2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brand trainwrecks

Abercrombie Tries to Right Itself While Lululemon Keeps Running Into Walls

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2013 02:57 PM

And so the saga of out-of-touch retailers continues.

After a rousing few months of PR lows, teen outfitter Abercrombie & Fitch and yogi cult clothier Lululemon still have some gas in their engines. The purveyor of $90 stretch pants has largely recovered from its March "sheer pants" issue, with sales—and poor judgment—back at normal levels. A&F, however, has had a rougher go at it since the brand was thrust into the spotlight in May over some ill-advised comments from CEO Mike Jeffries that brought to light the brand's 'cool kids only' culture.

The consumer outcry over Jeffries' old comments—"A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."—only added wood to the fire that was A&F's falling sales. The company netted its seventh quarterly consecutive loss in same-store sales this week, resulting in an overall 30 percent devaluation in 2013. And after months of trying to put a band-aid on the brand damage, A&F announced that it will begin stocking more styles and larger sizes of its women's tops by spring and even start selling shoes and accessories in a bid to woo back teens that have defected to trendier retailers like H&M and Forever 21. 

In an age where inclusiveness is the key, A&F's preference for the “all-American kid(s) with a great attitude and a lot of friends," could be called downright archaic. Outright ignoring the flourishing plus-size industry, the retailer previously only carried up to a size large for its women's clothing, while rival American Eagle, as well as H&M and Forever 21 produce XL and plus-size lines.Continue reading...

corporate responsibility

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...

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: McDonald's, Barilla, BlackBerry and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

McDonald's draws praise for healthier-food initiative.

Barilla CEO apologizes for anti-gay comments.

BlackBerry loses nearly $1 billion in quarter as customers are urged to be cautious about company's future.

Allstate spreads "Mayhem" across social media.

Apple issues update for iOS 7 to fix lock-screen bug.

Bloomberg News shuffles management.

Chrysler fixes problem that had stalled output of new Jeep Cherokee.

Dove marketing execs take home 'Grand Brand Genius' award at Ad Week for viral 'Sketches' ad. 

Dunkin' Donuts launches t-shirt design contest.

EA settles suit but pauses NCAA game over outcome.

Eight O'Clock Coffee launches TV spots after seven-year hiatus.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: KFC's Six-Layer Beef, Luxury Carseats, Toilet Seat Restaurants and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 13, 2013 01:53 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: KFC beefs up… Jane Zhang for Skoda… Jet-setting iPhone… GM, BMW conquer car sales… McLaren moves in… Moutai droops… Toilet restaurant?… Sotheby's in Hong Kong… China's "social traveler"... Luxury car seats... Counterfeit Red Bull... Moon view flights... and more.Continue reading...

china

The Week in China: Taobao Brand Takeover, Shanzhai Cronut, Hello Kitty Planes and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 30, 2013 01:10 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Zhejiang Satellite Television's "China Blue"... Nike's 100 percent recycled store... China's bra town… diaosi Mike Sui for Adidas... Mercedes hurting… Tiffany and Co. bling… Hong Kong's Kickstarter staffs up… Hello Kitty Boeing… I ♥ KM… WeChat in Mexico… Design Shanghai '13… Shanzhai cronuts... and more.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, QVC, Yahoo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 23, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says he will retire within 12 months. 

QVC debuts second channel, QVC Plus.

Yahoo courts Katie Couric for video series. 

Airbnb seeks to create "movie" entirely with Vine.

Al-Jazeera America makes debut with few national advertisers.

American Airlines and US Airways get states' support in merger bid.

Audi reveals new A8 family.

BMW will unveil X5 plug-in hybrid, featuring all-wheel drive, at Frankfurt show.

CBS cuts carriage deal with Verizon.

Coca-Cola hired private eye to snoop in Honest Tea trademark case.Continue reading...

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