Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 2, 2013 10:28 AM
Government dissidents like to keep their plans a secret, particularly in countries with poor human-rights efforts. But the folks at Mozilla may be inadvertently helping those dissidents out when it sent a cease-and-desist letter Tuesday to a European company that makes spyware, the UK’s PC Advisor reports.
Computer-security researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab discovered that the spyware FinSpy was making itself look a whole lot like Mozilla’s Firefox browser. When recipients downloaded the file, the data on the computer became accessible to an external user as well as the ability to watch and listen to the computer’s user through the machine’s camera and microphone. Citizen Lab found that FinSpy “is being used in a number of countries with poor human rights records and has been used to target activists.”
FinSpy is owned by the UK’s Gamma Group, which is now the recipient of a letter from Mozilla asking the company to stop disguising its product as Firefox. Citizen Lab reports that FinSpy doesn’t just make itself look like Firefox; it actually “makes use of Mozilla's trademark and code.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 1, 2013 01:46 PM
The days of the classic candy-and-chip vending machine have been gone for years now. These days, you can get cupcakes, slices of pizza, heads of lettuce, mashed potatoes and fresh-squeezed juice from the dang things.
You can’t blame any brand from getting in on the trend. After all, a vending machine provides a full-blown ad right at the point of purchase and is the ultimate grab-and-go service for customers. Chanel has gotten into the act with a new vending machine at one of London’s Selfridges department stores that shells out three shades of a new mascara, Le Volume de Chanel Mascara, until May 8, according to British Vogue.
Of course, you can't stuff this attitudinal machine with any old coins. Naturellement, there is a special Chanel-logo coin that consumers need to get first in order to make the purchase, Refinery29.com reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 12, 2013 11:53 AM
Condé Nast is used to long lead times and attention to detail with the publication of its high-end titles including Gentlemen's Quarterly, Glamour and Vogue. But in those regards, printing a magazine is nothing next to rolling out an entirely new strategy of brand extension and enhancement in businesses that have little to do with publishing.
Still, Condé Nast has been plowing ahead with its plans to add bars, clubs, restaurants and even a fashion school in various high-profile locations around the world in order to provide completely new sources of revenues, to exploit its magazine and corporate brands in profitable new ways and to produce an ever-more-valuable offset to a traditional magazine-publishing business that—while still comprising a majority of Conde Nast's revenues—isn't a growth industry anymore.
"Our business can no longer be defined strictly as publishing, but takes the form of brand management," Jonathan Newhouse, chairman and CEO of Condé Nast International, told Business of Fashion. "We want to bring the experience of the publishing brands to end users in new forms in order to strengthen the brands and their relevance. Of course, we aim to do so profitably."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 10, 2013 07:12 PM
Paying it forward and even Random Acts of Fusion are such five-minutes-ago concepts. Now Toyota, on behalf of its Prius Plug-in hybrid, has launched what it calls the Positive movement in the UK—the "movement brightening Britain with a car that runs on electricity, fuel and positivity," as a press release puts it.
Star of the "movement" is fashion blogger Caroline Burke, an expert in body art, fashion and beauty who's known as Burkatron. In a new film that Toyota has debuted as part of the campaign, Burkatron is seen outfitting random passers-by with fashion accessories and vintage finds in the Boxpark in East London.
"Caroline's blog is about sharing things, all to do with fashion," Mark Norcutt and Laurnce Quinn, Toyota creative directors at Saatchi & Saatchi, said in the release. "For her positive idea she used her contacts to donate clothes, then was able to go around and collect them all in the Prius"—all while, in another act of positivity, taking advantage of the car's zero emissions in the all-electric mode that has a range of up to 15.5 miles.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 10, 2013 05:33 PM
Posting mail has traditionally been part of most national governments' service to citizens. But in an era when digital communication is out-pacing print, it is increasingly difficult to justify the cost of mail delivery service. The problems of the U.S. Postal Service are, of course, well known. Recently, the USPS said it would end Saturday delivery to save money, but just this week, it reversed that decision, saying a new Congressional budget would prevent the move—so its struggles continue unabated.
If you think the mail delivery problem is restricted to the U.S. Postal Service, take a look at Great Britain's hallowed institution, Royal Mail.
Royal Mail's origins pre-date the American Revolution. Royal Mail has been part of the fabric of British life, as visible and respected as, well, the Queen of England. The Royal Mail has always had an ironclad guarantee of reliability, value and mail delivery at the same price, regardless of where in the UK a person resides.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 9, 2013 04:11 PM
Starbucks got itself into a heap of PR trouble last year in the UK when it came to be known publicly that the company had found a way to not pay taxes in the UK over the last three years despite bringing in $2 billion in revenue there during the same time period.
Since then, the coffee giant has offered to pay more than $16 million in taxes in the UK this year, more than it is legally required to. That hasn’t necessarily meant that coffee lovers there have returned in droves, though. Now Starbucks is taking another step forward in its charm offensive, leading the way on a popular project called Suspended Coffee.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 8, 2013 05:12 PM
Professional sports teams have such cachet with a certain block of the public that pretty much anything they do can find sponsorship. Aon and Manchester United just signed a sponsorship deal that has the British multinational risk-management, insurance and consulting company putting its name on the team’s training facilities for the next eight years.
Along with that, Aon’s name will also grace the training shirts of the ManU players and be attached to any of the team’s pre-season tours during the next eight seasons, such as “Tour 2013 presented by Aon in Asia Pacific.” If that weren’t enough, Manchester United’s business network will also use Aon for its “talent development, health, risk management, retirement and data & analytics.”Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 5, 2013 02:04 PM
KFC U.S. today announced its Original Recipe Boneless menu, which it's promoting with new spots, on Facebook and with the Twitter hashtag #TeamBoneless.
As USA Today noted, "In an astonishing brand reversal, KFC is about to stake its future on a red-hot concept that might have caused Colonel Sanders, himself, to see red: boneless chicken."
More details on the move, which was three years in the making and will see more than 90 percent of KFC's menu items to eventually go bone-free, in the press release below.Continue reading...