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Crumbs Closes Up Shop as US Cupcake Craze Wanes

Posted by Dale Buss on July 8, 2014 12:16 PM

Americans may still be eating cupcakes, but they won’t be eating Crumbs anymore.

The iconic chain that helped create the cupcake craze has finally given up business after it grew too fast and encountered the petering out of the cultural phenomenon that birthed it. Crumbs Bake Shop notified employees on Monday that it would be closing all of its stores at the end of the business day, and management has turned to trying to figure out what to do with its assets.

While we pondered in 2009 whether the cupcake bubble had burst, it's not like the cupcake phenomenon has completely crumbled. Premium cupcake chains such as Georgetown Cupcake (of TLC fame), Sprinkles (of cupcake ATM fame) and mini-cupcake maker Baked by Melissa still draw queues in the US, while Sex and the City's beloved Magnolia Bakery, founded in New York's West Village, is drawing crowds to its first-ever shop in Japan.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Discovery, Novartis and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2013 08:59 AM

In the News

Apple loses iPad Mini trademark, and finds a fan in Kim Jong-un as North Korea rattles saber and tensions rise with U.S., while increased China headaches include hacking threat and iPad regulation.

Discovery Communicationexpands global channel reach and launches scripted programming.

Novartis loses cancer drug patent battle in India.

Amazon buys Goodreads community-driven user reviews website.

AMC reveals new tagline and logo.

Armani hires Cate Blanchett for $10M campaign.

AT&T scores with March Madness Twitter campaign.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lowe's All-American Muslim Ban Leads 2011 PR Blunders

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 2, 2012 05:01 PM

Lowe's controversial decision to pull its advertising from TLC's All-American Muslim reality series — already spoofed by Funny or Die — has been named one of the top PR disasters of 2011 by Business News Daily. Read more here.

brand news

In the News: BofA, Frito-Lay, White Castle & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 21, 2011 06:09 PM

Brands to Watch

Amazon leads Klout list of most influential retailers.

Avon ousted CEO Andrea Jung's two-year exit deal criticized by former CEOs.

Bank of America settles fair-lending case for record $335 million.

Beats by Dre pumps up headphone sales.

Diddy plans to launch tequila brand.

Facebook tests private messaging between users and brand pages.

FedEx disciplines delivery man who tossed computer monitor.

Frito-Lay sued over "all natural" claims.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Kayak Paddles Into “All-American Muslim” Uproar

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 16, 2011 02:01 PM

Lowe’s caused an uproar when the DIY chain pulled its ads from TLC’s month-old reality show, All-American Muslim, which follows the adventures of five Muslim-American families that live near Detroit. That action caused plenty of anger to surface about the company as well as a call to boycott its stores by California State Senator Ted Lieu.

Now travel website Kayak.com is getting similar treatment. The site announced that it had decided to discontinue its ads mostly because it felt that the producers of the show hadn’t been totally upfront about its content.

“Any reasonable person would know that this topic is a particular lightning rod,” Kayak’s chief marketing officer, Robert Birge, wrote on the company’s blog. “We believe TLC went out of their way to pick a fight on this, and they didn't let us know their intentions. That's not a business practice that generally gets repeat business from us.”Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lowe’s Hammered for Pulling Ads From TLC's "All-American Muslim"

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 12, 2011 01:01 PM

America's Lowe's Home Improvement chain has found itself in a tricky spot after pulling its ads from a new reality show on Discovery's TLC cable network, All American Muslim. The action was preceded by pressure from the conservative Florida Family Association, the Associated Press reports.

The FFA claims that the month-old show (it premiered Nov. 13) about five Muslim-American families outside Detroit is "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values," the AP notes.

However, the pulling of the ads has put a spotlight on Lowe’s that the company surely did not want.

California state senator Ted Lieu called the company’s choice "un-American" and "naked religious bigotry," and is asking consumers to boycott the chain. He also is considering taking legislative action against the store “if Lowe's doesn't apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads.”Continue reading...

ready for takeoff

Southwest Expands Rewards Program to Boost Loyalty

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 22, 2011 06:01 PM

Everybody is looking for a deal. And Southwest Airlines would like to give them one. The airline has “launched an enhancement” to its Rapid Rewards loyalty program, expanding its roster of partners to allow the plan’s members to get a few extra points by purchasing from particular online retailers.

"Frequent-flier programs like all other loyalty programs are trying to figure out ways to drive more value for consumers," said Sarah Arvin, vice president of client services for Cartera Commerce, to Reuters. "Consumers are much more deal- and reward-conscious and they are trying to get more out of every dollar they spend."

Earlier this year, Southwest — in tandem with airlines including Continental/United — changed their frequent-flier plans so that the customers who were spending more money would get more points. This latest tweak is another way of providing incentive for fliers to stick with one airline rather than just ditching brand loyalty the way most folks are.

"We are trying to enhance the program in as many ways as we can," Jonathan Clarkson, director of Southwest Rapid Rewards, told Reuters. "As long as there is the proliferation of loyalty programs and enhancements to other airline loyalty programs, it's always going to be a challenge to maintain the loyalty of folks."

In another bid to make the brand more engaging, the airline also announced that it's shooting an original (and still untitled) series for TLC that will air next year.

brand revival

Can Oprah and Rosie OWN it Again?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 13, 2011 03:14 PM

Two larger-than-life women, Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell... one network, OWN, reaching 80 million homes... and a divided jury on the prospects for success.

“Oprah's second act appears to be confirming the old adage that there are no second acts in American life,” wrote businessinsider.com

Winfrey's newest show for the network, "Oprah's Lifeclass," which the former queen of talk has been heavily promoting, drew just 330,000 people on its first night, while the debut of "The Rosie Show" with solo guest Russell Brand drew 497,000 viewers.Continue reading...

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