Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 06:12 PM
JCPenney's brand-resuscitation efforts continued today with a digital-era form of a classic corporate move: the mea culpa.
The company launched a virtual apology tour on Facebook, YouTube (watch below) and Twitter to get the message out to customers—those same customers that now-ousted CEO Ron Johnson in large part ignored for more than a year—that the brand is sorry and wants them to come back.
According to Bloomberg, the campaign was developed on Johnson's watch and implemented by Sergio Zyman, the former Coca-Cola marketing executive who will go down in history as the architect of the New Coke fiasco.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 28, 2013 04:37 PM
Some countries have hidden cigarette brand names from consumers with plain packaging. Some countries demand retailers hide the cigarettes away. Some countries have put nasty images on the packaging so consumers can see what could happen to them someday if they continue to smoke, and some are just starting over. But one country is just planning to get rid of the darn things altogether.
It’ll take a few years, of course, for Scotland to get all tobacco products out of its country, but the plan is to have them gone by 2034, according to the UK's thecourier.co, so smokers might want to get their trips to Scotland over with sooner rather than later. The country has already banned smoking from public places and raised the age of purchase from 16 to 18; it now plans to ban smoking from the grounds of all hospitals and force retailers to sell smokes in plain packaging.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 01:33 PM
BBC Worldwide has only been the sole owner of the Lonely Planet brand since 2011 after buying 75 percent of it in 2007, but it's been ready for some time to let it go.
For $42 million less than it had purchased it for—and after years of partnering with Melbourne, Australia-based founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler to build the business into a strong global brand—BBC Worldwide this week sold the world's biggest travel publisher for $77.7 million. The buyer is NC2 Media, which vaguely describes itself as “primarily engaged in the creation, acquisition and distribution of quality digital content and the development of the technologies to make that possible.”
The media company is run by a billionaire Kentucky recluse who supposedly doesn’t use email, made a good chunk of money from selling low-cost cigarettes before selling them off and renouncing tobacco, and is one of the top five landowners in the U.S. with 1.7 million acres to his name, Brad Kelley.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 13, 2013 05:16 PM
The U.S. government has been in a long-running battle with Big Tobacco to try and get nasty images placed onto cigarette packaging, a fight that seems destined to end up in the Supreme Court someday.
Singapore is the latest country that appears ready to step into that same boxing ring. With 5.3 million people, Singapore may not be the largest country in the world, but it has the world’s fourth-leading financial center and one of the top five busiest ports in the world, and soon, it may be difficult to see any packs of cigarettes. The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Singapore government is proposing to ban shops from displaying tobacco-related products."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2013 08:46 AM
Walmart philanthropic director Sylvia Mathews Burwell expected to be nominated Monday as Obama's budget chief.
India develops a taste for premium beer while officials approve $2 billion Diageo deal.
HSBC set for $23 billion profit as turnaround gains traction.
AB InBev takes to Twitter and newspaper ads to fight watered-down-beer charges.
AIDS drug breakthrough sees infant evidently cured through early use of virus-blocking drugs.
Alfa Romeo reboot marks tough road for Fiat.
American Airlines drops below 60,000 employees for the first time since 1987.
AOL's new Brand Group CEO Susan Lyne lays out her goals.
Asos joins brands using Twitter's Vine for short form social video marketing.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 11:48 AM
Australia’s smokers had to start purchasing cigarette packs with extremely graphic images on the front last December, which did not sit well with the world’s Big Tobacco companies, whose lawyers have been set loose to try and repeal the Aussies' anti-smoking efforts. Now, New Zealand is ready to enact a similar effort that will remove branding from cigarette packages and sell them with plain wrapping.
New Zealand, however, won’t push forward with the practice until it sees how all that legal wrangling works out for its larger neighbor.
“This announcement demonstrates that the New Zealand government recognizes the significant international trade issues with standardized packaging and will not implement it until the pending international legal challenges to Australia’s law are resolved,” Philip Morris said in a statement. “There is no credible evidence that standardized packaging will lower smoking rates, but strong evidence that it will jeopardize jobs, benefit the black market for cigarettes, and is a breach of international trade rules that have already made Australia’s policy subject to WTO action.”
The WTO actions were set in motion by a few nations that happen to be—surprise!—big producers of tobacco: Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Indonesia.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 20, 2013 03:31 PM
Winnebago Australia has finally done what America’s Winnebago Industries has been wanting it to do for decades: change its name. After a long legal battle, Winnebago Australia, which has never been affiliated with the U.S. motor home company of the same name, is changing its name to Avida.
Avida actually successfully trademarked the word “Winnebago” in Australia back in 1997, but Federal Court of Australia Justice Lindsay Foster ordered the cancellation of that registration last summer, saying that CEO Ben Binns “intentionally hijacked the Winnebago marks in Australia in a bold attempt to preempt Winnebago’s opening its doors here,” Bloomberg reported at the time.
However, don’t think that Avida is finished using the Winnebago name for its own self-promotion in Australia and New Zealand just yet.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2013 11:02 AM
Describing something that is oversized may soon involve a lawyer. The terms “titanic” and “gigantic” are both being considered for trademarking.
The man behind the plan, Clive Palmer, is an Australian billionaire who is having the Titanic completely re-created by a Chinese shipyard so it can set sail from England for North America in 2016. Palmer’s Blue Star Line, named after White Star Line, the company that owned the original Titanic, has filed a trademark request for a number of terms, including "Titanic," "Titanic II," "Titanic III," "Blue Star Line," and "Gigantic", although he's already promoting "Titanic II" on his website.
Palmer, a mining tycoon, believes that White Star Line had thought about naming one of its ships Gigantic, but never got around to it after its Titanic liner famously slammed into an iceberg near Newfoundland and sank, taking more than 1,500 lives along with it. “I think [the trademark application] will be OK,” Palmer said, according to Australia’s Boorowa News. “We'll just see how we go. I think there is a report back on it already, saying it is OK for a ship.”
However, there is some debate as to what he'll be able to trademark.Continue reading...