Best Global Green Brands 2014

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Study Points Finger at QSR Chains Over Kids Ads, but It's Got a Few Problems of Its Own

Posted by Dale Buss on August 30, 2013 07:11 PM

An estimable research organization has charged McDonald's and Burger King with ignoring their own voluntary guidelines about how to market food to kids. But the study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concluded three years ago—a full two years before McDonald's launched a major Happy Meal ad campaign that directly countered the concerns observed by the researchers.

The study said that fast-food companies in general—especially McDonald's and Burger King, which dominate QSR advertising to kids—tend to emphasize toy giveaways and movie tie-ins when marketing to kids on TV rather than focus on the food, according to Advertising Age. Study authors said that practice goes against industry self-regulation guidelines set by the Children's Advertising Review Unit, an industry group of 17 food and beverage companies including the two brands.

"Fast-food companies use free toys and popular movies to appeal to kids, and their ads are much more focused on promotions, brands and logos—not on the food," said James Sargent, Dartmouth pediatrics professor and lead author of the study, according to the publication.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Fast Food Workers Organize Nationwide Protests to Fight for More Pay, Unions

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 29, 2013 12:03 PM

Fast-food workers in 50 US cities plan to walk off their jobs today in the latest—and largest—demonstration to pressure employers to allow workers to organize, and increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour. 

While a movement has been building since last year, employers have witnessed a resurgence in the demands for greater pay and unionized benefits, with a multi-city protest organized at the end of July. 

"The workers are responding to total failure on behalf of the federal government to raise the minimum wage to keep up with inflation and the cost of living," Tsedeye Gebreselassie, attorney at the National Employment Law Project, told Reuters. 

Employees of McDonald’s, Wendy's, Burger King and other QSR companies will be joined in protest by retail employees from stores such as Macy's, Sears, and Dollar Tree.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Walmart, Nissan, New York Times and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 28, 2013 09:31 AM

In the News

Walmart plans to offer health benefits to same-sex domestic partners of US workers.

Nissan says it will have self-driving cars ready by 2020.

New York Times says it was hacked this time, and so was Twitter, HuffPost UK. 

Apple sees judge planning to narrow scope of oversight in e-books case.

BlackBerry weighs spinoff of Messenger service.

Burger King plans burger topped with french fries.

Courtyard by Marriott caters to NFL fans.

Daimler wins French court ruling to resume vehicle sales in France.

Facebook to pay $20 million in class action lawsuit over sponsored stories.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Fast Food Workers Kick-Off Nationwide Strikes in NYC in Support of Higher Pay, Unions

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 29, 2013 05:32 PM

And the wage wars continue. Hundreds of workers at fast food chain outlets across New York City took to the streets Monday to strike for higher wages, demanding the standard wage be raised to $15 per hour, more than twice the $7.25 minimum wage that fast food employees currently earn. 

Organizers from New York-based Fast Food Forward said the strike affected around 60 restaurants operated by McDonald's, Wendy's, KFC and Burger King. "A lot of the workers are living in poverty, not able to put food on the table or take the train to work. They are striking because they can't continue to maintain their families on the wages they're being paid in the fast food industry, said director Jonathan Westin, according to AFP. 

Protests are scheduled to take place this week in Chicago, Detroit, Flint, Mich., Kansas City, Milwaukee and St. Louis. "It will be by far one of the biggest actions (in the sector) this country has seen so far," Westin predicted.Continue reading...

social media watch

Chipotle Admits to Faking Twitter Hack in Successful PR Stunt

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 25, 2013 02:43 PM

The burrito is out of the bag. Chipotle, the darling of the booming fast-casual sector, has admitted that it faked a Twitter hack of its account to boost followers and help promote the company's 20th anniversary. 

Last Sunday, the official Chipotle Twitter account, @ChipotleTweets, was seen posting a string of seemingly random messages, including, "end Twitter," and "Find avocado store in Arvada, Colorado." 

After nearly a dozen 'hacker' tweets, the brand acknowledged that the account had had a problem, and proceeded to answer media inquiries about the hack with equally bizarre responses, telling Mashable, "I'm glad no one went Anthony Weiner on us, but everything seems to be fine."Continue reading...

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McDonald's Readies to Make Bigger Imprint in Asia with 2014 Vietnam Debut

Posted by Adeline Chong on July 22, 2013 11:56 AM

McDonald’s announced recently that it will be opening its first outlet in Vietnam next year in Ho Chi Minh City, the country's commercial hub. 

While the fast-food giant has an immense presence in greater Asia, McDonald's is late to market in Vietnam, where Yum! Brands' KFC and Pizza Hut, along with Burger King, Subway, Jollibee (Philippines), and Lotteria (South Korea) already have a solid presence. Trailblazer KFC opened its first restaurant in 1997 and now has 100 outlets in Vietnam. Burger King, meanwhile, opened just last year and has 12 outlets, while Starbucks opened its first location in Ho Chi Minh City this past February. 

McDonald’s apparently considered the market over a decade ago, however the lack of a domestic cource of beef and a poor supply-chain infrastructure deterred the company. Prior to that, the company was briefly banned from the country in the 1990s—about the time that the local economy became accessible to the rest of the world, according to the Financial Times.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: KFC, Honest Tea, Myspace and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 13, 2013 09:16 AM

In the News

KFC drags down May results for Yum! Brands in China.

Honest Tea predicts over $100 million in sales in 2013.

Myspace runs first TV ad in revival bid.

Airbus takeoff of A350 pressures Boeing.

Amazon's Kindle debuts in India

Apollo Tyres of India buys Cooper Tires for $2.5 billion.

Audi develops "road frustration index" as it sees new sedan variant becoming best-selling version of its A3.

BMW is sued by US over criminal background checks in hiring.

Burger King faces PR mess in razor-blade mishap.

Cosi CEO resigns.

ESPN pulls plug on 3-D channel.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Google, Apple, Burger King and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2013 09:20 AM

In the News

Google CEO Larry Page discloses vocal-cord condition as company plans music-streaming service.

Apple is being investigated for its role in e-book pricing.

Burger King rolls out BK Rib to bust McRib by McDonald's.

ABC tests expanding Nielsen ratings to mobile and plans to consolidate Dancing with the Stars to Monday evenings.

Amy's Baking Company goes rogue after Kitchen Nightmares rejection, shows what brands shouldn't do on social.

Bloomberg terminal-use issue highlights stress in corporate culture as Wall Street firms begin to regard it as competitor.

Dell will miss profit estimates.

Dollar General looks to hire 10,000 new employees this month.Continue reading...

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