follow the money
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 1, 2012 10:29 AM
Profit is generally defined as the amount of money made after expenditures are accounted for, but the good folks of Starbucks have apparently been using a different definition.
Reuters discovered in an investigation that the coffee giant was telling investors that its U.K. business was going like gangbusters but the company also filed taxes that claim massive losses — a claim the company denies. Now it appears that the movie studio-like practice was taking place in other parts of Europe as well.
Reuters now reports in a new installment of its investigation that it's all in how you define 'profit.'
“Starbucks Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead said the company simply used a different measure of profit when reporting its performance to investors and when filing its tax returns,” the wire service reports. Reuters also notes, however, that there is no indication that Starbucks has broken any actual rules in any country.
"If you're not finding ways to mitigate your tax responsibilities to the best of your ability, that's something that will impact shareholders," said RJ Hottovy, an analyst who covers Starbucks for Morningstar, told Reuters.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 26, 2012 12:55 PM
Ford is experiencing a case of deja vu, and it doesn't like what it is seeing (again). Ford and Renault executives this week voiced concerns about the competitive effects of a French-government rescue deal for PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.
As the only one of the U.S. Big Three that didn't accept the offer of a federal-government bailout in 2009, Ford to rely instead on its own huge bet on its future financed by private capital and led by CEO Alan Mulally. But neither did Ford at the time object to the U.S.-taxpayer bailouts of GM and Ford.
This time around, however, Ford sees things differently, for at least two reasons. First, the European auto market seems to be headed on a further downward trajectory, whereas industry hopes in the U.S. in 2009 were for a turnaround that, in fact, soon materialized.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2012 04:04 PM
At this point, automakers are just trying to keep ahead of the cratering of the European market, like some Indiana Jones character who's attempting to leap to the other side of a chasm before his footing completely gives away.
Just about every carmaker selling in Europe is offering deep price discounts, slashing costs, planning to close plants, reducing sales forecasts, redirecting domestic output to export markets, posting losses, appealing for more government aid — or some combination thereof. And they are far from achieving an equilibrium in their scaleback as they cope with the steady worsening of a five-year sales slump that isn't forecasted to end before 2015.
"It is unclear if all carmakers will survive without government help," Volkswagen Group CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch said recently, according to Automotive News Europe.Continue reading...
brand and bottle
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2012 06:02 PM
A typical Budweiser has 5.3 percent alcohol. Sam Adams Boston Lager: 4.8 percent. Coors Light: 4.2. Armageddon: 65. No wonder the measuring-tape holders at the Guinness Book of World Records are reportedly checking to see if the new brew out of Scotland sets a new high for alcohol content in a beer.
If so, it will have beaten out a brewery in Holland that produced Start The Future, which featured 60 percent alcohol, since July of 2010. According to the UK's Daily Mail, the battle for the top percentage has been raging for the last three years, started by Scotland’s BrewDog with the fabulously named Tactical Nuclear Penguin brew, which boasted 32 percent alcohol content.
That was followed by Germany’s Schorschbock with 40 percent alcohol and then BrewDog’s Sink the Bismarck, which only upped the ante by one percentage point. A German brewer answered the call with a 44 percent beer but then was trumped again by BrewDog with the 55 percent End of History brew. That one was the most difficult one to get since only 12 bottles produced. However, it was the most uniquely packaged. The Daily Mail reports that each was sold inside a stuffed squirrel.
Now they're all quaking in their boots at Armageddon, which just launched at the Inverness Beer Festival.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 12, 2012 01:19 PM
Intending not to let rivals outdistance it in emerging markets, Volkswagen may launch a new low-cost brand by about 2015. Surprisingly, one of the world's best small-car makers so far has lacked a major presence in important emerging markets such as India and Southeast Asia.
Now Volkswagen reportedly is aiming for a price range of $6,500 to $12,900 for the budget cars, which may include a minivan, wagon and small sedan. They would be aimed at the BRIC nations and also, perhaps, Europe. "We're regularly looking at new segments and interesting markets which also include so-called budget cars," Volkswagen Group America spokesman Eric Felber commented to Reuters. "But a decision has not been taken yet."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 10, 2012 12:13 PM
Gap is experimenting with a new way to stop passersby — with Whispering Window ‘invisible audio’ displays from FeONIC Technology.
Following a 2011 test at Gap's flagship store in Rome, new window displays at the brand's flagship stores in London, Paris, Rome and Milan are showcasing its current Be Bright 'Denim Moves You' campaign, convert the window surface into a speaker projecting the sound from a video showcasing American 'jookin' dancer Lil' Buck.
Produced in partnership with London-based creative digital agency Signal Noise, the displays feature six 46-inch LCD screens with the speakers placed behind window vinyl graphics making the installation discreet and unobtrusive.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 4, 2012 12:11 PM
There is a moment in time when preadolescent boys come across ads for X-ray and they are convinced that their late-night dreams have come true: An easy way to see through the clothing of any nearby woman has become available to them.
Of course, the whole thing is a sham, but the idea of being able to see through walls and clothes and everything else is fun to try on for a while. And now, of course, like everything else, there is an app for that.
The good folks at Wonderbra are happy to help the citizens of the United Kingdom see just what’s underneath what one particular woman is wearing, and she just happens to be Brazilian supermodel Adriana Cernanova.
Wonderbra's UK advertising (watch below) and French campaign is featuring a QR code so viewers can download an app and use their “Wonderbra Decoder” to see on their phones just what she’s got on underneath. Surprise! It’s all made by Wonderbra.
“We are showing Adriana in her clothes, including simple jeans and t-shirt, and through our new and unique app, consumers can reveal the Wonderbra behind the look,” said Martina Alexander, marketing manager for Wonderbra, according to Mobile Entertainment. “It’s really female-friendly and links to the outfit, which was important to us.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 2, 2012 04:14 PM
One year post-introduction, Coca-Cola Enterprises — one of the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottlers, operating locally in eight territories in Western Europe — highlights its progress on its sustainability plan.
CCE’s sustainability plan commits it to setting the standard for sustainable packaging, achieving zero waste in its own operations and recycling more packaging than it uses.