in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2012 09:55 AM
President Obama lobbied a group of big business leaders in Washington this week with his views about the looming fiscal cliff. But at least one of the most important heads of a major American business, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, was taking no guff either from Obama or from the leaders of the Senate and House with whom the president is deadlocked — and apparently willing to push to the edge, if not over it, in a political stand-off.
"It's a concern to all of us, because this is a very, very fragile recovery," Mulally said on MSNBC this week. "It's just so important that we come together on a plan to deal with both the revenue side, but also the expense side, because really what we're talking about is keeping the economic development going. That's the most important thing about this issue."
And while so far the U.S. auto industry has more than carried its weight in the nation's sluggish economic recovery, Mulally said that he couldn't guarantee that it would be able to post continued sales increases if Obama and Congress don't deal quickly and decisively with the fiscal cliff.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2012 09:05 AM
Disney and Netflix sign landmark agreement for the web streaming service.
GlaxoSmithKline begins assembling new global branding effort on its impact around the world.
Tesco bails out of Fresh & Easy venture in U.S.
AOL's Advertising.com group acquires Buysight.
Apple upgrades iTunes, secures USPTO patent for "retina."
Beer tax dispute heats up in Europe.
Blu Dot tests Twitter game of musical chairs.
BMW has US luxury auto sales crown in its sights.
Campbell Soup Company donates $500K to Salvation Army.
Citigroup announces 11,000 job cuts and $1B charge.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 09:02 AM
Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers! Businesses prepare for Black Friday rush as record number of US retailers (including strike-threatened Walmart, Kmart, Target and Toys R Us opening on Thanksgiving) and consumer sentiment remains "shaky." Google notes American Thanksgiving with homepage logo nod to Macy's parade (above) and a round-up of holiday links.
Apple must disclose HTC deal to Samsung.
BBC praised for appointing outsider — Royal Opera House CEO Tony Hall — as director general.
BlackBerry 10 prep revs up RIM outlook.
Coca-Cola enters F1 with Burn energy drink brand sponsoring the Lotus racing team.
GE retired CEO Jack Welch "unretirement" makes cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 19, 2012 05:52 PM
In case it's not marked on your calendar, today is World Toilet Day — and it's no joking matter.
An estimated 2.5 billion people, 37% of the world's population, do not have access to a clean and safe toilet. One in three women worldwide risk shame, disease, harassment and even attack because they have nowhere safe to go to the toilet. Sanitation would make 1.25 billion women's lives safer and healthier, which is why people are being asked to petition governments to provide safe toilets and clean water for the world's poorest people.
As the Gates Foundation tweeted today, "The annual gain in economic productivity if everyone had a toilet is $225B." Putting things in perspective, Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org, wants it to be known that more people have a mobile phone today than a toilet: “Six billion people have cell phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to improved sanitation.” Bill and Melinda Gates, in case you missed it, are putting serious funds toward reinventing the toilet as part of the foundation's water, sanitation and hygiene platform.
GE sponsored (as part of its Focus Forward three-minute short film series on world-changing ideas) the "Meet Mr. Toilet" documentary by Oscar-winning director Jessica Wu, which debuted this past January at the Sundance Festival earlier this year. It features the late Jim Sim (aka "Mr. Toilet"), who founded the World Toilet Organization and the annual World Toilet Day.
Named a TIME Hero of the Environment in 2008, Sim — who died in 2009 — was frank and enertaining about extolling the need for better sanitation and breaking the taboos about talking, well, shit. In fact, the former mayor of Suwon, South Korea, inspired a toilet museum in his former hometown, which opened earlier this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 11:52 AM
As restaurant brand executives cut jobs and announced their intentions to raise prices in the wake of President Obama's re-election, no one can say they weren't forewarned.
Chains such as Papa John's are explicitly tying their actions to the costs of Obamacare, while other brands — including GE Healthcare and Virgin Airlines — also are announcing job cuts as a result of their expectations for a continuation of U.S. economic sluggishness in the wake of the voting results.
Papa John's CEO John Schnatter has been the most outspoken. The Mitt Romney backer has said that he'll raise the price of a pizza pie by 10 to 14 cents as well as slash employee hours — but it's not, he says, because of the two million pizzas he's giving away, but due to the cotss of Obamacare. He's not alone. A Denny's franchisee in Florida, John Metz, said that he plans to add a five-percent surcharge to his customers' bills and also to reduce his employees' hours.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 24, 2012 06:15 PM
Bank of America slapped with U.S. lawsuit over billion-dollar "hustle" of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Elizabeth Taylor is Forbes' new Top-Earning Dead Celeb thanks to Christie's auction.
Apple's iPad mini already has a Chinese knock-off, while US judge says Samsung infringed four Apple patents.
Facebook wins back Wall Street, affirms social dominance and shares soar as looks to rebuild confidence.
AT&T beats estimates in latest quarterly earnings report.
BlackBerry loses grip as go-to phone for US federal government.
Buzzfeed taps Rdio for "social music advertising."
Cisco will fund 12,000 meals for World Food Program via Facebook app.
Tom Cruise sues gossip magazines for defamation of character.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 19, 2012 09:02 AM
Google turns in soft quarter as PR fail pummels stock.
HSBC hit by worldwide cyberattack.
McDonald's profit falls as U.S. growth slows.
Abbott study of kidney drug is halted.
Apple's iPad Mini poised to cannibalize sales.
Lance Armstrong endorsement implosion toll reaches $30 million.
BBC director general to testify on Jimmy Savile scandal, as new head of BBC Worldwide named.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 3, 2012 06:53 PM
Collaborating with startups is becoming popular these days. GE funds a startup incubator program; PepsiCo is expanding its PepsiCo10 initiative, which pairs startups with brands such as Quaker; BMW's iVentures arm is a $100 million venture capital fund that's investing in mobile innovation; and Lexus is getting into the startup funding business. Now you can add Mondelēz International to that list.
With a tagline of "The Future in 90 Days," the two-day old company's new Mobile Futures program was announced at the Mobile Marketing Association's Advertising Week conference in New York. The program is structured in two phases: scaling startup innovation, and creating entirely new mobile ventures by partnering entrepreneurs in the mobile space with "up to 10" Mondelez brands, as Mondelēz VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement Bonin Bough told Ad Age.
Bough is bringing a solid track record to the task. He oversaw digital and consumer engagement at PepsiCo, including the now wrapped Pepsi Refresh Project crowdsourced community project-funding platform, before joining Kraft Foods in February. He's tapping that experience to spur mobile innovation at Mondelēz, the just-launched global corporate identity for Kraft Foods following Monday's spin-off of Kraft's North American consumer packaged brands.Continue reading...