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brand news

Brands in the News: Apple, NRA, Diet Pepsi and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 16, 2012 09:30 PM

Angry Birds first Christmas song ("Fly Me Home Tonight") released by Rovio.

Apple downgraded by Citi on China suppliers, while first weekend iPhone 5 sales in China top two million.

NRA goes silent in wake of Newtown, CT, school massacre as President Obama vows to get tougher on guns.

Diet Pepsi quietly changes sweetener in advance of new logo, tagline and can design.

Barclays protests US energy fine.

Best Buy extends deadline for founder's buyout bid.

Chrysler undecided on minivan plan.

Cisco reportedly plans to sell Linksys brand.

Coca-Cola resurrects Mello Yello in Australia, plans pop-up beach at Sydney Cricket Stadium.

Facebook's monetization efforts may ride on Walmart campaign lessons.

Li Ning projects substantial loss.

Microsoft urged to ditch Windows brand by Dell.

PPR goes shopping for young brands.

Starbucks defended by London mayor Boris Johnson.

Toyota set to seize global auto sales crown as GM vies for 2nd place.

brands under fire

Big Tobacco Hit By FDA Slowdown, Wins Graphic Package Battle

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 14, 2012 03:01 PM

It has been more than a year and a half since pretty much any new cigarettes or tobacco products have hit store shelves in the United States. So Big Tobacco must be finally caving to the growing drumbeat against them from lawmakers and health advocates, right? Well, no.

The lack of new product is actually due to those dang lawmakers. America's tobacco watchdogs at the Food and Drug Administration are “taking extra care in reviewing new product applications for public health risks,” according to WWLP Massachusetts.

And it isn’t just new product that’s been affected, either. The slowdown has also affected such things as brand-name changes as well as shifts in packaging or filters. But don’t feel too bad for Big Tobacco. They are still making a boatload of cash annually and they also just won a big case before the federal appeals court on Wednesday. In that case, the tobacco companies won the right to not sell their products in packaging that would feature graphic warning images, such as diseased lungs, a man with a tracheotomy smoking, and the cadaver of a (former) smoker.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Starbucks, Rolls-Royce and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Apple plans limited US manufacturing as it lands back in court with Samsung and baffles Eric Schmidt.

Starbucks agrees to pay more UK tax, capitulating to criticism.

Rolls-Royce is caught in bribery probe in UK.

AmEx works on social engagement that closes the loop with consumers.

AT&T is on track for record smartphone sales.

Barclays Africa is sold to Absa in $2.1 billion transaction.

Bob Marley trademark spat settled as 'relaxation drink' comes under fire.

Deutsche Bank is probed by SEC.

Dish will start selling mobile phones at its Blockbuster movie rental stores.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Australia Now Selling Shocking Cigarette Unpackaging in World First Roll-Out

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2012 01:27 PM

America's FDA keeps working toward forcing cigarette makers to encase their product in packaging with some incredibly nasty images in order to help consumers understand what could happen to them if they continue smoking. Australian health officials don’t have to wait anymore. 

Thanks to a world-first law that went into effect on Dec. 1st, nicotine lovers (and haters) in the land Down Under are now faced with images a gangrene-mangled limb and a skeletal cancer victim when they buy their cigarettes. The images, which caused an uproar when revealed last year, take up most of the pack’s packaging with the cigarette’s brand name (no logo) printed on the bottom quarter of the packaging, in plain text on an olive-toned blah background.

“They’re so horrifingly ugly that they are magnificent,” Fiona Sharkie, executive director of anti-smoking campaigner Quit Victoria, told Bloomberg. How horrifyingly ugly? Check out the grotesque warning images below.Continue reading...

branding together

McDonald's Holiday Happy Meal Tie-In: Dreamworks' "Rise of the Guardians"

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 13, 2012 10:00 AM

McDonald's US released this holiday TV commercial today, touting its Happy Meal tie-in with Dreamwork's Rise of the Guardians animated feature, hitting theaters on Nov. 21.

Meanwhile, it's heating up down under, where McDonald's is launching its new "Do Summer" campaign with limited-time menu items in Australia and New Zealand: the Blazing Omelette McMuffin for breakfast; the Smoky BBQ Bandit, boasting "100% Aussie beef, golden onion rings and smoky BBQ sauce;" and "with a new fiery chilli-coated patty and Peri-Peri style Mayo," the new Scorcher Peri-Peri chicken sandwich. Check out those spots below.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's CEO Has High Hopes for McRib and Cheddar Bacon Onion Sandwiches

Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2012 02:23 PM

As global economic bellwethers go, McDonald's sales results probably rank right up there with oil prices and consumer-confidence measures. So its shareholders, analysts and executives aren't exactly lovin' it when the company reports lackluster results, as it did for the third quarter.

The fast-food leader reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the period as it battled a weak global economy and accommodated more budget-minded consumers from Europe to China. Both sales and profits fell during the quarter, a rarity for McDonald's.

Of course, McDonald's results aren't directly synonymous with the status of the world's appetite for quick fare. The stronger dollar hurt international sales too. Also, competitors in many markets have been upping their game lately, including both Burger King and Wendy's in the United States, and the new strains from rivals also are reflected in McDonald's results.Continue reading...

auto motive

Ford Looking to Sustain Social Buzz, But No More Prelaunch in Primetime

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2012 04:02 PM

Ford has taken some arrows as the auto industry's social-media-marketing leader, most notably around a staged press conference in Sept. 2011 that was pushed out on social media. But for the most part, the automaker's social aggressiveness has helped it conquer new territory. Becoming an acknowledged trailblazer in the arena also has helped Ford sidestep potential problems that can attend companies if they get too far out on social-media limbs.

"Ford being well-respected ... in the social space, has given us an added level of credibility and it has given us a legion of fans who actually act as our eyes and ears and who can flag stuff for us," Scott Monty, Ford's director of social media, told Business Insider. People are "looking out for our best interests and will say, you know, 'You guys might want to take a look at this.'" Including, evidently, the company's CEO.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Paper Cuts: Staples Closes Stores in Shift to E-tailing

Posted by Dale Buss on September 26, 2012 04:07 PM

For decades, pundits have been saying that the rise of the computer would vanquish paper to the trash shredder of history. But they haven't been right.

Maybe, that is, until now. Because the whole issue of the feasibility of paper products may have reached a tipping point with the news that Staples is realigning its retail and e-tail strategy in a massive rethinking of its business.

The company announced that it "will integrate its retail and online offering, increase investment in its online businesses, reorganize its operations, implement leadership changes, initiate a multi-year cost savings plan, and restructure its International Operations."

Specifically, it plans to slash its U.S. store footage by 15 percent and invest the savings in its e-tailing business. In addition to shrinking its U.S. retail footprint, it's closing 45 stores in Europe. It's also rebranding its Australian business "as it continues to move toward one global brand."Continue reading...

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