Posted by Shirley Brady on July 30, 2012 05:42 PM
We've noted how McDonald's, as one of the TOP sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics, is promoting its new lower-calorie menu and Team USA contest in the US, and encouraging kids (and adults) in the UK to get active and check out its revamped Happy Meal, among other local marketing efforts ahead of the games.
The company brought its top executives to London for the Games opening last week, where the big message was "McDonald's Takes Olympic Stage to Announce Advances in Children's Well-Being, Menu Innovation and Access to Nutrition Information."
Now the Summer Games have started, the fast-food giant is rolling out digital and social content that aims to "match the fun, competitive spirit of the Olympics," according to a spokesperson.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 26, 2012 11:46 AM
It’s complicated, the whole issue of personal privacy in an era of social media transparency, and the fact that the first female astronaut, Sally Ride, who this week died at age 61 from pancreatic cancer, came out publically in her obituary, listing her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy first, as a survivor, is stirring the pot of comment and prejudice.
"Could she have helped the cause? Maybe," says Fred Sainz, VP of communications for the Human Rights Campaign. "For her not to have shared an incredibly important aspect of her life — being in a committed long-term relationship with a woman — meant many Americans did not get to see a dimension of her life that would have helped them understand us (gay people) and our contributions to society.
Ride was open in her personal life, "She just didn't want to go public with it during her lifetime. And that's a big difference," said Sainz. "There's no question that Sally Ride could have been fired if she'd come out while she worked for NASA.”Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 23, 2012 11:47 AM
Penn State players, alumni and other supports are in shock today following the NCAA's unprecedented actions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal: a $60 million fine, a four-year college bowl ban and 40 scholarships axed, in addition to erasing all 14 seasons of victories under late coach Joe Paterno. The move follows a damning report by former FBI director Louis Freeh that accused the university of enabling former Penn State football coach Sandusky's crimes.
The NCAA's executive committee chair Ed Ray stated at a press conference, "The historically unprecedented actions by the NCAA today are warranted by the conspiracy of silence that was maintained at the highest levels of the university in reckless and callous disregard for the children. There is incredible interest in what will happen to Penn State football. But, the fundamental story of this horrific chapter should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down." Are the NCAA sanctions excessive in your opinion? Post a comment below. (Update: Click here for Penn State president Rodney Erickson's response.)
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 11, 2012 01:52 PM
Facebook wants to become your job board of choice and your online bank, as it vies to drive engagement, utility and users' virtual homepage on the web and mobile.
The social network is supporting an innovative app (now in beta) from Australia's Commonwealth Bank, which would enable customers to make payments to third parties and Facebook friends on the site, using its own authentication system, as it currently does for its online customers and its CommBank Kaching mobile app users.
"There are certain things, whether itʼs financial services, or banking where I donʼt necessarily want my friends to know exactly what Iʼm doing, right? I want to be able to go in and have an experience with my advisor or my bank and have that be a one-on-one experience," said David Robinson, Facebook's director of global marketing solutions, U.S. financial services, to Fortune.
While Facebook declined to confirmed other banks it's working on virtual banking services with, a spokesperson did comment to Fortune: "Facebook is a platform and a partnership company. We are supportive of brands and agencies, across industries, using the platform to better serve their customers."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 10, 2012 02:14 PM
Google’s “Legalise Love” campaign isn’t about gay marriage, as some media outlets have reported. It’s not "just" about supporting Gay Pride events, although it launched on July 7th at World Pride in London. It's really about supporting members of the LGBT community in countries that criminalize homosexuality, and using the brand's clout to lobby for change and open minds on gay rights.
The global initiative launched with Ernst & Young and Citigroup participating on behalf of their LGBT employees. "'Legalize Love' is a campaign to promote safer conditions for gay and lesbian people inside and outside the office in countries with anti-gay laws on the books," said a Google spokesperson in a statement to the Washington Post. The spokesperson elaborated:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 5, 2012 11:02 AM
It turns out Walmart and Tom Cruise have something in common. They both turned 50 this week. And the odd pairing share something else: Both quinquagenarians have set a lot of tongues wagging.
Cruise, of course, set the gossip world aflame in the summer heat for the announced split with his wife of five and a half years, Katie Holmes. Walmart, on the other hand, had a problem that affected a lot more people: some very unhappy folks who want the retailing powerhouse to treat their workers better and be more considerate to small businesses and not steamroll into new neighborhoods.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2012 10:20 AM
Anybody who has even touched Facebook this week will be aware of the controversy a single cookie can make.
Kraft's Oreo brand chose to make a simple statement, in this visual social era, to show support for June 25th as Gay Pride Day with a rainbow-colored twist on its iconic cookie. The 100-year-old cookie brand posted a photo on its Facebook page on Monday depicting a gay pride-themed six-layer cookie with rainbow-colored creme filling and the words “June 25 | Pride” and the comment, “Proudly support love!”
It was also clear it wasn't real, with a small line of text reading "Made with creme colors that do not exist."
The maelstrom of divided comments from its 26 million FB followers shows the deep division over the issue and the entrenched homophobia still alive (and unwell) — and also raises the question about whether brands should take a political stance and show their support for the LGBT community. (We say yes; your thoughts?)Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 15, 2012 11:52 AM
The assembly-line process made famous by the Ford Motor Company that ushered in an era of mass production that enabled consumers across the globe to have the same products at the same time is about to change.
Assembly-line jobs used to be the backbone of the working class. But now robots are entering the picture more and more and Canon claims that it will have its digital-camera assembly line in Japan completely automated as soon as 2015, according to The Toronto Star. As it is now, jobs have been moving out of the country to China, India, and elsewhere in Asia due to the high price of labor expenditures.
Employees of Canon needn't be alarmed. “When machines become more sophisticated, human beings can be transferred to do new kinds of work,” said Jun Misumi, a spokesman for the company, commented to the Star.Continue reading...