brand news

In the News: CNN, Groupon, LinkedIn and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

CNN seen naming Jeff Zucker, former head of NBCUniversal, as its chief.

Groupon sees board meet on new CEO.

LinkedIn wants to solve world's skills gap.

Aldi stretches brand promise for hunger challenge.

Angry Birds sparks export boom from Finland.

Apple continues shakeup over iOS 6 maps app mishap as brand hit with patent suit over headphones.Continue reading...

brands under fire

BP Plans Ad Campaign to Help People Move On

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2012 03:55 PM

It’s been about two and a half years since nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil was dumped into the Gulf of Mexico as the result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the owners of that particular well – BP – would love it if the world would just forget about the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Now a key piece has been settled with its $4.5 billion fine, the energy giant is returning to full-on “advertising (in the UK) next year with a campaign showcasing the contribution the company makes to society,” as Marketing Magazine reports. The corporate citizenship-themed push will note its cultural partnerships with the London Royal Opera House and the British Museum as well as its sponsorship of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Even while the oil was gushing into the Gulf, BP spent nearly $100 million on advertising, CNN reports, three times the amount of cash it had laid out in the same time period the previous year. BP claimed that the increase was partially due to ads it bought in the Gulf Coast region to inform people there about the recovery effort.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Twinkies, BP, GM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2012 08:59 AM

In the News

Hostess liquidation sees opportunists stock up on Twinkies as future of its brands hangs in balance and unions cling to hope of a buyer.

BP seen as takeover target now, as valuation slides.

GM opens $1.3 billion China plant for Baojun budget brand.

Ben & Jerry's turns fans' Instagram pictures into ads.

CCTV ad haul for Chinese television bodes well for economy.

Cisco to buy networking-hardware company Meraki for $1.2 billion.

Citigroup to cut more jobs.

Dish Network is frustrated in dream of breaking into wireless.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Does Oil Spill Fine Change BP's "Profit Over Prudence" Culture?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 16, 2012 02:12 PM

It's understandable that the record-breaking sum that BP will be paying out — $4.5 billion in fines and other payments — as a result of the Department of Justice settlement over the 2012 Deepwater Horizon accident, oil spill and response raised eyebrows. While two employees are being charged wth manslaughter, the company also pled guilty to 14 criminal charges in connection with the cataclysmic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago, and admitted to criminal conduct and deliberately misreporting the impact of the spill.

It's a record-breaking sum, but as a reader noted on our story, it's "a drop in the barrel" for the oil and gas giant. Even the fact that the DOJ investigation is ongoing, and BP will be subject to additional including federal civil claims and claims for damages to natural resources and fines under the Clean Water Act, with potential fines of up to $21 billion, the brand is more than prepared to absorb the financial hit.

The bigger question is how much, if at all, things have changed in the corporate culture that led to the accident, and led to harsh criticism over its handling of the accident. As Tom Zara, Interbrand's global Corporate Citizenship practice leader, comments, the DOJ penalty is directed at the "ethical bone structure" that led to the disaster, and the loss of 11 lives. "Notoriety of criminality isn’t the death knell of a brand, but corruption of culture will kill the brand."

The Justice Department press release detailing BP's guilty plea doesn't mince words on that front:Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hostess, 5-Hour Energy, BP and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Hostess Brands makes good on threat to to go out of business because of strike, selling off Wonder Bread, Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other iconic brands.

5-Hour Energy sees parent's bond ratings hurt by FDA probe into deaths as Rockstar is added to energy-drinks probe.

BP doesn't end brand woes with Gulf settlement as U.S. shifts toward holding individual executives responsible for disaster.

Apple sees stock hit by panic selling.

Applebee's introduces spirits-infused menu.

Burger King expands home-delivery test to Houston.Continue reading...

breaking news

UPDATE: BP Settles With DOJ in $4.5 Billion Record-Breaking Fine

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 15, 2012 10:07 AM

The Associated Press is reporting that "BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history, totaling billions of dollars, for the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico" that killed 11 workers in 2010. Bloomberg also reports: "The company will plead guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to Congress. Two of the company’s employees face manslaughter charges over deaths in the explosion of the oil well, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss the deal which has not been made public. The amount wasn’t disclosed." The BBC is putting the figure at between $3 billion and $5 billion, and hears that up to four BP staff may be arrested.

Update: The settlement for the DOJ's Deepwater Horizon oil spill fraud case levies $4.5 billion in penalties against the company, including $1.26 billion for 14 criminal charges, and eliminates any further criminal and Securities and Exchange Commission (but not civil) charges against the company. As part of the deal, BP "has agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony counts of Misconduct or Neglect of Ships Officers relating to the loss of 11 lives; one misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act; one misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; and one felony count of obstruction of Congress." It's also agreeing to pay $525 million in civil penalties through 2015 to settle claims by the SEC over the company's reporting on the oil flow rate into the Gulf of Mexico in the days following the accident. The deal is still subject to US federal court approval.

The Justice Department press release confirms that BP's two highest-ranking supervisors are being charged with manslaughter while a former senior executive is being charged with obstruction of Congress:Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Toyota, Papa John's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Apple stock plunge concerns Wall Street.

Toyota recalls another 2.77 million vehicles.

Papa John's hit with $250 million lawsuit over unwanted text-message (aka spam) promotion.

BP settles with Russian partner.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II depicts David Petraeus as secretary of defense.

Cisco beats profit estimates.

GM and Peugeot halt talks on deeper tie-up.Continue reading...

brand news

In Non-Sandy News: Disney/LucasFilm, Apple Shakeup, BP Rises

Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2012 01:32 PM

Disney acquires Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, plans to restart Star Wars franchise.

Apple sees executive refuse to apologize for mapping flaw, so he and retail chief are to depart as design head Jony Ive takes on bigger role and Apple shares slip post-shakeup.BP returns to profitability and raises dividend.

BP returns to profitability and raises dividend.

Activision goes big for CoD: Black Ops 2.

Aldi revamps as German consumers reject austerity.

Bayer acquires Schiff for $1.2 billion.

Burger King boosts marketing and makes demographic inroads.

Ford profits reflect North American gains and European woes.Continue reading...

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