brand news

In the News: Mobile World Congress, Honda, Barnes & Noble and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 24, 2014 09:14 AM

In the News

Mobile World Congress gets underway in Barcelona, as Nokia unveils its first Android phone, Samsung drops Android for its new smartwatch, Mozilla promises to deliver a $25 smartphone and Sony tries to crack smartphone market.   

Honda appoints first woman to its board and starts making Fit cars in Mexico.

Barnes & Noble sees conditional acquisition offer. 

Apple and Samsung fail to settle US patent case.

Best Buy and JCPenney will be reporting earnings this week, hoping to show signs of turnaround.

Brahma finds unique way to merge soccer and beer in Brazil.

Budweiser launches special-edition World Cup bottle.

CNN pulls the plug on Piers Morgan primetime show.

Ford reportedly swaps Microsoft for BlackBerry in Sync.

Glanbia may be trying to acquire Muscle Milk parent CytoSport.

Jaguar Land Rover presses dealers for customer data.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Russell Stover, P&G, Nordstrom and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2014 09:12 AM

In the News

Russell Stover Candies up for sale, price may top $1 billion.

P&G announces major restructuring of marketing, including beauty-division makeover.

Nordstrom sees sales slide continue at its stores.

Amazon launches video ads with Geico, plans set-top box and woos high-profile retailers.

BJ's Restaurants launches mobile ordering and payment.

Banana Republic ads feature real-life unions including a gay couple.

Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich turns 50.

Chobani and other marketers escape LGBT-related backlash for Sochi advertising.

Coca-Cola has "mediocre Pepsi on its heels," Nelson Peltz says.

Darden Restaurants expands into airports.Continue reading...

video killed the _____ star

Netflix's Biggest Foe isn't HBO, It's the Internet Providers that Move Its Content

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 19, 2014 07:32 PM

As the battle between Netflix and major internet service providers rages on, consumers are paying the price with degraded service.

The complicated plumbing required to deliver a Netflix video to a consumer’s computer or TV is near invisible to users, who are unaware of the bandwidth that companies have to put out in order to transmit such content. The actual data transfer occurs at global “interconnection” hubs, aka, “telecom carrier hotels” where companies like Time Warner Cable, Verizon and AT&T share space. Born in the days of high volume landline telephone traffic, the telcos shared amiably enough, but with the addition of high-bandwidth services like Netflix creating a drain, those relationships have broken down. And now broadband companies are increasingly charging "tolls" to third-party intermediate players like Level 3 and Cogent. 

“This is a scenario that open Internet advocates have been warning about for years," Time notes. “It’s no secret that the big telecom and cable companies resent the fact that they are obliged to deliver high bandwidth content like Netflix—which competes against their own video offerings—in addition to less bandwidth-intensive traffic like emails and chats.”Continue reading...

brand battle

Dish Network Wins Some, Loses Some in Battle Over Words

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 19, 2014 03:41 PM

Four years have passed since Dish Network first attempted to trademark the term “TV Everywhere.” And now, after multiple denials and challenges from competing brands, the TV provider is throwing in the towel, Variety reports. After all, in the time it has spent trying to lock-down the phrase, it has become a term commonly used in the industry to describe TV programming available on multiple devices.

When the US Patent and Trademark Office had put the application up for comment in the fall of 2011, many major content distributors—including Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, and Cablevision Systems—challenged the application.

The eventual abandonment of the trademark cause seemed unavoidable, especially now that the concept of "TV Everywhere" is on fire right now. MediaPost reports that “the number of authenticated TV Everywhere streams doubled in 2013 to 574.2 million, up from 222.5 million in 2012.” The data comes from research by Adobe, which shows that 73 percent of the TV Everywhere streams are seen on mobile devices, while tablets lead the way at 42 percent.Continue reading...

Comcast, Time Warner Cable Merger Could Spell Big Problems for Netflix, Consumers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2014 12:07 PM

Following a failed takeover bid by Charter Communications, Comcast announced it would acquire Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal for $45.2 billion. If the merger is approved by regulators, Comcast will return to its top spot as the largest cable operator in the world. 

The merger, which could send waves through various television networks, national sports markets, TV technology and streaming companies is already a cause for concern among consumers and other pay TV companies, including satellite television networks, as well as AT&T, Verizon and Google, all of whom have made inroads into the cable and internet-providing business. 

At about $159 per share, Comcast stands to adopt Time Warner Cable's 11 million pay TV customers, highly concentrated in Manhattan and Los Angeles, where it owns two sports networks and has lucrative deals with local sports teams. As part of the deal though, Comcast said it will divest about 3 million of TWC's customers to appease regulators. 

As far as Comcast is concered, gaining regulatory approval from the federal government, including the FCC, shouldn't be too hard since Comcast and TWC aren't actually direct competitors (as far as carved-up cable provider boundaries go). The approval would follow Comcast's nearly $17 billion buyout of NBCUniversal from GE last year.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Comcast, Apple, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2014 09:27 AM

In the News

Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable in mammoth deal as it eyes Netflix turf.

Apple says it doesn't procure blood metal and talks about launching updated TV set-top box.

Walmart sees pitchman Mike Rowe come to defense of retailer on social media.

GM recalls 600,000 older vehicles to replace ignition switches.

Avon nears bribery settlement.

Cisco sees growth hit by sagging tech demand.

Fiat taps Sean "Diddy" Combs to tout 500 line worldwide.

Ford reveals GPS privacy practices.

Intuit sees Super Bowl ad pay off.

Kind sues Clif Bar in nutrition bar packaging dust-up.

Lexus keeps crown in J.D. Power reliability survey.Continue reading...

olympic effort

Team USA Drums Up Digital Support with Apps, Social Media Activations

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 10, 2014 10:38 AM

Outside the rinks and arenas and off the slopes, the most hotly contested Olympic "sport" is pin trading—buying, selling and trading the commemorative pins of the Olympic Games, a practice started in the 1980s that has grown into a virtual Olympic industry today.

Capitalizing on the practice, the US Olympic Committee launched Pinsanity, a social media and mobile game around pin trading.

"We're trying to be innovative and connect with new and younger consumers," Lisa Baird, CMO of the USOC, told Ad Age. "The game has a Facebook component—and a mobile component—which we think will do very well."

Participants can virtually trade hundreds of commemorative virtual pins for real-life merchandise such as the chance to win two official USOC baseball caps. Some pins will be unlocked only as certain achievements are realized by the actual Olympians such as major wins or medaling.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: IKEA, P&G, Rovio and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 29, 2014 09:13 AM

In the News

IKEA CEO vows e-commerce and delivery expansion as store sales fall. 

P&G will cut phosphate in all laundry soaps by 2016. 

Rovio reassures Angry Birds users it’s not complicit with NSA, rethinks ad relationships. 

Abercrombie & Fitch strips CEO of chairman title.

Beats by Dre stars Ellen Degeneres in Super Bowl ad.

Bruegger's unveils new restaurant prototype.

Cheerios plans Super Bowl spot reprising mixed-race family.

Chrysler posts third straight annual profit but Fiat scraps dividend to save cash.

Comcast grows TV subscribers for first time in 6 years.

Coors Light wants NHL Stadium Series in Rockies.

Dow Chemical swings to profit on sales growth in most businesses.

EA sees sales of older games drop.Continue reading...

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