Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 19, 2012 10:17 AM
Get ready to be nostalgic for Restoration Hardware. The retailer that once scarily commodified the products of an entire generation’s youth as it grew through the ’80s and ’90s is reinventing itself to forget about the nostalgia and pay more attention to high-end furniture, the Associated Press reports.
The rebrand will include simplifying the name of the place to RH. "RH enhances our identity and moves us beyond our hardware store beginnings," CEO Carlos Alberini said in a statement. "It enables us to leverage our core capabilities of innovation, curation and integration of new ideas and businesses."
This is the next step for a chain that has been changing since Stephen Gordon launched it in 1980 and severed ties in 2005, through to when Sears acquired a stake in 2007 and the company was sold back in 2008 to a private-equity firm.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 13, 2012 01:03 PM
Just in time for the launch of the iPhone 5 comes an undercover report about working conditions at the Foxconn factories that assemble Apple's latest phone. Except, unlike the concocted reports from American "performance artist" Mike Daisey, this information is real.
But what's worse for Apple is that this call is coming from inside the house.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 6, 2012 01:12 PM
The ice-cream company that gave the world Schweddy Balls and Karamel Sutra isn’t apparently amused by somebody using the name Ben & Cherry’s. Perhaps Ben & Jerry’s discomfort comes from the fact that the somebody in question is a hardcore porn film producer.
The Vermont-based, Unilever-owned B&J’s has filed a trademark suit against B&C’s, the Associated Press reports, in order to stop them “tarnish(ing)” the ice-cream maker’s name.
Ben & Cherry’s doesn’t just use a variation of the B&J’s name and logo on its films; it also gives its videos names based on Ben & Jerry’s flavors. Witness "Boston Cream Thigh," at right, ''New York Fat & Chunky," and "Peanut Butter D-Cup," the AP reports. Not only that, the packaging of the films contains elements that appear on Ben & Jerry’s packaging, such as “a grazing cow, green grass and large white puffy clouds.”
It's not that Ben & Jerry’s is averse to hanky panky; after all, the brand using a more G-rated bit of romance – spooning (get it?) – to help sell its new Greek Frozen Yogurt.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on August 3, 2012 03:39 PM
The numbers were probably stacked against them from the start, but Friday's protest of Chick-fil-A by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) didn't turn out nearly as many participants in the planned LGBT "Kiss-in" as the chain was able to generate at former Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee's nationwide "Appreciation Day" for the restaurant chain on Wednesday.
Or gauging by another measure, by mid-afternoon Friday, nearly 14,000 Facebook users had subscribed to GLAAD's "National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A" event, while some 630,000 subscribed to Wednesday's "appreciation day," according to a report by Politico.com.
And while Politico reported that the "kiss-ins appear to have occurred without incident" in Chick-fil-A restaurants, there was one ugly scene: The exterior of a Chick-fil-A in Torrance, Calif., was defaced with graffiti reading, "Tastes Like Hate."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2012 03:12 PM
If Mike Huckabee ever runs for U.S. president again, he’ll be sure to get the Chick-fil-A vote. The former Arkansas governor suggested that consumers go eat at the fast-food chain in order to show their appreciation for the organization’s disdain for same-sex marriage.
Chick-fil-A pulled in $12.7 million a day in 2011, according to ESPN’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell. And that’s without doing any business on Sundays, since the chain closes down in case its workers want to attend church.
Observers on both sides will be paying close attention to how much traffic and how many dollars Chick-fil-A pulls in today. (According to Huckabee's podcast and BuzzFeed's report, Chick-fil-A restaurants saw line-ups across the country.) But the chain will also get a few customers on Friday as well, CNN reports, when GLAAD is encouraging same-sex couples to visit Chick-fil-A’s across America to protest with a "Kiss Day" public display of affection.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 26, 2012 11:46 AM
It’s complicated, the whole issue of personal privacy in an era of social media transparency, and the fact that the first female astronaut, Sally Ride, who this week died at age 61 from pancreatic cancer, came out publically in her obituary, listing her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy first, as a survivor, is stirring the pot of comment and prejudice.
"Could she have helped the cause? Maybe," says Fred Sainz, VP of communications for the Human Rights Campaign. "For her not to have shared an incredibly important aspect of her life — being in a committed long-term relationship with a woman — meant many Americans did not get to see a dimension of her life that would have helped them understand us (gay people) and our contributions to society.
Ride was open in her personal life, "She just didn't want to go public with it during her lifetime. And that's a big difference," said Sainz. "There's no question that Sally Ride could have been fired if she'd come out while she worked for NASA.”Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 23, 2012 11:47 AM
Penn State players, alumni and other supports are in shock today following the NCAA's unprecedented actions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal: a $60 million fine, a four-year college bowl ban and 40 scholarships axed, in addition to erasing all 14 seasons of victories under late coach Joe Paterno. The move follows a damning report by former FBI director Louis Freeh that accused the university of enabling former Penn State football coach Sandusky's crimes.
The NCAA's executive committee chair Ed Ray stated at a press conference, "The historically unprecedented actions by the NCAA today are warranted by the conspiracy of silence that was maintained at the highest levels of the university in reckless and callous disregard for the children. There is incredible interest in what will happen to Penn State football. But, the fundamental story of this horrific chapter should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down." Are the NCAA sanctions excessive in your opinion? Post a comment below. (Update: Click here for Penn State president Rodney Erickson's response.)
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 12, 2012 03:56 PM
The horrific actions of former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky have gripped a nation since he was arrested last fall and found guilty of 45 counts of child abuse a month ago. Now it is Penn State’s turn.
The release of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s independent report Thursday morning is a major blow to the PSU brand, with one immediate fallout: Nike immediately reversed its November decision to stand by Sandusky's former boss, the late Joe Paterno, whose name graces a childcare center at its global HQ.
Before the report's release, even with the Sandusky talk swirling before his trial and conviction, the University managed to raise millions of dollars. In fact, the 2011-12 fiscal year had the school bringing in the second-highest annual fundraising tally in its history: a whopping $208.7 million.
It remains to be seen how much money comes PSU’s way now that its former leaders are more in the public eye than Sandusky, who has now been entered into American criminal lore as one of the most clued-out offenders of all time — and protected. As the Freeh report on Penn State's role states in one damning sentence, "In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."Continue reading...