreaking “This is Wholesome” campaign stands out as a case study in brand diplomacy and power.

In March, after the Mondelez-owned Nabisco brand's first TV commercial featuring a gay couple, Honey Maid earned a wave of positive media—and yes, some flack. Social media support far outweighed the critics, but there were critics all the same. 

A full-fledged brand attack came from right-wing group One Million Moms, which stated: “Nabisco should be ashamed of themselves for (this) attempt to normalize sin... This commercial not only promotes homosexuality, but then calls the scene in the advertisement 'wholesome.'"

Honey Maid and corporate parent, Mondelēz International, stood their ground and turned the dross to gold. On April 3, a follow-up video (titled “Love”) on YouTube addressed the reaction to the campaign, noting that “We made a commercial about what makes families, family. And we received a lot of comments. See what we did with them.” 

brandchannel spoke with Gary Osifchin, Senior Marketing Director of Biscuits at Mondelēz International, about what the company learned from the campaign—and what's next.Continue reading...

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