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Comic Relief Busted for Investments in Alcohol, Tobacco, and Guns

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 10, 2013 04:35 PM

Since 1985, Comic Relief has been cracking up half the folks around the world in order to raise cash for the other half. The British charity is partially famed for its promise that every bit of cash donated by the public has gone to actually helping people while all the administrative costs are all taken care of by corporations.

But a number of folks are not happy with the way that cash is being spent. A BBC documentary has found that from 2007 to 2009 Comic Relief took millions of pounds and invested them in alcohol, tobacco, and firearms companies despite the fact that the charity is aiming to cut down on the use of all three. Continue reading...

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Chevy Pulls 'Silverado Strong' Promo in Another Example of Misguided Relevance

Posted by Dale Buss on October 30, 2013 03:39 PM

Chevrolet backed out of a "Silverado Strong" promotion planned for the fifth game of the World Series this week in St. Louis after figuring at the last minute that it could get criticized by seeming to exploit the "Boston Strong" theme that arose in the wake of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings in April.

The brand was going to ask crowd members at Busch Stadium to use placards under their seats to spell out "Silverado Strong" in a reference to the ongoing marketing campaign for the crucial new Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. But after pictures of the rehearsal that had been posted online drew social media complaints, GM and Major League Baseball pulled the plug.

"Chevrolet had planned to continue the campaign [at the game] through an interactive in-stadium promotion," Chevy spokesman Michael Albano told brandchannel. "However, following [the] rehearsal we realized there was the possibility that we may offend some of the very fans we were trying to honor, [and] for that reason Chevrolet and MLB decided to cancel the promotion."Continue reading...


Coke (But Not Koch) Ditches Conservative Group, As Do Kraft, Pepsi and Intuit

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 9, 2012 02:09 PM

Like any massive corporation that has a lot of dough and a lot of interests, Coca-Cola has tangled itself in plenty of politics, though your average soda drinker couldn’t likely care less. However, there are some that do and Coke doesn’t want to lose their dollars.

That may be why the company has ditched out of the conservative lobbying group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that denies the existence of climate change, helped author a law in Florida that some believe helped cause the Trayvon Martin situation to arise, and is pushing for voter ID registration (which critics deem a form of voter suppression), according to TriplePundit.com.Continue reading...


Starbucks Rebrands With MSNBC's Morning Joe

Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 10, 2009 11:16 AM

Why not ruin a good thing?

That’s apparently the prevailing sentiment at Starbucks these days. After the feverish push behind Via instant coffee, the brand continues their off-brand stumble.

This time, Starbucks is doubling down on its relationship with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the cable morning show hosted by Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist. The company will rebrand their Gold Coast Blend to become Gold Coast Blend: Morning Joe Edition. The packaging will prominently feature the television show's logo -- larger than Starbucks' own logo.

The coffee empire calls the move part of an effort to increase awareness of its community volunteerism efforts. Together with MSNBC and the Morning Joe cable show, Starbucks will kick off their “Brewing Together Day of Service,” a call-to-action campaign beginning on Nov. 21, encouraging citizens to volunteer in their communities.Continue reading...


Reebok Easy Tone Campaign Easy To Mock, Tone Deaf

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 9, 2009 12:29 PM

When I saw the new Reebok campaign for its new line of athletic shoes, I immediately put on some Axe deodorant, had a can of Coors and went out to get a pair. Imagine my surprise then when I arrived at the store to find the brand's East Tone line is for... women. Specifically, women who want a better "booty."

The brand's microsite says "88% of men are speechless." And that certainly might be true of a campaign that seemingly uses tactics straight out of men's deodorant or beer ads: women in underwear ogled, sweeping perfume camera angles, headless female torsos.Continue reading...


Microsoft Discovers “Family Guy” Is Vulgar, Water Is Wet

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on October 27, 2009 05:29 PM

Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to promote Windows 7 to the kids by sponsoring the upcoming Fox special "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," starring “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane.

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the animated hit is aware that its shotgun-comedy strategy is “Who can we offend next?” But as Variety reported, Microsoft executives were taken aback when watching the October 16 taping of the episode that included the planned Windows 7 pitch:

For most of the special, however, MacFarlane and Borstein made typical "Family Guy"-style jokes, including riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest.

Such material was apparently a bit much for Microsoft.

Microsoft, which will think twice next time before asking an intern what the cool kids like, decided to abandon its marketing plan, which included promoting the brand throughout the November 8 show so it could run commercial-free.Continue reading...


Corona's Risky Brand Dilution

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 20, 2009 06:35 PM

Corona may be dealing with some bad PR over a fake ad, but its real advertising campaign may also be losing its way.

Corona's parent Constellation Brands appears to be having a good year. Hard times may be good for alcohol makers. But that's not the case for the group's Corona beer brand, which, as a premier label, is suffering as strapped consumers turn to lower tier beer brands. The brand is hoping to counter this by introducing 24-ounce cans of Corona to the market soon.

Corona is also bumping up its ad exposure during premier sporting events such as the Major League Baseball playoffs and National Football League games. Any football fan is aware of this, as Corona ads have become more numerous and subtly different in tone.Continue reading...

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Vera Wang's Reality TV Dreams May Drag Down Her Brand

Posted by Sara Zucker on October 19, 2009 02:46 PM

Has fashion-related television turned tacky? With so many power players in that particular industry landing their own shows (Rachel Zoe, Kelly Cutrone... and I wonder if Tyra Banks counts), has America had enough, or is this just the beginning?

Now, Vera Wang is in talks to create a reality-TV show based on her life and career. The designer was recently rejected from Dancing With The Stars; rumor has it that producers refused to allow her to create her own costumes.Continue reading...

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