Posted by Dale Buss on May 12, 2010 08:30 AM
Like her estimable husband, when Michelle Obama locks onto a policy-making goal, she doesn’t let it go. The Childhood Obesity Action Plan the First Lady unveiled yesterday represents a significant intensification of the anti-obesity initiative that she launched several weeks ago. And it might give some food and beverage brands even more reason to sit up and take notice.
Brands including Pepsi and Coca-Cola were quick to sign on in February to the First Lady’s “Let’s Move" program, pledging their support.
Her aims then included getting the federal government to spend another $10 billion over 10 years on expansion of the federal school-lunch program and obtaining the outlay of $400 million to encourage grocery stores to carry healthier food selections, especially in “underserved” areas in minority communities.
But now, Mrs. Obama is getting more “personal” to brands, and they aren’t going to like all of it.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 14, 2010 01:45 PM
Yay, YMCA! We’ve always loved them – and now we remember why. In addition to a classic, iconic song, and years of physical empowerment for millions, they are now modeling a viable health insurance alternative.
Teaming with the United Health Group, one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., and Walgreens pharmacies, the Y is addressing Type 2 diabetes – in a very simple way.
New YMCA-based “Lifestyle Coaches” in seven cities will target at-risk people for whom losing just a modest number of pounds will significantly lower their odds of developing diabetes. The coaches are an add-on to a successful 16-week trial program already in place at nationwide Y’s, advising members on better exercise and nutrition.
Currently, 25 million Americans are estimated to have Type 2 diabetes, with an additional 60 million classified as pre-diabetic. That’s one in four adults who may have avoided diabetes through better nutrition and exercise to combat obesity. The cost of treatment that many diabetics? An estimated $200 billion annually.Continue reading...
Posted by Deborah Dunham on February 16, 2010 12:55 PM
Pharmaceutical companies are becoming highly recognized today by adding their names to generic drugs.
While a branded generic medicine may seem counterintuitive, it’s actually a revolutionary new approach that is keeping the bottom line high for many drug companies.
In order to understand this strategy, it’s important to remember why generic brands are able to offer products at a low cost in the first place. It’s not because associating a name adds to the expense, it’s all of the other marketing and advertising that go along with it. Pharmaceutical companies can spend millions of dollars every year promoting their brands – which ends up getting passed along to consumers and their wallets. But simply putting a company name on a drug – without all of the hype – can go a long way towards increasing consumer confidence and company revenue.Continue reading...
Posted by Deborah Dunham on February 10, 2010 01:37 PM
There’s no doubt that work, family, kids, and a down economy are bringing more stress than ever to women. What is doubtful, though, is how far they are willing to go to relieve that pressure. A night out with the girls, a pedicure, or a meditation class are proven and inexpensive ways to relax the body and mind. But how about paying $566 a year for an online stress management program? The folks behind Upliv.com are hoping women will do just that.
Scheduled to be rolled out later this month, Upliv is the newest online subscription targeted to women. The monthly membership includes customized stress relief techniques based on results from an online stress analysis that measures each woman’s level of tension and what areas of her life – career, finances, or relationships – are most responsible for this strain. Women then receive weekly targeted articles, instructions, and relaxation strategies.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 8, 2009 07:03 PM
As the media finally gets around to calling this year's pandemic by its real name -- H1N1 -- Smithfield Foods is discovering what month after month of reports beginning "Another has died of swine flu..." can do to a pork producer's bottom line.
Home to an enormous stable of brands, including Butterball, John Morrell, Farmland and Sizzle & Serve, Smithfield reported further quarterly losses in its pork divisions, which it blames on H1N1 fears. Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 8, 2009 06:02 PM
As President Obama launches a new offensive in selling his health insurance program, he might find several branding basics helpful.
First: Make a compelling argument. Merely complaining that the old system is broken is as effective as a laundry commercial that shows only the results of the brand’s competitor. Most people are creatures of habit, who prefer to complain rather than change their behavior.
So the President must do more than explain where the current health care system is headed. He needs to contrast that with the benefits of his plan: What are the savings in cost, time, red tape? In other words, what’s in it for me, John or Jane Taxpayer? Continue reading...
Posted by Peter Feld on September 8, 2009 09:06 AM
Obama attempts to rebrand health care reform proposals. [WSJ]
Switzerland ousts US as the world's most competitive economy in the annual World Economic Forum global survey of business leaders. [AP]
Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom to combine their struggling T-Mobile and Orange UK operations, creating the country's largest wireless provider. [NYT]
Google defends its Books Registry plans to digitize copyrighted but out-of-print books at a European Commission hearing. [NYT]
Kraft fights to take over Cadbury. [FT]
Unilever's China plans target growth rather than profits. [WSJ]
Jaeger chief Tillman's purchase of Aquascutum from Japanese giant Renown restores British ownership of the 158-year-old fashion brand. [Guardian]
Oof! In China, two Wal-Mart employees are fired after beating a suspected shoplifter to death. [AP]
(More headlines: Pret A Manger, Pearson, Harvard University.) Continue reading...