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...

retail watch

Global Consumers Vary on the Importance of Brand-Focused Shopping

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 15, 2013 11:24 AM

The whole branding industry may be for naught in North America. According to the new Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Shopping Behavior, those residing in North America and Europe are much more concerned about the pricing of a product than its brand. Meanwhile, consumers in the Asia and Asia Pacific regions are impulsive, brand-centric shoppers, while those in the Middle East and Africa tend to consult industry experts for advice on the most famous brands.Continue reading...

US Suspends Trade Privileges with Bangladesh, Pressuring Factories, Brands to Comply with Safety Standards

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2013 05:38 PM

On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced that it would be suspending trade privileges extended to Bangladesh as a result of the country's neglect of worker's rights. 

"I have determined that it is appropriate to suspend Bangladesh's designation… because it is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country," President Obama wrote in a message to Congress. The decision, regarded widely as a stern warning to the nation, will effectively end special tax breaks on exports to the US that are meant to help developing economies. 

The decision was partially motivated by April's Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed over 1,100 garment factory workers as well as the Tazreen factory fire in late 2012 that killed over 100 workers.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Nestlé Takes on EU Unemployment Crisis with Bid to Hire 20,000 Young Workers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2013 12:42 PM

As the world looks to every corner for solutions to growing dissatisfaction with the economy and governance in general, Nestlé, the world's largest food company, has plans to recruit 20,000 young Europeans to help deal with youth unemployment and waning consumer confidence.

"Governments cannot solve the problem alone," said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé’s Europe boss, according to Reuters. "In the context where Europe is ageing and indebted, Europe needs its youth at work. We need to replace the generation of the baby boomers when they retire."

With nearly 5.6 million young people officially unemployed in the EU and the youth jobless rate at 23 percent, the plan is to offer jobs to 10,000 people under the age of 30 by 2016 and create an additional 10,000 "traineeships and apprentice positions" while urging its 63,000 suppliers to follow suit.Continue reading...

brand battle

Netflix, Amazon Even the Playing Field with New Streaming Content Deals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 17, 2013 04:08 PM

The streaming race between Netflix and Amazon is neck and neck again as both service providers have inked new streaming deals for in-demand programming.

The news comes just a week after Netflix suffered a blow as it relinquished its deal with Viacom and saw Amazon quickly scoop up its rights to popular kids programming like Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues and others. But now, Netflix is back on the horse thanks to a new deal with DreamWorks.

The long-in-the-making deal with DreamWorks Animation will supply Netflix with 300 hours of original programming inspired by much-loved DreamWorks characters like Shrek and The Croods, as well as series featuring Casper the Friendly Ghost and Lassie, which DreamWorks has rights to through its purchase of Classic Media.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Marriott Importing European Hotel Brand to US to Entice Millennials

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2013 02:46 PM

Marriott is making another bid for Millennial travelers as it announces plans to import its European-based hotel chain, AC, to America. Earlier this year, Marriott introduced a partnership with IKEA for a new hotel brand called Moxy, which will cater to Millennials across Europe. 

AC Hotels, which is based in Madrid, was bought by Marriott back in 2010 and rechristened AC Hotels by Marriott, reports. The hope was that it would help Marriott expand its footprint across that continent, USA Today reports. That’s resulted in 79 AC Hotels by Marriott across Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. Now it’s looking to do the same in the States with a plan for 200 more in the next 10 years.

"It's the right time to bring it to the US," says Brian King, global brand officer for Marriott Endorsed Brands, according to USA Today. "You import wine and you import cars. We're going to import a hotel brand."Continue reading...

brands under fire

Apple CEO Defends Tax Strategy, Attacks US Tax Code in Testimony with Senate Panel

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 21, 2013 03:52 PM

Apple CEO Tim Cook was in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to go before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation, which is accusing the huge corporation of avoiding paying US taxes.

Sure, Apple paid about $6 billion in taxes to the US government last year and, according to, “already pays $1 out of every 40 tax dollars the U.S. collects,” but according to the committee, Apple has been stashing billions in offshore accounts in Ireland, where the company had reportedly negotiated a tax rate below 2 percent. One of the Irish subsidiaries is known as Apple Operations International, which has no employees but posted $30 billion in income from 2009 to 2012, the Committee reports. 

"We are proud to be an American company, and we are equally proud of our contributions to the U.S. economy," Cook told the panel. While the company was lauded for its technilogical and economic contributions to the US, Sen. Carl Levin told the panel that "Apple executives want the public to focus on the U.S. taxes the company has paid, but the real issue is the billions in taxes it has not paid, thanks to offshore tax strategies whose purpose is tax avoidance, pure and simple," the L.A. Times reports.Continue reading...

campaign tactics

Coca-Cola Gets Personal in Europe with "Share a Coke" Campaign

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 15, 2013 02:42 PM

Summertime is a great time for sharing soft drinks—and Coca-Cola wants to make the most of it in a very personal way with the "Share a Coke" campaign, launching across Europe this month.

"This month we're swapping our names with yours," proclaims the world's leading soft drink in a concept that has a country's most popular names showing up on Coca-Cola bottle labels. In Great Britain, for example, Coke bottles on shelves this summer will feature 150 of the UK's most popular names. In addition, Share a Coke vending machines will be on tour so Coke fans can personalize their very own Coca-Cola or Coke Zero bottle. The company is also encouraging Facebook users to create a virtual personalized Coke can to share with someone.Continue reading...

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