brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 23, 2012 11:47 AM
Penn State players, alumni and other supports are in shock today following the NCAA's unprecedented actions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal: a $60 million fine, a four-year college bowl ban and 40 scholarships axed, in addition to erasing all 14 seasons of victories under late coach Joe Paterno. The move follows a damning report by former FBI director Louis Freeh that accused the university of enabling former Penn State football coach Sandusky's crimes.
The NCAA's executive committee chair Ed Ray stated at a press conference, "The historically unprecedented actions by the NCAA today are warranted by the conspiracy of silence that was maintained at the highest levels of the university in reckless and callous disregard for the children. There is incredible interest in what will happen to Penn State football. But, the fundamental story of this horrific chapter should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down." Are the NCAA sanctions excessive in your opinion? Post a comment below. (Update: Click here for Penn State president Rodney Erickson's response.)
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 16, 2012 10:18 AM
Since it was revealed the Ralph Lauren-designed opening ceremony uniforms for the US Olympic team were made in China, a member of Congress has openly suggested burning them, a move some outraged Americans immediately endorsed — it didn't take long for a "Burn the New USA Olympic Uniforms" Facebook page to pop up, naturally.
According to one estimate, USOC's outsourcing of Team USA's apparel manufacturing to China cost the U.S. about $1 billion. While others have come to the Team USA's defense of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and Team USA, the Christian Science Monitor argued against corporate panhandling altogether. "While China is harvesting farm girls from remote provinces to be canoeists, gymnasts, and weightlifters — training them in state-owned facilities and paying top dollar to lure top coaches — the USOC is panhandling on the doorstep of corporate America."
Ralph Lauren, which prides itself on being an All-American brand, is smarting from the outcry. Its namesake founder has vowed that the brand will produce the 2014 Winter Olympics Team USA apparel in the U.S., according to a statement released Friday that was backed up by USOC:Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 12, 2012 03:56 PM
The horrific actions of former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky have gripped a nation since he was arrested last fall and found guilty of 45 counts of child abuse a month ago. Now it is Penn State’s turn.
The release of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s independent report Thursday morning is a major blow to the PSU brand, with one immediate fallout: Nike immediately reversed its November decision to stand by Sandusky's former boss, the late Joe Paterno, whose name graces a childcare center at its global HQ.
Before the report's release, even with the Sandusky talk swirling before his trial and conviction, the University managed to raise millions of dollars. In fact, the 2011-12 fiscal year had the school bringing in the second-highest annual fundraising tally in its history: a whopping $208.7 million.
It remains to be seen how much money comes PSU’s way now that its former leaders are more in the public eye than Sandusky, who has now been entered into American criminal lore as one of the most clued-out offenders of all time — and protected. As the Freeh report on Penn State's role states in one damning sentence, "In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 10, 2012 10:18 AM
The old saying goes that the Chinese word for "crisis" (危机) is composed of two characters representing both "danger" and "opportunity." Though fallacious, this old trope could not better describe the manner in which cosmetics brand Urban Decay turned a self-created crisis into a public relations windfall.
About a month ago, Urban Decay announced that it would be breaking into China's cosmetics market. And why not? In 2011, China's cosmetic sales hit 110 billion yuan ($17.8 billion), a increase of nearly 19 percent over 2010. According to a 2012 report by Li & Fung Research Centre, during one month in 2011, Urban Decay's competitors Estée Lauder and Clinique saw sales increase by almost 10 percent alone.
Looking at all that money, what Urban Decay lost sight of was its core mission, amongst other things, was all about refusing to test on animals. (China, meanwhile, required animal testing to certify Urban Decay's products.) No surprise, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lambasted the brand's "Decaying Principles":Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 2, 2012 11:54 AM
Mary J. Blige had a dream when she was a kid. It wasn’t too outrageous or impossible to reach. All she wanted to do was be in a commercial for McDonald’s or Burger King. Well, she can scratch it off her list now and try to figure out how the whole became such a nightmare.
When Blige’s commercial for Burger King — part of BK's just-wrapped celebrity campaign for its new menu — came out in April, some attacked the spot touting crispy chicken snack wraps as stereotyping the African American performer. Wrap up all that anger and confusion into a slew of social-media outpouring and you’ had some pretty bad PR for Blige, while BK quickly squelched the affair by pulling the commercial.
It was also an object lesson in the pitfalls of celebrity endorsements. For Blige's part, she’s finally opening up about her side of the PR failure and has apologized to anyone who was offended.Continue reading...
media and politics
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 28, 2012 10:47 AM
It may be 79 degrees and sunny today in Atlanta, but we're guessing storm clouds quickly gathered over One CNN Center after the collosal correction the cable newscaster was forced to make on-air and online corrections today.
CNN misreported the historic 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that upheld Obamacare and affirms the individual mandate portion of President Obama's healthcare law. (Update: its PR team has issued an apology.)
Below, the before and after of the ratings-challenged network's breaking news flub this morning — and to be fair and balanced, Fox News got it wrong, too.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 18, 2012 05:26 PM
adidas is under fire after posting a picture of its upcoming JS Roundhouse Mids on the adidas Originals Facebook page. JS is short for Jeremy Scott, the provocative designer who has had a longstanding association with adidas Originals, while the shoe is part of his upcoming Fall/Winter collection for the brand, which is slated for release in August.
Unlike the uproar over Nike's Black and Tan shoe back in March, it's not the colors or name that's offending, but the rubber shackles attached to them that remind some observers (such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson) of the ankle chains that imprisoned African American slaves. That the "adidas" name is also part of the "shackles" is raising hackles (and heckles).
Even so, the brand defended the design and the designer.
"The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery," a spokesperson for the brand commented about the Facebook photo, which has been removed. "Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted ... Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful."
Scott, meanwhile, has deflected criticism of the so-called "slavery sneaker" on Twitter. Update: The designer later tweeted a link to a picture of "My Pet Monster," a plush toy wearing "magic cuffs" released by American Greetings in 1986 that spawned a one-season ABC cartoon series, as the inspiration for the shoe.
Nevertheless, despite initially defending the designer, adidas is pulling the shoe, stating: "We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace."
See Scott's Fall/Winter 2012 adidas Originals collection that included the shoe (along with a close-up) below, and let us know what you think in the comments.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 17, 2012 03:01 PM
"To the gay community, I apologize," stated boxer Manny Pacquiao in an interview with Mario Lopez on Extra that aired today. "I'm against same-sex marriage, but I'm not condemning you. My favorite verse is 'Love one another as you love yourself. Love your neighbor.' So I love everybody!"
That's Pacquiao, a national icon in the Philippines and one of Hennessy’s “Wild Rabbit” campaign stars, extricating himself from the hot water he landed in this week, just as he strives to change his image from indulging in cockfighting, drinking and womanizing. (His Hennessy commercial’s tagline: ''Fighting the fights that really matter. That's my 'Wild Rabbit.'")
The controversy erupted after a profile on him published May 12th in the National Conservative Examiner referenced the oft-cited Biblical passage from Leviticus 20:13, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.”
Pacquiao subsequently clarified that readers had erroneously believed he had quoted the verse, and that he loves and supports gays and lesbians, denounces anti-gay allegations, but does not approve of gay marriage because of his Roman Catholic beliefs.Continue reading...