Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 19, 2012 04:46 PM
Urban legend has it that Twinkies have an endless shelf life, but the folks at Hostess Brands didn’t have to worry about that this weekend. After the announcement came Friday that the company was going to shut down, Twinkies and all of the other baked goods cranked out by the company flew off store shelves this weekend. And some of them started showing up on eBay at ridiculously high prices. A ten-count box of Twinkies was listed with an opening bid of $200,000.
That price should be coming down because now the news comes that Twinkies may get to keep appearing on store shelves for a while to come. According to Reuters, Hostess, its lenders and the unions representing its striking workers reportedly "agreed to start mediation hearings on Tuesday at the urging of a bankruptcy court judge. A hearing on Monday during which the bankrupt maker of Twinkies snack cakes and Wonder Bread was set to ask for permission to liquidate was quickly adjourned until Wednesday after the judge urged the parties to mediate in private." Production remains shut down, as Hostess noted on its business site.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 12, 2012 12:29 PM
Eastman Kodak Co. has reportedly arranged financing to exit from bankruptcy. Bloomberg hears that $739 million has been raised by the embattled photo giant's executives, enough to exit bankruptcy in the first half of 2013. "Funding is conditional on selling its patent portfolio for at least $500 million, progress in the sale of two business units and the resolution of the company’s U.K. pension obligations," Bloomberg notes.
In addition to laying off almost 4,000 employees worldside, the company is reducing costs by selling off unprofitable businesses, so it's selling, as Bloomberg notes, "its consumer- film, photo-kiosk and commercial-scanner businesses; continuing an extended effort to auction its digital-imaging patents; and shuttering its consumer inkjet printer sales."
“Since our Chapter 11 filing in January, we have focused on the businesses that are core to our future strategic direction and exited businesses that were unprofitable,” commented Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and CEO. “The actions we are taking in response to economic and market conditions are working and will position us to emerge in 2013 as a growing, profitable, sustainable company.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2012 03:03 PM
Procter & Gamble and other diaper-makers may be cheering the news that Kimberly-Clark is abandoning Europe with its diaper business. But the move by the American giant, also maker of Kleenex and other paper products, also will land yet another blow to the fragile economy. Kimberly-Clark confirmed in its latest earnings release that it plans to eliminate up to 1,500 European jobs with the move and its broader restructuring plan in Europe, or about 2.6 percent of its global workforce.
The way CEO Tom Falk put it, the company didn't have any choice after banging its head against a wall in Europe for its disposable diapers. P&G controls 44 percent of the market with Pampers, while Kimberly-Clark's Huggies brand had garnered only a 12-percent share over more than two decades in the market. Private-label diaper brands combined have a bigger share than Huggies.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2012 12:07 PM
The Tour de France is turning 100 next year, its organizers hope with a clean slate. It will be the first one to take place after the historic removal of Lance Armstrong’s seven straight wins from 1999 to 2005, even if it can't do much about its yellow (jersey) branding that recalls Armstrong's Livestrong yellow.
The Tour announced its route for next summer’s big race on Wednesday. Tour de France President Jean-Etienne Amaury said organizers will keep fighting the “plague” of doping, even as he didn't mention Armstrong by name.
One thing the Tour has got to be thankful for is that, unlike the many sponsors of Armstrong that have quickly ended their relationships with him, none of their sponsors have cut the cord just yet, the Associated Press reports.
"We don't sponsor a team or an individual, we sponsor a sporting event that each year attracts great public enthusiasm," stated French bank LCL spokesman Pierre Baillot, the AP reports. "The wider public knows how to draw a distinction."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 10, 2012 05:11 PM
Apple may be zooming up Interbrand's Best Global Brands report, but not all is sunny in Cupertino these days. The brand's market value has plunged $70 billion since the iPhone 5 was released, with a market cap falling below $600 billion on Monday and a "near 10% correction" in recent weeks.
Marketwatch's Jon Friedman took the pulse of the company with Wall Street analysts in a column titled starkly "Has Apple Lost It?" Friedman writes: "A skeptic could suggest that cracks may be beginning to show up in Apple’s armor. One reason: The company tumbled into the 'correction' mode, having fallen 10% during Tuesday trading from its 52-week high point of $705.07."
With iPad Mini rumors now in overdrive and guessing games about how Steve Jobs may have responded, Friedman discusses the brand challenges facing apologetic Apple CEO Tim Cook in the WSJ.com video below.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2012 05:07 PM
The stock woes of Facebook, Zynga and other can't-miss investment darlings of the internet have distracted people from Groupon's travails. But as the daily-deals website nears the November anniversary of its IPO, Groupon appears to have many long-term challenges on its plate.
Groupon has run into stiff competition for signing up the local merchants across the country that provide the deals to fuel Groupon's discount machine. At the same time, some analysts assert, it's been difficult for Groupon to engender brand loyalty among consumers because, after all, ultimately what discount-seeking consumers want is the biggest discount — whoever provides it to them.
As a result, Groupon's growth has been slowing. And even as the Chicago-based company has tried to counter that by hiring more salespeople to sign up local merchants to provide discounts, other digital companies are trying to poach Groupon's best talent because they see weakness in the company.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 4, 2012 02:02 PM
BP suffered a major PR disaster and image hit back in 2010 when its Deepwater oil well dumped nearly five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and wreaked havoc on the ecosystem.
While the birds and fish and other living things in the ecosystem that were killed and affected in all sorts of negative ways don’t have lawyers, many of the humans impacted do, such as a number of BP fuel dealers who claimed that the spill hurt their brand and business in general, aren’t winning the love of one particular judge.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, a U.S. District judge ruled Tuesday that the dealers don’t have a case against the oil giant. The same judge also ruled that Gulf Coast homeowners “who claim the spill hurt their property values even though no oil physically touched their property and they haven't sold their homes” don’t have a case, either, the Sun reports.
Another group that doesn’t want BP’s money but would rather use any fines paid by the British company to help rebuild and protect the Gulf ecosystem are sportsmen and women, the Sun Herald reports. In a poll by Chesapeake Beach Consulting, 81 percent of the sportsmen and women living in the region interviewed “believe BP should be held accountable and fined the maximum amount allowed for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster and that those funds should be used exclusively to restore the fish and wildlife habitat of the Gulf of Mexico and its hunting and fishing heritage,” the paper notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 1, 2012 04:09 PM
Advertising Week kicked off in New York Monday morning with a "Memoriam for Advertising." Now Declan Stone may need to update his new Logo R.I.P. book sooner than expected.
If 24/7 Wall Street's soothsayers have an accurate crystal ball, it’s time to slather on some Avon products, pull on some Pacific Sunwear shades and an Oakland Raiders jersey while reading Salon.com’s story about American Airlines on your BlackBerry.
These are six of the 10 brands mentioned in 24/7 Wall Street’s new list of what 10 big name brands could disappear in 2013. The others? MetroPCS, Suzuki, Talbots, and Current TV. 24/7, ever so slightly tongue in cheek but in a wake-up call, too, believes these brands will either be bought out or go out of business before the big ball in Times Square drops at the end of 2013.
According to the website's prognosis, American Airlines is “inefficient.” BlackBerry-maker RIM has “lost its edge.” Pacific Sunwear “no longer has the capital to compete.” At MetroPCS, “investors have abandoned.”
All 10 of the companies suffered from at least one of the following:Continue reading...