end of an era

The Devil Waves Bye-Bye: Condé Nast Kills Internships as 'Unpaid' Debate Goes Global

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 24, 2013 11:07 AM

Interns take heart—the era of your unpaid servitude may be over, but so may be your job prospects. 

Following multiple lawsuits and a global debate on the ethics of unpaid labor in the name of "experience," Condé Nast, the publisher of such leading glossies including Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, announced that it is abolishing its internship program starting next year. Over the summer, two former interns, one with W magazine and the other with The New Yorker, filed lawsuits claiming they were paid below minimum wage. 

It's yet to be seen whether other companies will follow suit, but there's no doubt that others will be looking to dodge the bad headlines and nightmarish PR spin that Conde and others, like Hearst, have had to endure in the last few years.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

North American Alliance Bids for Transparency in Efforts to Improve Bangladesh Factories

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 23, 2013 07:17 PM

More than half of the 620 Bangladesh garment factories contracted by 23 North American retailers and apparel makers have been inspected for fire and building safety, according to a report from the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.

Since the April collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex that killed more than 1,100 garment workers and a November 2012 fire at the Tazreen factory that killed 112, close attention has been paid to Bangladesh's booming garment industry—but it's still not enough. Earlier this month, another factory fire killed nearly a dozen people—a building that was reportedly left out of inspections by both the Alliance and European-based Accord on Fire and Building Safety.  

In a bid to be more transparent amid criticism over its non-binding agreement, the Alliance has released a full list of all of its contracted factories that includes names and addresses, as well as number of workers and building composition. The list also indicates which factories are utilized by Accord members.Continue reading...


Iberia Airlines Rebrands for a Better Future With New Logo and Livery

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2013 05:57 PM

Iberia Airlines, which merged with British Airways in 2010, has kept its national pride intact as the airliner carries out a rebrand across its fleet and service. 

The airline worked with leading brand consultancy Interbrand on its new visual identity and brand experience, including a new livery design that makes greater use of Spain's national colors, red and yellow. Its iconic crown remains on the tail, but moves to a smaller location on the fuselage.

Its new logo features a bold 'Iberia' typeface and a new symbol that's reflective of the old 'IB' logo. The new look will officially debut through mid-November, but the extent of the rebrand goes far beyond a paint job.Continue reading...

sip on this

Gatorade Sets Itself Up for Major European Exposure

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 3, 2013 07:12 PM

Maybe it’s the increased exposure that Premier League football is getting in the United States through NBC’s new deal, but Gatorade is showing some extra interest in Britain’s top soccer teams this month. The brand, which got its start at the University of Florida in 1965, is now sold by PepsiCo in 80 countries—and will soon be found inside the coolers of some the world's top soccer teams. 

Gatorade just announced two three-year deals with Liverpool F.C. and Arsenal F.C., KamCity.com reports. The Liverpool deal will net some serious exposure for the brand since the sports drink will be imbibed in the team's locker room and on the field, while the Arsenal deal only includes the club's under-18 and under-21 development squads.Continue reading...


Marchionne, in Battle with UAW, Resolves to Show What a 'Fiat-Less' US Market Would Be Like

Posted by Dale Buss on September 25, 2013 04:52 PM

Everyone involved in the 2009 bailout of Chrysler by the US government and Fiat knew that at some point there would be a vestigial mess to clean up even after the two parties, with the United Auto Workers, rescued the company financially and set the stage for the four-year sales boom and brand revival that the Detroit automaker has enjoyed.

Welcome to that mess. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is trying to wrap up the four-year transformation of Chrysler by taking control of the last part of the company that is controlled by the UAW because of the concessions that it and its members made to help keep Chrysler alive four years ago. But he's got to get the union to give up that stake at an optimum price for Fiat, and he's having trouble doing that right now.

Marchionne is saying that he's planning an IPO for Chrysler soon, which would place a market value on Chrysler stock that he says is being overvalued by the union. Presumably that would help wrap things up, but perhaps at a price that Marchionne deems too high. So he has threatened for Fiat to back away from its increasing entanglement with Chrysler.Continue reading...


Milka's Latest European Campaign is a Social Experiment in Giving

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 4, 2013 07:15 PM

Can't spare a square? Swiss Chocolate brand Milka is using 13 million chocolate bars to promote a “Dare To Be Tender” campaign in France and Germany—the brand’s largest markets. But the campaign hopes to give back by taking away—a square of chocolate, that is. 

Created by Paris-based ad agency Buzzman, the campaign, which removes one square of chocolate from the traditional Milka bar, required an alteration to the entire manufacturing process. Each bar's packaging contains a special code that can be entered on a microsite where consumers can choose from two options: request the missing square for themselves, or enter a note and address for a recipient who will recieve the "last square" in the mail.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

US Retailers Detail Implementation of Controversial Bangladesh Safety Plan

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 21, 2013 12:54 PM

Walmart, Gap and other US retailers met yesterday in Chicago to implement their controversial, independent Bangladesh factory safety plan that was created after multiple factory accidents, including the Rana Plaza collapse in April that claimed more than 1,100 workers, spurred global outrage. 

20 US retailers including Macy's and Target, as well as new signatories Costco, Intradeco Apparel and Jordache Enterprises make up the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The group, which formed a separate safety plan from the European retailer-dominated Accord on Bangladesh Building and Fire Safety, has pledged to have safety standards in place by Sept. 10, and has reportedly already dispursed $45 million in funds in part to hire safety inspection staff in Bangladesh.

The five-year, voluntary plan agrees to train workers and inspect factories while requiring Bangladesh factory owners to pay for safety renovations, though the Alliance will provide $100 million in low-cost loans.

The plan has come under fire due to its non-binding nature—an attribute that was top-of-mind in the European-based agreement, which was signed by over 70 global retailers including H&M, Inditex and Primark.Continue reading...

health fallout

Kanebo's Goodwill Pays Off as Skin Lightening Industry Shrugs Off Scare

Posted by Adeline Chong on August 5, 2013 05:45 PM

Kanebo's voluntary recall across Asia of its skin-whitening product range in early July was a wakeup call for consumers as well as the skin lightening industry. Kanebo, the second largest cosmetics company in Japan after giant Shiseido, sells products in over 50 countries across Asia, Europe, and the US, with its whitening products comprising nearly 30 percent of its skincare range. 

Nearly two months before its July 4 recall, a clinic reported to Kanebo that three patients had complained of skin damage following use of a Kanebo whitening product. The company withheld the information for over a month before notifying the government and issuing a recall, a move that garnered worldwide criticism. The products, which gradually lighten the skin, are a part of a $13 billion industry in Asia alone, where fair skin has long been associated with an elevated social class.Continue reading...

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