Posted by Abe Sauer on November 13, 2012 11:17 AM
"It's belittling her experience with firearms and her experience. She is a West Point grad."
So went part of a statement to brandchannel by Robert Farago, publisher of the popular gun blog The Truth About Guns. Farago was speaking of a new New York Times profile of Paula Broadwell — disgraced biographer and former mistress of former CIA Director David Petraeus —that referred to the author as "a model for a machine gun manufacturer." Farago further called ther Times assessment "condescending."
Watch the promotional video for Kriss, the "machine gun manufacturer" in question, featuring Broadwell and it's hard not to agree. Then again, Broadwell's own LinkedIn account lists her as a "demonstrator/model for Kriss." Broadwell's speaker bio for the "The PPL" — a media space attached to the Sept. 2012 Democratic National Convention — notes that she is "a sponsored 1/2 Ironman Triathlete and a female model/demonstrator for KRISS (.45 caliber machine gun manufacturer)." It's a detail that her Penguin publishing bio, however, lacks.
The Broadwell scandal comes as the Kriss brand is having its best year ever. After appearing in The Avengers, the Kriss Vector took other starring roles in the hands of athletic women like Kate Beckinsale in 2012 hits Total Recall and in Resident Evil: Retribution. (Milla Jovovich even shot a promotional video shooting a Kriss, not unlike Broadwell's promo.)
Now, Kriss is getting even more name recognition thanks to its attachment to the author who helped bring down, in the NYT's words, "the nation’s top spy."Continue reading...
wisdom of the crowd
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 19, 2012 01:16 PM
Wikipedia's most valuable brand asset is trust. For the information portal, which turned 10 last year, to maintain its credibility, and its value, it must cultivate trust with its users, and create trust that self-interested parties are not influencing its product, i.e., its content.
So new questions about Wikipedia editors taking money to change content could combust into the greatest threat the brand has seen to date, bigger than waning interest and wooing academia or even rivals vying for its perch. One Wikipedia watcher suggests scandals are already taking a toll on Wikipedia's bottom line.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 19, 2012 10:17 AM
Get ready to be nostalgic for Restoration Hardware. The retailer that once scarily commodified the products of an entire generation’s youth as it grew through the ’80s and ’90s is reinventing itself to forget about the nostalgia and pay more attention to high-end furniture, the Associated Press reports.
The rebrand will include simplifying the name of the place to RH. "RH enhances our identity and moves us beyond our hardware store beginnings," CEO Carlos Alberini said in a statement. "It enables us to leverage our core capabilities of innovation, curation and integration of new ideas and businesses."
This is the next step for a chain that has been changing since Stephen Gordon launched it in 1980 and severed ties in 2005, through to when Sears acquired a stake in 2007 and the company was sold back in 2008 to a private-equity firm.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 24, 2012 10:09 AM
It's a black day for News Corp. as eight of its former newspaper executives in the U.K. have been formally charged in the phone hacking scandal that has rocked the nation's elite political and media circles, and shaken confidence in the public. Ex-News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson and six others are facing 19 charges relating to phone hacking in connection with murdered 13-year-old schoolgirl Milly Dowler and other alleged victims, as the year-long scandal escalates to a new level of accountability.
Together, they're “facing charges of conspiring to intercept communications…related to 600 alleged victims between 2000 and 2006.” After reading the charges, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) legal adviser Alison Levitt QC said, "This statement is made in the interests of transparency and accountability." Coulson swiftly denied the charges and any tampering with the Dowler case. Echoing his outrage, Brooks (who was indicted in May) responded in a statement, "I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 23, 2012 11:47 AM
Penn State players, alumni and other supports are in shock today following the NCAA's unprecedented actions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal: a $60 million fine, a four-year college bowl ban and 40 scholarships axed, in addition to erasing all 14 seasons of victories under late coach Joe Paterno. The move follows a damning report by former FBI director Louis Freeh that accused the university of enabling former Penn State football coach Sandusky's crimes.
The NCAA's executive committee chair Ed Ray stated at a press conference, "The historically unprecedented actions by the NCAA today are warranted by the conspiracy of silence that was maintained at the highest levels of the university in reckless and callous disregard for the children. There is incredible interest in what will happen to Penn State football. But, the fundamental story of this horrific chapter should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down." Are the NCAA sanctions excessive in your opinion? Post a comment below. (Update: Click here for Penn State president Rodney Erickson's response.)
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 12, 2012 03:56 PM
The horrific actions of former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky have gripped a nation since he was arrested last fall and found guilty of 45 counts of child abuse a month ago. Now it is Penn State’s turn.
The release of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s independent report Thursday morning is a major blow to the PSU brand, with one immediate fallout: Nike immediately reversed its November decision to stand by Sandusky's former boss, the late Joe Paterno, whose name graces a childcare center at its global HQ.
Before the report's release, even with the Sandusky talk swirling before his trial and conviction, the University managed to raise millions of dollars. In fact, the 2011-12 fiscal year had the school bringing in the second-highest annual fundraising tally in its history: a whopping $208.7 million.
It remains to be seen how much money comes PSU’s way now that its former leaders are more in the public eye than Sandusky, who has now been entered into American criminal lore as one of the most clued-out offenders of all time — and protected. As the Freeh report on Penn State's role states in one damning sentence, "In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 26, 2012 03:15 PM
Now that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is behind bars and listening to his fellow inmates serenade him with Pink Floyd (“Hey, Teacher, leave those kids alone!), all he has to do is sit and wait to see just how many hundreds of years he is sentenced to or if his lawyers can somehow pull off a modern legal miracle and get him out on some technicality.
As his image is erased from Penn State's property, Sandusky sits and waits and hopefully begins to realize what kind of complete turmoil he has left in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal. It's more likely that he will instead try to slow time down and have his legal team throw every possible barricade into the mix to keep him from being chucked into another prison’s general population just yet. However, Penn State University is on the opposite track, trying to speed things ahead, eager to get everyone over this massive PR hump, and back to thinking of Penn State as Happy Valley again.
In downtown State College this weekend, artist Michael Pilato replaced the image of Sandusky that once graced a mural there with “a blue ribbon — a symbol for awareness of child sexual abuse” – and “a depiction of Dora McQuaid, a poet and advocate for domestic and sexual violence victims and issues” as well as a PSU grad, according to the Associated Press. And in one small glimmer of a turnaround, Cars.com indicated today it would once again advertise during Penn State college football game broadcasts.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 1, 2012 04:47 PM
Walmart Chairman Rob Walton didn't mention the company's Mexico bribery scandal specifically at the company's annual shareholders meeting in Fayetteville, Ark., today, but the whole mess hung over the gathering like a pallid mist.
And Walton left little to the imagination when he vowed that the $112-billion world's largest retailers would recommit to "integrity" as one of five "enduring values" that would continue to propel the retailer beyond its upcoming 50th anniversary in July.
"If you work for Walmart, there is no gray area between right and wrong," Walton said in his remarks, a clear reference to the New York Times investigation that allegedly uncovered that the company's Mexican operation had orchestrated bribes of $24 million to help it grow quickly and that some company executives had covered it up.Continue reading...