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brand trainwrecks

Patch Wipes the Slate Clean with Mass Layoffs, Website Shutdowns

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 19, 2013 05:51 PM

Even the seemingly endless resources of AOL couldn't make the company's local news venture work, as Patch prepares to purge some 500 employees and shutter as many as 400 of the local websites. According to reports, 300 employees were already released last week, with a remaining 200 in limbo.

"Patch, as previously announced, is taking steps to move to profitability. Patch's strategy will be to focus resources against core sites and partner in towns that need additional resources. Additionally, there are sites that we will be consolidating or closing,” read a statement released by AOL. "We have to get Patch into a place where it's going to be successful and it's going to be successful for a long time. There's a whole bunch of towns that are going to be successful but we need the whole enterprise to be successful."

The announcement made last week was not without added drama. Armstrong, on an all-hands call with over 1,000 Patch staffers, publicly fired Patch Creative Director Abel Lenz for supposedly recording private Patch meetings and leaking information to the media. Armstrong later apologized for his "emotional response."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Taco Bell, Coca-Cola, Adidas and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 14, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

Taco Bell reveals Fiery as third flavor of Doritos Locos Tacos.

Coca-Cola defends safety of artificial sweeteners in new ad.

Adidas gains on Nike in China by balancing performance with fashion.

AB InBev disputes MillerCoors claims about superiority of Coors Light cans.

AOL apologizes over public firing of Patch director.

Absolut launches artistic redesign of flavored-vodka range.

Amazon hires for a secret N.J. warehouse, perhaps signaling New York grocery delivery.

Apple is pushed on buyback by Carl Icahn after he reveals $1.5 billion stake.

BMW uses humorous new campaign to boost diesel.

Chipotle faces shortage of "responsibly raised" meat.

Craigslist costs local newspapers $5 billion in classified-ad revenue.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, Dole Foods, Lincoln and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 13, 2013 09:34 AM

In the News

JCPenney sees divisive director and largest shareholder Bill Ackman resign from board as George Soros backs CEO.

Dole Food agrees to $1.2-billion buyout.

Lincoln tutors car dealers on how to sell luxury to younger generation.

AOL firing of Patch executive gets messy.

BlackBerry ponders sale to Canadian institutions.

Chipotle and Jack in the Box settle trademark lawsuit.

Corona sponsors Marc Anthony tour.

eBay trials personalized fashion recommendations. 

Facebook adds tie-in with OpenTable restaurant bookings. 

Gap woos Gen Y with denim campaign.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yahoo, Target, Taco Bell and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 7, 2013 09:01 AM

In the News

Yahoo will debut new logo next month. 

Target acquires online skin-care retailer DermStore.

Taco Bell adds waffle taco to breakfast-menu test.

AOL acquires online-video company Adap.tv

AT&T will replace water-damaged Samsung Galaxy S4 Actives. 

British Airways targets India ex-pats.

Chrysler won't invest in EVs until pricing improves.

Darden faces foodborne-illness lawsuit.

Evian still struggles for relevance in US market.

Facebook gets transparent about news-feed issue.

Famous Brands refocuses on innovation to grow TCBY and Mrs. Fields brands.

GE quits solar panels and sells technology.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: 7-Eleven, Starbucks, Susan G. Komen Foundation and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 18, 2013 09:27 AM

In the News

7-Eleven franchisees are accused by feds in immigrant exploitation scheme.

Starbucks to start displaying calorie counts on menus later this month.

Susan G. Komen Foundation names new CEO. 

3M adds new products to its healthcare line. 

AOL nears profitability in Patch bet on local news.

AT&T introduces solar-powered charging stations.

Boeing signs customers for stretch 787, Airbus also gets order for A380 and Embraer gets big launch order for jets from SkyWest.

Cheesecake Factory returns to growth mode.

Chrysler sees key deadline near in Jeep-recall dispute with US government.Continue reading...

brands under fire

NSA Scandal Sends Brands Scrambling to Defend Themselves as Users Question Privacy

Posted by Ben Berkon on June 12, 2013 11:58 AM

The government’s infringement on communicative freedom and privacy is hardly a new topic in America. 

Starting in the late-1940s, the US underwent a period called the "Second Red Scare," which gave birth to the era of "McCarthyism," a time in America where many citizens feared their phone lines were being tapped. Today, heightened security over terrorist activity has caused the nation's security divisions to implement such tactics yet again, though the digital age poses a much greater challenge to operations as the public shares more, but also knows more. 

Privacy concerns have peaked as The Guardian recently published a series of reports documenting questionable actions by the US National Security Agency. Late last week, The Guardian revealed its source— Edward Snowden, a former US intelligence operative who consciously leaked the NSA program called "PRISM.” According to CNN, PRISM is a top secret, on-going program that entitles the NSA "to extract the details of people's online activities—including audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents and other materials."

Yet, unlike past federal privacy infringements, the PRISM scandal has implicated major brands including Verizon, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Apple and Skype. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a public note on Facebook claiming, "We hadn't even heard of PRISM before yesterday," and Google CEO Larry Page wrote an open letter sharing similar sentiments, other brands haven't been nearly as forthright, although all have denied knowledge of the program.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: SAP, Coca-Cola, Disney and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 8, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

SAP moves into cloud computing as brand projects $10B boost from banking software.

Coca-Cola plans to invest $2 billion in Florida orange groves.

Disney second quarter soars 32% on theme parks, ESPN ad sales as company withdraws trademark application for Dia de los Muertos.

Alibaba IPO anticipation grows on revenue surge.

American Airlines launches Klout-based promo.

AOL profits boosted by advertising.

AT&T presses case in lower bandwidth spectrum case.

Bitcoin startups begin to attract real cash.

Burger King makes bold move with delivery expansion.Continue reading...

digital advertising

YouTube Leaves TV in the Dust with Strong NewFronts Display

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2013 06:21 PM

In front of a room-full of potential advertisers at the Digital NewFronts, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt declared "the future is now" for YouTube, which recently passed 1 billion unique visitors monthly. While many would have expected Schmidt to purport that YouTube's content is as good as what's on TV, he made a simple and very clear statement instead: YouTube content is better than TV. 

The event, billed as a "brandcast,” featured celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Macklemore and YouTube personality Felicia Day, but the real star was the platform itself. Schmidt said YouTube is “not a replacement for something that we know," according to Business Insider. “It's a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms."

"I thought that YouTube was like TV, but it isn't. I was wrong," added Robert Kyncl, YouTube's global head of content. "TV is one-way. YouTube talks back. TV means reach. YouTube means engagement."Continue reading...

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