brand news

In the News: Mondelez, Facebook, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Mondelez invests $400 million in sustainability.

Facebook reverses stance on violent video. 

Microsoft tests eyewear similar to Glass.

Amazon and eBay shake up shipping strategies.

American Honda settles class-action suit over oil-burning defect.

Apple targets Microsoft Office with free apps.

Caterpillar cuts 2013 forecast as mining orders drop.

Cheetos promises to TP any location in the world for new Halloween campaign.

Coach loses ground to luxury rivals.

Ford trims production of C-Max and Focus.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Brands' Firewalls Fail as Another Deadly Blaze Kills Bangladesh Garment Workers

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 05:37 PM

The scourge of deadly fires and building accidents in Bangladesh garment factories continued this week despite the flurry of attention to the problem over the last year by western and European apparel retailers.

Leading retail brands including H&M, Carrefour, Hudson's Bay, Gap, Walmart and Joe Fresh have admitted possible links to an Aswad Composite Mills factory in Sripur where a fire broke out overnight and killed at least 10 people, after most of its 3,000 employees had gone home. There were reports that the factory had some modern firefighting equipment, but to no avail. 

Workers said the blaze appeared to have been started by a malfunctioning knitting machine, according to Al Jazeera, while the country's top inspector said safety problems had been raised last month. The story is one all-too-familiar for Bangladesh's garment industry—a $20 billion trade— which saw over 1,100 people die in the Rana Plaza collapse in April after cracks were reported in the building by engineers, but their warnings were ultimately ignored by factory owners.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: JCPenney, KFC, H&M and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

JCPenney undoes more of Ron Johnson's handiwork with logo revamp.

KFC preps quality-assurance campaign in China.

H&M, Gap back in the spotlight after another Bangladesh factory fire kills several workers. 

A&E Networks pitches original programming.

Aereo Android app will debut Oct. 22.

Alcatel-Lucent must revise job-cut plans in France.

Apple reportedly slashes iPhone 5c production.

AT&T and GE partner for wireless global network.

BlackBerry warms to breakup exit strategy as brand expands office closures.

Chevrolet revs up major ad push for Malibu.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Toyota, Bing, Sony and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2013 09:35 AM

In the News

Toyota mourns death of Eiji Toyoda, who turned company into an export giant.

Bing releases new logo and design overhaul. 

Sony will reportedly launch a dongle device, the Smart Stick, to compete against Google's Chromecast

Bentley says its ultra-luxury SUV will create a new segment.

Chevrolet offers limited-run new colors on small cars.

Ford hits two million EcoBoost engines.

Green Giant goes “X-rated” in web videos.Continue reading...

ad watch

Gap Goes Back to TV for 'Back to Blue' Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 16, 2013 01:45 PM

Following a four-year hiatus, Gap is returning to TV to tout its latest campaign—called Back To Blue—with two videos, underscoring the brand's recent turnaround. Gap sales have steadily risen for six consecutive quarters, placing it in the best performance leaderboard position for an apparel company in the Standard & Poor 500 Retailing Index this year.

The TV campaign is the linchpin of its "back to school"-timed campaign, which is its biggest to date. The three-screen strategy includes digital and social elements across its websites and social media channels (including the hashtag #backtoblue and videos via Twitter's Vine), as well as in-store digital engagement via partner Styld.by. The "Back to Blue" TV ads feature youthful renditions of Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are," performed by the singer's daughter Alexa Ray Joel, as well as George Harrison's "For You Blue," which is performed by his son, Dhani Harrison. 

"The entire Back to Blue campaign embodies what it means to be comfortable in your own skin," said Gap CMO Seth Farbman, in a press release. "As a brand that is known for expressing itself through sight, sound and motion, we wanted to bring this idea to life through the voices of two individuals who are recognized for staying true to who they want to be."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Danone, Gap, Whole Foods and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 16, 2013 09:36 AM

In the News

Danone accused of bribing hospitals to use its powdered milk in China. 

Gap returns to TV advertising after four years. 

Whole Foods Market plans to open store in low-income Chicago neighborhood.

Absolut launches global "Transform Today" campaign.

Boeing closes in on South Korean fighter-jet deal but Dreamliner runs into more turbulence.

Chili’s plans to install tabletop computer screens.

China Telecom cuts iPhone subsidies. 

Chrysler reluctantly moves toward IPO soon.

Citi hypes double points in New York.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Retailers Still Divided as Meetings Convene Over Compensation for Bangladesh Victims

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 12, 2013 06:43 PM

Nearly nine months have past since the Tazreen factory fire killed 112 people in Bangladesh, and just five months since the collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka took the lives of over 1,100 people, but the parties involved are still at odds as new battles over victim compensation and factory improvements arise.  

Twelve companies, partners in the global IndustriALL union are meeting in Geneva to discuss long-term compensation to the victims of the two disasters in Bangladesh, overseen by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which is acting as a neutral chair. The participants include Zara-owner Inditex, the Primark discount chain owned by Associated British Foods, Canada's Loblaw Cos Ltd, European retailer C&A and Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles.

"The families and the injured have already waited far too long," said Monika Kemperle, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL in a statement, according to Reuters. "Companies who are serious about conditions in their Bangladeshi production chain can send a clear sign of their sincerity at these meetings."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...

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