2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

corporate responsibility

Visa, MasterCard Team Up to Push for Better Credit Data Protections

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 10, 2014 06:42 PM

As more information and new reports of data hacks continue to pour in, striking major retailers like Target, Neiman Marcus and others, the US is becoming increasingly aware of the many dangers associated with using debit and credit cards

MasterCard and Visa, whose businesses are eroded every time a consumer’s information is stolen, have decided to take action and are leading an effort to form a “cross-industry group to improve security for card transactions and press US retailers and banks to meet a 2015 deadline to adopt technology that would make it safer to pay with plastic,” Reuters reports.

Other members of the group include credit unions, banks, retailers, and industry trade associations, which are initially pushing for the implementation of technology already used in Europe and Asia—EMV cards—which “store information on computer chips rather than on traditional magnetic strips, making them harder to counterfeit,” according to the wire service.Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

Under Pressure from Activists, Facebook Vows to Filter Firearms Posts

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 6, 2014 11:53 AM

In the aftermath of a revealing investigation and an outcry from Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the nationwide Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America group to stiffen its policies around weapons sales and postings, Facebook and Instagram have announced that they will take down posts from gun sellers and traders that do not block the posts from those under 18. 

Calling the action “a series of new educational and enforcement efforts for people discussing the private sale of regulated items,” the social behemoth outlined four commitments to address the growing problem:Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

Reddit Sticks to Unusual Business Model with Charity Commitment

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2014 11:12 AM

Reddit has announced it will donate 10 percent of its 2014 ad revenue to charity, a decidedly bold move for the social media site that has yet to make a profit.

Fighting tirelessly to keep its unique brand as pure as possible, the site has eschewed an influx of traditional advertising that could have delivered more robust revenue for the 24th most-popular US internet site.

Reddit CEO Yishan Wong wrote in a blog post, “Whether it’s a large ad campaign or a $5 sponsored headline on reddit, we intend for all ad revenue this year to benefit not only reddit as a platform but also to support the goals and causes of the entire community.” 

The service will calculate ad revenue at year’s end, then let Redditors’ nominate and vote on which non-profits they’d like to support. With community consensus on the top ten, the site will distribute funds proportionately to votes received.Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

Gap Looks to "Do More" with Wage Hike, But Will Walmart Follow?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 20, 2014 01:37 PM

During President Obama's State of the Union address last month, he asked businesses across the US to raise their minimum wage to $10 an hour, even if Congress wasn't going to force minimum wage above its current $7.25 rate, though it plans to pay its own workers $10.10 starting next year. 

It seems at least one major US company was listening. Gap Inc. announced that it will voluntarily increase its minimum wage to $10 per hour in June of 2015 after boosting its pay rate to $9 per hour this year, Reuters reports. The increase will benefit about 65,000 workers across the company's Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands.

Harking back to the directive from founder Don Fisher to "do more than sell clothes," the company said that "after many months of consideration, we've made a business decision that's right for our brands, good for our people and beneficial to our customers."

"I applaud Gap for announcing that they intend to raise wages for their employees beginning this year," President Obama said, according to Reuters.

It remains to be seen if Walmart, the largest private employer in America, will follow. Numerous protests demanding that Walmart raise its minimum wage have been ongoing over the last year, as the company made headlines for refusing a pay increase in Washington, D.C. and other pay-related incidents around the holidays.Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

Apple Redeems Its Public Image with Improvements in Supply Chain, Sustainability

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2014 05:41 PM

Apple’s reputation as a tech innovator may be tarnished of late, but its corporate social responsibilties are shining more brightly as the company’s eighth annual supply-chain report said the company’s hardware factories do not use tantalum, a metal used in electronics, that is mined in areas currently engaged in warfare.

Warlords in the Democratic Republic of Congo profit from the sale of ores containing tantalum, as well as tungsten, tin and gold and grass-roots activists have called on corporate tech giants to keep "conflict minerals" out of their supply chain.

The report also uncovered fewer cases of child labor than last year: 23 underage workers as opposed to 74. Apple has been roundly criticized for using minors in its global supply chain for parts for iPhones and iPads which are made in 451 plants operated by various suppliers that collectively employ nearly 1.5 million people.

Apple relies heavily on Asian partners like Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group and has been criticized for not interfering with mandates for excessively long workweeks at its supplier factories, of which several were cited for not paying workers for overtime and no providing insurance. However, according to the new report, Apple says that its suppliers have achieved an average of 95 percent compliance with its standard maximum 60-hour work week.Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

IKEA Lights the Way for a Safer, Smarter Future for Refugee Camps

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2014 03:47 PM

Of the nearly 10.5 million refugees worldwide, close to half are children. And in 2013 alone, over 2 million people became refugees—nearly a 20-year record, according to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. 

“With each new humanitarian emergency the support of the private sector becomes more vital and more urgent.” 

IKEA’s "Brighter Lives for Refugees" campaign is answering the call and bringing lights and renewable energy to refugee camps. The global initiative running through March 29 offers a $1.35 donation to the UNHCR for every IKEA LEDARE - LED light bulb sold. 

“Life in a refugee camp can be very hard, particularly for children,” said Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation. “The absence of powered light limits everyday activities we take for granted such as sharing a meal or doing your homework. It impacts safety and security and the ability for families to generate an income.”Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

Brazil's Endangered Armadillo Will Get Boost from World Cup Supporters

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2014 06:02 PM

World Cup mascots aren't generally cause for outrage, unless you're one of the many football fans that believe there's no place in the game for oversized, anthropomorphic animals. But since 1966, when England introduced Willie the lion, the friendly figures have been a part of the games

When Brazil introduced Fuleco, the three-banded armadillo, as the mascot for this summer’s big event, there was more motivation behind the decision than just adding a friendly face to the month-long tournament. The armadillo was chosen after the Caatinga Association environmental group and the US-based Nature Conservancy campaigned for it to be the mascot in hopes that it would draw attention and dollars to the endangered species.

"One of the key objectives is to use the event as a platform to communicate the importance of the environment and ecology,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke upon the introduction of Fuleco, a combo of the Portuguese words for football and ecology, according to the BBC. “We are glad to be able to do so with the help of a mascot.”Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

Primark Commits to Toxin-Free Products Following Greenpeace Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 10, 2014 04:46 PM

Following in the steps of luxury brand Burberry, British retail giant Primark is the latest major brand to bow to Greenpeace's demands to go toxin-free, agreeing to eliminate hazardous chemicals in its products and across its production eco-system by 2020.

The High Street discount retailer is the 20th company to commit to detoxing its garments as a result of Greenpeace's global Detox campaign, and most recently, its "Little Monsters" report that found levels of toxins in childrens' product from global retail brands including Adidas, Gap, and American Apparel. Other brands, including Levi's, Zara, Mango and H&M have already commited to Greenpeace's five-step detox program. 

“Primark’s commitment shows that it refuses to be left behind as toxic-free clothing becomes a fashion trend in the industry,” said Ilze Smit, Detox Campaigner at Greenpeace International in a press release. “From budget retailers like Primark, to luxury houses like Burberry, brands are helping put an end to this toxic nightmare. Laggards like adidas and Disney need to act now to stop these hazardous little monsters once and for all.”Continue reading...

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