Posted by Dale Buss on August 2, 2012 09:00 AM
AIG pushes plan for independence from U.S. government.
Burger King says that menu and marketing changes have boosted bottom lilne.
Campbell Soup creates limited edition to help food bank.
Chick-fil-A supporters (and Wendy's) show up for "Appreciation Day."
Christina Aguillera lends her voice to a good cause.
Costco experiences strong U.S. sales.
Crocs celebrates milestone a little too exuberantly.
DirecTV sees U.S. subscribers decline for first time.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2012 06:33 PM
While they suffer from even more ignominy under a new glare induced by the HBO documentary series The Weight of the Nation, the roundly condemned purveyors of "junk" salt, sugar and calories aren't exactly lying low and saying their mea culpas. McDonald's, Coca-Cola and 7-Eleven are each fighting back in their own way.
Coca-Cola has launched a test of its own new "mid-calorie" sodas to join PepsiCo in trying once again the concept of a "hybrid" diet/non-diet drink even though other attempts by both companies to mine a moderately-minded market have failed. Coke plans to test Sprite Select and Fanta Select products this summer — with only half the calories, 70 of regular drinks per 12-ounce can — in test markets in Atlanta, Detroit, Louisville and Memphis.
Interestingly, Coke's new toe in the mid-calorie water will depend on a blend of sugar: Cargill's Truvia brand of natural sweetener stevia plus erythritol, a "sugar alcohol" (unlike the ingredients in PepsiCo's new, nationally available mid-cal, Pepsi Next, which includes sucralose and high-fructose corn syrup). That gives Coke a leg up on an "more natural" claim it might want to make for select beverages against Next.Continue reading...
by the numbers
Posted by Dale Buss on September 13, 2011 01:04 PM
U.S. ad spending has been losing momentum along with the general economy. Of course it's a giant chicken-or-egg question to some extent, but it's axiomatic: As consumers continue to lose confidence in the present and future course of the economy, brand marketers are more apt to go along with their more cautious mood by cutting ad spending — rather than trying to talk consumers out of their funk with more marketing.
So it doesn't come as a huge surprise that WPP's Kantar Media unit finds that ad spending expanded only 2.8 percent in the second quarter compared with 4.4 percent in the first quarter, when there was more hope among advertisers and consumers that a genuine U.S. economic recovery was underway.
Some of the biggest brand advertisers and categories have led the way in slowing growth of outlays, Kantar said, and they may not be finished retrenching yet. "The whole world is nervous — and nervousness usually leads to contraction, both for consumers and advertisers," Bob Jeffrey, chief executive of WPP-owned JWT, told the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...