2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

brands under fire

Uniqlo Rejects Bangladesh Safety Agreement as Worker Unrest Spreads

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 28, 2013 05:12 PM

Uniqlo, the fourth-largest retail brand in the world, has gone the way of Walmart and refused to sign the Bangladesh safety agreement, opting instead to monitor its factories on its own.

"We want to first focus on what we can do right now, on our own," Yukihiro Nitta, head of Fast Retailing's Corporate Social Responsibility group told the Wall Street Journal. He said the company also will hire a Japanese company to assess the soundness of its suppliers' factories in Bangladesh, noting that ultrasound and x-ray technology can be used to check for cracks in concrete and piping.

Most of the 30 companies who have signed, including Uniqlo’s rival H&M, are European. Meanwhile, American companies including Walmart, Gap, JCPenney, Sears and Target have all held out on the point that the agreement includes a legally-binding clause, one that they argue could hurt US companies more than their international counterparts. For Uniqlo, this isn’t the first time the company, owned by Japan’s Fast Retailing, has come under activist pressure. Earlier this year, the brand bowed to a cause to sign a detox pledge spearheaded by Greenpeace, in which the company agreed to stop releasing hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chain and products by 2020.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Another Failed Mea Culpa from A&F After Activists Show Up at HQ

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 23, 2013 03:04 PM

It’s been seven years since Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries told Salon.com that his company is only interested in outfitting the cool, hip, skinny, “all-American kid(s) with a great attitude and a lot of friends.” He’s been paying the price for his exclusionary comments, though, for the past few weeks since Business Insider republished the quotes in a story about how A&F didn’t carry any women’s XL or XXL sizes.

The A&F brand has been taking a beating since. YouGov’s BrandIndex charted 18- to 34-year-old’s thoughts on the brand versus fellow retailers H&M and American Eagle. The latter two went up slightly while A&F’s numbers plummeted. Jeffries, no doubt, is regretting his comments from way back when (or at least is annoyed that BI brought them to the world’s attention again). On May 15, Jeffries posted a note to the company’s Facebook page that went for the old “quote has been taken out of context” argument and claims that the company is “strongly committed to diversity and inclusion.”

That may be so, but Jeffries may have misstepped again Wednesday when a group of teen activists showed up at the doorstep of the Columbus, Ohio, headquarters of his company. They were taken in, People magazine reports, and had a meeting with company execs but Jeffries didn’t bother to stick his head into the proceedings even though this has been a PR disaster for his company.Continue reading...

brands under fire

US Brands Still Holding Out as Bangladesh Government Looks to Place Blame

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 23, 2013 01:54 PM

Almost one month to the day after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing 1,127 people, American retailers and their international counterparts remain at odds over the plan to improve labor conditions, with legal liability still at the top of US concerns.   

Gap, one of the largest American retailers implicated in industry accidents in Bangladesh has said in recent weeks that it was close to signing the proposed agreement, if only clauses regarding arbitration were removed. “In the United States, there’s maybe a bigger legal risk than there is in Europe,” said Gap CEO Glenn Murphy, according to The New York Times. “If we were to sign onto something that had unlimited legal liability and risk, I think our shareholders should care about that.” Calling the language of the agreement "vague and unclear," Gap, along with Walmart, Target, JCPenney, Sears and other major US retailers have bilked at signing the accord, despite the fact that over 30 global brands had signed on by the proposed May 15 deadline.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: ESPN, H&M, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

ESPN begins hundreds of layoffs.

H&M says that some clothes were produced in collapsed factory in Cambodia.

Target misses earnings expectations and cuts outlook.

Cable networks are rebranding, and pay-TV brands aren't happy about it. 

Dairy Queen to debut new ad campaign that promotes its burgers and fries.

Dodge enjoys star turn for its Challenger at premiere of Fast and Furious 6.

EA lawsuit over players' videogame-likeness issue threatens NCAA policies.

Facebook becoming less popular among teens, Pew study finds. 

Ferrero backs off attack on World Nutella Day.

Fisker Automotive reportedly sees bid by boutique firm led by former GM exec Bob Lutz and Chinese supplier.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Bangladesh Victims Yet to See Compensation as Governments Pressure Compliance

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

Fortunately, the issues brought to light by the recent horrors in Bangladesh are not disappearing from the headlines. Unfortunately, those who are culpable are not acting swiftly enough.

What little consensus has emerged from the rubble of a collapsed eight-story factory, which claimed over 1,120 lives, underscores the fact that public-private collaboration is vital to enact the sweeping reforms required for real change rather than corporate social responsibility campaigns. Major retailers including Walmart, Gap, JCPenney and Sears have yet to sign the proposed fire and safety agreements, while Walmart, like the wolf guarding the hen house, said it will monitor its 300-plus Bangladeshi suppliers itself. However, H&M, along with 30 other international retailers committed to the $3 billion fund to improve the safety of garment factories in Bangladesh.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yahoo, Buick, P&G and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 20, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

Yahoo agrees to buy Tumblr for $1.1 billion, but questions already arise about how new native ads will affect cachet.

Buick Motor Co. celebrates 110 years

P&G launches major review of its advertising ROI.

Actavis acquires Warner Chilcott in $5 billion pharma deal.

Billabong sees brand value drop after failed buyout attempts.

Campbell Soup meets high earnings hopes.

Chrysler quality now rivals Toyota, exec claims.

DirecTV considers bid for Hulu.

Domino's debuts DVD that smells like pizza.

GM accelerates financial and operational streamlining, CFO says.

Google may allow branded apps for Glass.Continue reading...

brands under fire

As Deadline Expires, Walmart, Gap Under Fire for Refusing to Sign Bangladesh Agreement

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 16, 2013 05:38 PM

As the May 15 deadline has come and gone to sign the IndustriALL-backed Bangladesh safety agreement, the abscence of a number of US brands has become even more apparent as more than 30 international retailers have agreed to the terms defined by international labor organizations to ensure the repair and future maintenance of Bangladesh's growing garment industry. Last month, Rana Plaza, an eight-story factory employing mostly young women collapsed, killing 1,127 people.  

While American clothing brands and retailers have been actively involved in the ensuing dialogue, the only two to sign the agreement by the deadline were PVH (which owns the Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Van Heusen brands) and Abercrombie & Fitch, while Walmart and Gap publicly declared their opposition to the plan

To date, the list of signatories includes: Abercrombie & Fitch, Aldi, Benetton, C&A, Carrefour, El Corte Ingles, Esprit, G-Star, H&M, Helly Hansen, Hess Natur, Inditex (Zara's owner), jbc, KiK New Look, Lidl, Loblaws on behalf of its Joe Fresh and Primark brands, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, N Brown Group, Next, PVH, Rewe, Sainsbury's, Stockmann, Switcher, Tchibo, Tesco and WE Europe.Continue reading...

personal brands

David Beckham's Soccer Career May Be Over, but His Brand Will Live On

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 16, 2013 04:12 PM

Another English soccer legend is retiring. David Beckham announced his retirement from pro soccer not long after his former coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, made the same announcement.

After two more games, Beckham will be hanging up his cleats, but the star athlete was sure to rack up a few more titles before he cleans out his locker. Thanks to Paris Saint-Germain' s recent win to claim the Ligue 1 title, Beckham is now the only person to have won four national club championships in four different leagues in four different countries. He's also the first English player to score at three consecutive World Cup finals, and he's been honored by the Queen of England. Not a bad rap for a guy that kicks a ball around for a living, but there's a lot more to Beckham's success than what simply lies on the field. 

"If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over 100 times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy," he said, the BBC reports. "I'm fortunate to have realized those dreams."Continue reading...

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