Best Global Green Brands 2014

corporate citizenship

IKEA Joins Costco, Gap in Voluntary US Wage Hike

Posted by Dale Buss on June 27, 2014 09:54 AM

IKEA joined a still-limited list of US retailers that is raising minimum wages voluntarily even as the issue of boosting the legally required minimum pay for low-wage workers continues to roil American business and politics.

The maker of inexpensive Scandinavian furniture said that it will raise the average hourly minimum at its 38 US stores to $10.76 an hour, a 17 percent increase, with actual new pay rates varying locally depending on the cost of living in a particular area. The new average would be $3.51 above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The new policy will raise the pay of about half of IKEA’s 13,120 US employees.

“This stems back to Ikea’s decision to create a better everyday life for our people,” Rob Olson, IKEA’s acting president for the US and its CFO, told the New York Times. “We of course are investing in our co-workers. We believe they will invest in our customers, and they will invest in IKEA’s stores.”

Plus, he told USA Today, the company can absorb the pay increase partly because it has cut costs in recent years. The wage hike will narrow profit margins but ultimately should benefit the bottom line, he said. IKEA has no plans to raise prices, cut staff or reduce hiring. The move also is a “shrewd business tactic that helps retailers attract top talent,” an economic analyst told The Huffington Post.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Adidas, GM, Yahoo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 27, 2014 09:03 AM


Adidas pulls teeth-baring ads featuring Suarez after World Cup biting incident.

GM now faces federal grand jury probe in recalls, as company finally recalls 29,000 Chevrolet Cruze models that were part of sales “stop order.”

Nike sales fueled by World Cup and social marketing.

Yahoo seeks to buy YouTube content partner Fullscreen.

Google starts scrubbing Europe search results under “right to be forgotten.”


Audi introduces understated first plug-in hybrid as brand beams World Cup results over New York's East River using headlights.

Buick puts on running shoes with MyMapFitness.

Cracker Jack launches "Surprise Inside Project" gifting campaign. 

McDonald’s tests mobile ordering app.

Mercedes-Benz packs its GLA crossover in new social campaign.Continue reading...


Girl Power: P&G Hits Another Home Run with Always Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2014 05:49 PM

Gender bias and societal expectations are skillfully addressed in Procter & Gamble’s latest stereotype-squashing video, "Like a Girl," for its Always brand of feminine products. 

At the heart of the video by Lauren Greenfield is the question, "When did doing something 'like a girl' become an insult?"

The Always campaign, which focuses on girls going through puberty, commissioned research that found that "half of girls report a drop in confidence after their first period.” "We felt strongly we needed to do something about it," Always Brand Director, Amanda Hill, told Ad Age.Continue reading...

lather, rinse, rebrand

Juicy Couture Rebrands to Recapture Global Fashionista Appeal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 26, 2014 04:41 PM

Juicy Couture, once the uniform of pseudo-celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, rose to enormous fame as the darling of the 2000s' teen fashion queens. 

But with the passing of the Millennium also came the fall of the fashion brand, which slipped deeper and deeper into shopping mall oblivion over the last decade as its label was dropped from Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Parent company Fifth & Pacific sold it to Authentic Brands Group—the owner of trademark rights to such dead celebs as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe—back in September, relinquishing any remaining high-end appeal when it landed on Kohl's racks two months later. 

With plans to shut down its remaining storefronts by the end of this month, it seems the brand has little life left in it. But that's not the case, as Authentic Brands has grand plans to relaunch the brand both in the US and abroad with new looks, merchandise and partnerships.Continue reading...

auto motive

Potential Cruze Airbag Recall Adds to Uphill Battle for Barra

Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2014 02:53 PM

General Motors CEO Mary Barra is expanding her public persona with news media appearances such as one on "The Today Show" this morning. But the spreading stain of increased GM recalls—because of a new level of transparency that Barra herself deliberately created—finally could begin to take a bite out of the company where it counts most: in dealer showrooms.

GM confirmed it has issued a “stop order” to its dealers to halt delivery of 33,000 of its 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze sedans because of a potential problem involving an airbag inflator made by Takata—the same Japan-based supplier whose air bags have been at the center of a spate of recent recalls by Ford, Honda, Nissan and other brands.

GM already has issued 44 recalls this year covering 20 million vehicles globally, including the extremely damaging ignition switch-related recall that is responsible for at least 13 deaths, and the stop order on some Cruze sales may end up being a recall as well, the company said yesterday. 

“We are going to continue to look at the data that we get and we are going to take the action that we need,” she said. “That's our commitment to customers. If we find an issue, we are going to deal with it."Continue reading...

future of advertising

Beautiful Balance: At Cannes, Data and Emotion Unite to Tell Strong Stories

Posted by Rami Levi on June 26, 2014 02:18 PM

The power of storytelling; the importance of emotion; the necessity of capturing a human essence. These were the main themes repeated and stressed over the course of this past week’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

It doesn’t take much analysis to figure that these themes were likely emphasized in reaction to an increasingly digital landscape where phrases like "Big Data" are dominating the industry. Indeed, the Palais de Festival quickly became a platform for creatives to remind the world—and each other—that, despite the ubiquity of data and technology, great work is still defined by its ability to tell strong, deeply human stories—even in the most data-driven work.

In one popular seminar, “Nice is the New Black”, BBDO creative leaders David Lubars and Josy Paul spoke to the importance of creating work that cuts through cynicism and captures feel-good stories. After showing consecutive ads that tugged at the heart, the panelists invited the audience to hug the person on their left. Let's just say that things got emotional.Continue reading...

brand challenges

Bid Adieu to Aereo—At Least for Now

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2014 01:52 PM

In a significant victory for traditional broadcasters, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday against internet streaming service Aereo, saying that the service infringes upon  broadcasters’ copyright when it picks up over-the-air TV signals and streams them to internet subscribers.

In a 6-3 decision, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote, “Aereo’s behind-the-scenes technological differences do not distinguish Aereo’s system from cable systems, which do publicly perform.” 

Aereo is backed by IAC Chairman Barry Diller and others, who invested close to $100 million. “It’s not a big (financial) loss for us [IAC], but I do believe blocking this technology is a big loss for consumers, and beyond that I only salute Chet Kanojia and his band of Aereo’lers for fighting the good fight,” Diller said in a statement

Aereo fought against the industry since day one in February 2012, with all major broadcast networks including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS filing suit against Aereo, as well as local TV station owners including Hearst TV and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Aereo’s position was consistent—it was renting a personal antenna to its subscriber’s in its 12 markets of operation, but all while avoiding the $3 billion that broadcasters pay in retransmission fees.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Branding Responsibility: An Insider's Look at Interbrand's Best Global Green Brands

Posted by Bob O'Brien on June 26, 2014 12:30 PM

This week Interbrand, in partnership with Deloitte, released its annual Best Global Green Brands report for 2014, ranking the top 50 among its 100 Best Global Brands. While automotive brands continue to dominate this year’s ranking, there were some significant shifts—especially at the top. 

For the first time since the inaugural report in 2011, there is a new No. 1 Best Global Green Brand: Ford unseated Toyota, which fell to No. 2 after three years at the top. Rounding out the top four is Honda at No. 3 and Nissan at No. 4, demonstrating the dominance of the automotive sector in the ranking of sustainable and socially-responsible initiatives. 

Are car companies doing something different? Why do consumers and experts recognize one industry as being more effective than others? We sat down with Emma Hrustic, Global Director of Brand Intelligence at Interbrand, to talk methodology, transparency and why auto brands are running away with the race.Continue reading...

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