brand challenges

Sony, Brand Perception Sinking, Will Reschedule 'The Interview'

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

Sony The Interview Movie Poster

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...

retail

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...

brands under fire

30 Years On, Bhopal Disaster Weighs on Victims—and Dow Chemical's Reputation

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2014 05:05 PM

Before BP and the Exxon Valdez, the Bhopal pesticide plant leak in India—which happened 30 years ago this week—remains the world's worst industrial disaster.

Is the toxic legacy of the Bhopal gas explosion disaster at a Union Carbide plant in India any responsibility of U.S.-based Dow Chemical, which now owns Union Carbide? Or is it fully on the shoulders of the Indian government that settled with Union Carbide 25 years ago?

Or is it a brand-building and corporate citizenship opportunity for today's Dow management team to alleviate the continued suffering of many among the population of Bhopal's some half-million Indian victims? So many questions, and so much angst, as the company faces protests this week by Bhopal survivors still fighting for compensation.

The gas leak from the pesticide plant killed about 2,500 people almost instantly when the pesticide factory began to seep toxins and the explosion occurred. But that was just the beginning of its repercussions—and some major issues remain unresolved.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Back in the Game: Tiger Woods Finds His Hero, Returns to Links with New Sponsor

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2014 01:26 PM

2014 hasn’t been such a great year for Tiger Woods. To be sure, it's been a far cry from his meltdown in 2009, but Woods has spent the majority of the year in and out of physical therapy following back surgery in March, and hasn’t swung a golf club competitively since August.

Woods is still hoping to end the year on a high note, however. The 38-year-old announced on Tuesday that not only is he returning to competition this week as the Hero World Challenge tees off, but he has also signed a multi-year endorsement deal with its title sponsor: India-based two-wheeler brand Hero Motocorp.

Never mind that fact that he's never actually ridden a motorcycle. "And even with Hero's valuable sponsorship this year and for the next three years, there's no way I'm about to start" riding one, Woods stated, according to ESPN. Signing Woods is part of Hero’s plan to make a big push into the U.S. market in 2016.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Even Amy Poehler Can't Save Old Navy From Thanksgiving Day Flap

Posted by Catherine Straut on November 25, 2014 04:27 PM

Old Navy is making a major push this holiday, including launching a new multichannel holiday ad campaign intended to drive customers to its stores on Black Friday—and lining up at its stores on Thanksgiving.

The mid-market apparel retailer is bucking the protests over businesses opening on Thanksgiving Day by opening its doors at 4 p.m. local time, which it's promoting with the return of its Overnight Millionaire sweepstakes.

To enter, shoppers must be one of the first 100 people in line at a store on Thanksgiving, which the Gap Inc.-owned brand is promoting with its departing brand ambassador, Amy Poehler.Continue reading...

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