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brand news

In the News: Apple, Boeing, Google and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 09:07 AM

In the News

Apple continues to demonstrate brand cachet but faces worry about budget-conscious iPhone buyers and iPad rival in China.

Boeing's largest plane buyer praises its communications during Dreamliner safety crisis as battery woes put FAA on hot seat.

Google stems ad-price drop but keeps struggling with mobile.

Acer defies PC industry downturn.

Allergan plans to buy MAP for $958 million.

Air New Zealand launches "blind gate" promotion.

Beam sells off value brands to focus on premium as Global Brands shakes up drinks portfolio.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Bangladesh Factory Fire Highlights Brands' Supply Chain of Ethics

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 7, 2012 03:21 PM

As countries like Bangladesh move up the food chain from aid to trade, the global eco-system fueling the fire, literally and figuratively, is largely the retail fashion industry, feeding the western world’s insatiable appetite for fashion. 

The November 24th factory blaze that killed 112 garment workers in an illegal factory in Bangladesh showed the world, as Reuters puts it, that “pressure from big Western brands to produce huge volumes of apparel fast and at rock-bottom prices, [is making] Bangladeshi suppliers routinely sub-contract their orders.”

As the victims — many of them young women and mothers, all of them poor — are mourned and the Clean Clothes Campaign organizes vigils at C&A and beyond as part of a bigger shame campaign for brands whose labels were found in the ashes, what’s really on trial, as the New York Times points out in a scathing article today, is ethical sourcing and a severely out-of-balance equation claiming the lives of impoverished workers with no options.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Netflix, GSK, Tesco and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2012 09:05 AM

In the News

Disney and Netflix sign landmark agreement for the web streaming service.

GlaxoSmithKline begins assembling new global branding effort on its impact around the world.

Tesco bails out of Fresh & Easy venture in U.S.

AOL's Advertising.com group acquires Buysight.

Apple upgrades iTunes, secures USPTO patent for "retina."

Beer tax dispute heats up in Europe.

Blu Dot tests Twitter game of musical chairs.

BMW has US luxury auto sales crown in its sights.

Campbell Soup Company donates $500K to Salvation Army.

Citigroup announces 11,000 job cuts and $1B charge.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Bangladesh Factory Fire Puts Ethical Sourcing, Factory Conditions in Spotlight

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 26, 2012 04:04 PM

In a fiery furnace of déjà vu, a garment-factory fire in Bangladesh on Saturday killed 112 people trapped inside the building, or jumping to their deaths in buildings where safety is ignored in a retail rush for products to export.

It was just over a century ago — March 25, 1911 — when the now infamous fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on New York's Washington Square left 146 workers dead because the owner had blocked exits and stairwells to keep employees from leaving or taking a break. The tragedy led to reforms and unionization for U.S. garment workers, but here we are a century later, and it's happening again in Bangladesh.

About this latest firetrap, which has sparked mass protests in Bangladesh, AP writes: “The fire alarm: Waved off by managers. An exit door: Locked. The fire extinguishers: Not working and apparently 'meant just to impress' inspectors and customers. 'Had there been at least one emergency exit through outside the factory, the casualties would have been much lower,' said Maj. Mohammad Mahbub, fire department operations director.

The factory is owned by Tazreen Fashions Ltd., a subsidiary of the Tuba Group, and has produced garments for Walmart, Carrefour, C&A and IKEA, since opening in 2009 and employing about 1,700 people. Walmart's connection to the factory is still "unclear," as Salon notes. A 2011 Walmart ethical sourcing audit gave Tuba Group a yellow rating and requested that it address unacceptable conditions at its factories.

Update: Walmart stated on Monday that the factory in question was indeed producing pieces for the retailer — but without its knowledge, due to a subcontractor arrangement. "Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier," America's biggest retailer said in a statement. "The fact that this occurred is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh."Continue reading...

brand news

Weekend Headlines, From Black Friday to Psy's Gangnam YouTube Record

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 25, 2012 09:01 PM

K-pop phenom Psy's "Gangam Style" video beats Justin Bieber record to become YouTube's most-viewed video ever, with 805 million views on Friday (knocking on 824 million views now) to Bieber's 803 million for "Baby." Bieber, meanwhile, insults fellow Canadians by wearing overalls to pick up award from Prime Minister.

GM considers Buick logo change and bets it can make the 54-year-old Chevy Impala a head-turner again.

Black Friday in-store sales undercut by Thanksgiving early bird shoppers, mobile and e-commerce shoppers.

GSK and other pharma anger critics by paying for studies.

Hostess Brands eyed by Flower Foods.

Mango replaces Kate Moss with Miranda Kerr.

McDonald's testing Egg White McMuffin and variations on Quarter Pounder.

Mercedes-Benz taps Kate Upton for Super Bowl.

Nintendo's revamped Wii takes aim at a changed game world.Continue reading...

black friday

Google Expands Indoor Retail Maps in Time for Black Friday

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 03:03 PM

This holiday shopping season is all about mobile, and Google wants to help Black Friday shoppers not get lost. Last November, the Google Maps app headed indoors, mapping the interiors of locations such as IKEA, airports and shopping meccas such as Mall of America. This month, it expanded its indoor retail mapping in time for Black Friday sales beyond Android devices, and now offers "over 10,000 detailed floor plans of locations in nine countries," including Macy's New York City flagship. Google is also promoting its voice-activated search app this holiday season.

brand news

In the News: Hostess, Ikea, GM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Hostess Brands gets a stay of execution as company and union agrees to mediation today.

Ikea gets green light in India.

GM launches Springo sub-brand in China.

BMW shows off speed with tire-track promotion.

Best Buy posts loss as store sales drop.

Billabong Americas head considers buyout bid for company.

Campbell Soup builds giant Pinterest board out of classic green-bean casserole.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Twinkies, BP, GM and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2012 08:59 AM

In the News

Hostess liquidation sees opportunists stock up on Twinkies as future of its brands hangs in balance and unions cling to hope of a buyer.

BP seen as takeover target now, as valuation slides.

GM opens $1.3 billion China plant for Baojun budget brand.

Ben & Jerry's turns fans' Instagram pictures into ads.

CCTV ad haul for Chinese television bodes well for economy.

Cisco to buy networking-hardware company Meraki for $1.2 billion.

Citigroup to cut more jobs.

Dish Network is frustrated in dream of breaking into wireless.Continue reading...

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