Best Global Green Brands 2014

corporate citizenship

Uber Cancels Ice Cream Day in the Netherlands in MH-17 Show of Respect

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 18, 2014 12:27 PM

Even ice cream has to take a backseat to world affairs. Uber's global Ice Cream Day today, which is seeing the ride-sharing brand dispense free ice cream on demand in 144 cities in 38 countries, is partnering with local ice cream brands in a buzz-building exercise offering sundaes, froyo and gelato on a stick as an incentive to download and try the app.

Yet Uber, no stranger to navigating sensitive political issues in its bid to expand globally, is also being sensitive to the markets they're moving into.

So the stunt was cancelled today in Amsterdam out of respect to the Netherlands, the nation that lost the majority of the passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17. And in Manila, Uber will donate all of its proceeds to victims of Typhoon Glenda.

Good call, Uber. In London, meanwhile, its ice cream giveaway coincides with the hottest day of the year so far—no stranger to being on the hotseat, of course, as the controversial app has made a few London Hackney carriage drivers already see red.

celebrity brandcasting

LeBron James Announces Cleveland Move on Social

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 11, 2014 01:15 PM

In stark contrast to the media hype surrounding "The Decision" to join the Miami Heat in 2010, LeBron James—sorry, King James—has announced that he's going back to Cleveland to rejoin the Cavaliers in a social media slam dunk.

He led with a tweet (retweeted more than 45,000 times in the first hour) stating "Just posted a photo" that links to an Instagram photo that garnered more than 425,000 "likes" in the first hour.Continue reading...

social media watch

Facebook's Sandberg Apologizes as Emotions Test Stirs Up Emotions

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2014 01:29 PM

Facebook’s signature blue face is turning red as the social network faces inquiries from Europe’s privacy regulators following its data scientists' experimental tweaking of the emotional content of posts in the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users.

When the news broke, Facebook initially stated that it was merely conducting user testing to see if emotions were contagious. In this case—they are, and the company’s actions have roused the ire of social media, prompted an apology from COO Sheryl Sandberg, and perhaps violated local privacy laws.

The European agencies involved include Ireland’s Office of the Data Protection Commissioner and the Information Commissioner’s Office of Britain. While it’s not clear where the one out of every 2,500 Facebook users experimented with reside, 80 percent of its total 1.2 billion users are based outside North America.

“We’re aware of this issue, and will be speaking to Facebook, as well as liaising with the Irish data protection authority, to learn more about the circumstances,” a spokesman for the British regulator commented. Sandberg today apologized while on a trip to India, in comments published by the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...

brand challenges

GM Hopes to Turn the Key on Recall Crisis with Limitless Victim Fund

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 1, 2014 04:14 PM

The GM safety recalls have officially reached nauseating levels. On Monday, soon after Kenneth Feinberg, the GM-appointed attorney who will run the brand's compensation fund, announced details of the filing and payment process, GM announced that an additional 8.4 million vehicles would be recalled, most for the same ignition switch issue at the center of the brand's ongoing crisis

Globally, GM has now recalled over 29 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, and while CEO Mary Barra's newfound diligence may help curb further accidents and injuries, the ever-expanding roll call of recalled vehicles, now dating back to 1997, is painting a much more grim picture of GM's future as a trustworthy automotive brand. 

Even still, GM has recorded its best June since the recession. But how long will consumers continue to be enamored with a brand that can't keep its vehicles on the road?Continue reading...

brand challenges

After Ousting Founder Dov Charney, Did American Apparel Boot Its Brand Too?

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 19, 2014 11:06 AM

Nearly a decade ago, Dov Charney called me from the back of a limousine (I only knew it was a limousine because he told me). Charney had emailed me earlier "to have a dialogue with you about some of the interesting points you raise in your article."

That article was a brandchannel profile of the fast-rising American Apparel brand and sweatshop claims that ultimately concluded that "AA’s founder Dov Charney is himself the greatest threat to American Apparel’s future." Charney eventually begged off that talk, saying we should do a proper interview after the Athens Olympics. We proceeded to play phone tag for the next three years, and I never spoke to him again.

And now I don't need to—at least not in the context of his strategy for American Apparel. The brand's board voted 5-0 to oust Charney, citing “an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct.”

Charney's "alleged misconduct"—much of it sexual in nature—has been well-documented for years. In fact, Charney is so well-known for his misbehavior that he's become a bit of a cliche, often lumped in with controversial fashion photographer Terry Richardson—and an eyesore for the American Apparel brand.Continue reading...

brand trainwrecks

Delta Trying Too Hard (Or Not Enough?) On Social Media Leads to Giraffe Gaffe

Posted by Nate Bartell on June 17, 2014 06:34 PM

What began as one of millions of World Cup-related tweets turned into a brand basher for Delta, who was skewered on Monday for its well-intentioned but ill-informed tweet supporting the US men's national team win over Ghana. 

Instead of simply using the two countries’ flags, Delta chose to accompany the game score with two images that were meant to symbolize each nation. For the United States, the airline chose the Statue of Liberty; for Ghana, it chose a giraffe. The problem? There are no giraffes in Ghana.

The massive World Cup-watching community was quick to pick up on the post's mistake and general lack of good judgement.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Anti-Redskins Campaign Gets Louder as NFL Stays Silent on Mascot Movement

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 13, 2014 01:58 PM

After being rebuffed by the NFL, Native American groups have taken to the airwaves to spread their message against the use of derogatory terms like "Redskins" in national sports.

During Game 3 of the NBA Finals this week, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation aired a TV commercial in sever major markets—Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington—that shined a spotlight on the ongoing conflict between Native Americans and the NFL's Washington Redskins, who have repeatedly refused to change the team's mascot despite outcries from fans, government officials and players. 

Produced by the National Congress of American Indians, the group claims that the NFL refused to allow the ad to air during the season. The Oneida Indian Nation did however air several radio commercials during the season.

“It’s just a time to get people thinking about putting an end to outward hatred and using sports as a tool to focus on racism,” said Marshall McKay, chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun tribal council. “The R-word is as derogatory a slur as the N-word. When this name first came to be, it was a vehicle for people to bring the victims of violence into an office so they could collect a bounty.”Continue reading...

retail watch

A&F Turns Up the Lights, Turns Down the Music in Bid to Refresh Elitist Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 12, 2014 11:42 AM

In an ongoing bid to revive its beleaguered brand, Abercrombie & Fitch this announced Christos Angelides of UK-based retailer Next as its new Abercrombie brand president while the board continues to search for a new brand president for its struggling Hollister chain.

The roles are considered to be stepping stones to an eventual CEO takeover to succeed longtime—and infamous—CEO Mike Jeffries. Facing stiff competition from fast-fashion powerhouses like H&M, Zara and Forever 21, Angelides was reportedly chosen for his "global perspective" and the fact that Next understood "what their customer wants," a source close to the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

Despite a steady decline in sales and mounting consumer frustration with the brand, which came under fire last year for its "exclusive" retail concept and racy ads, the company has stuck by Jeffries, who was at the center of the brand controversy, and instead opted to elect multiple new board members to balance out frustrations between investors and executives.Continue reading...

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