corporate citizenship

Amazon Harpooned Over Whale Meat Sales on Japanese Site

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2012 05:09 PM, ranked at #9 among U.S. retail brands on Interbrand's new Best Retail Brands report, has found itself in hot water with environmentalists.

The Seattle-based company “allows” (or at least has turned a blind eye to) its Japanese website to "traffic in whale and dolphin products,” according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Whaling has been illegal since 1982. Britain's the Mirror states that “animal rights groups found 147 illegal items advertised including whale curry, whale bacon, whale stew and tinned whale hamburger” on the site. That's right: whale burgers.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Fujifilm’s Picture-Perfect Brand Extension: Anti-Aging Skin Cream

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 25, 2012 12:01 PM

You may not have heard of Astalift, but you will soon. The line of skin creams, which promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, is expanding from Asia to Europe. Its claims may not be unique, but the brand behind it is: Fujifilm.

Cosmetics, specifically anti-aging creams made from the same antioxidation technology used in preventing photos from fading, are the backbone of a brand extension which has kept Fujifilm alive in Asia, where Astalift has been available in Japan and China for the past couple of years, in a rapidly changing world where its core product, photography and film, shifted 180 degrees, leaving one major brand, the newly bankrupt Kodak, in its digital dust.

Applying its patented chemicals in new ways, with Astalift Fujifilm claims that Pico-Collagen penetrates the skin through cell gaps, working from the inside-out to restore suppleness and elasticity, and has built its Fujifilm Beauty brand around that claim, first in Asia and now coming to Europe. Using collagen in cosmetics is relatively new, but its use in preventing photographic images fading is tried and true.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Volt, Harley-Davidson & more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 24, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

AMR reassures employees on pensions.

Amazon builds Fire tablet on Android without Google apps.

Anheuser-Busch president steps down.

Apple aims to shore up financial results.

Callaway tries to lure young golfers with Justin Timberlake involvement.

Chesapeake Energy pulls back on gas drilling amid glut.

Conde Nast may be cooking up another "shelter" magazine.

GM deals with Volt mini-mutiny as some Chevy dealers spurn allocations of the car.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: iPad 3, SOPA, David Beckham Touts Google+, and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 13, 2012 06:32 PM

Google taps David Beckham to promote Google+ as company grapples with social search fallout, and apologizes for Kenyan flub.

Apple's iPad 3 expected to go on sale in March with HD screen and faster chip. Apple also joined the Fair Labor Association, opening suppliers' doors to labor rights watchdog in transparency response to Foxconn fears — the first tech brand to do so.

Bentley courts Maybach fans including Jay-Z — who has just signed on as the face of (and an investor in) Duracell.

British films to be pitched as a global brand.

BT will offer free Wi-Fi at London Olympic Games.

Disney Studios quickly fills CMO position.

Dr Pepper brand name is removed from Texas town.

Easyjet fined for barring disabled passengers.

Excedrin recall expands to Canada.

Olivia Munn strips off for PETA.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Tobacco Sponsorships Hurting Japan’s Olympic Chances

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 7, 2011 04:10 PM

Many nations, such as the United States, won’t allow tobacco companies to advertise at sporting events. Japan is not one of those countries — and it may pay a big price for that.

Even though there is some debate about if hosting the Olympic Games is financially worth it, plenty of nations are always at the table when the International Olympic Committee is ready to dole out assignments for the next one.

Japan is often one of the ones pulling its chair up at those negotiation sessions. It last had the ginormous quadrennial sporting event when Nagano hosted the 1998 Winter Games and women’s hockey players and snowboarders got to go for gold for the first time.Continue reading...

social media

Apple Tops Brands in Twitter's Hot Topics of 2011

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 6, 2011 04:31 PM

Those who regularly use Twitter [like the author], it's a regular surprise just how fast information can be designated and how that information can culture, spore, and explode with momentum. Just the same, regular users know just how banal Twitter can seem. As you eat up live updates on the #Syria feed, you realize that, instead of #Syria, #Anchorman is trending. Why? Because some basic cable channel happens to be rerunning the film Anchorman and millions are tweeting about it while watching.

Now Twitter has released a list of 2011's "Hot Topics" and it's exactly what an experienced tweeter would expect: true life and gravity (Japan's earthquake, Egyptian uprising) vs. pointlessness (Charlie Sheen's #tigerblood meme). Continue reading...

brand strategy

Toyota and Sony Grapple With Japan Production Issues

Posted by Dale Buss on November 29, 2011 05:01 PM

As the yen continues to hold on to its strength, iconic Japanese brands like Toyota and Sony are having to make increasingly difficult decisions about retaining domestic production in Japan. At this point, it looks like the world's biggest automaker and its most enduring consumer-electronics brand are coming to somewhat different conclusions.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda has surprised many close observers over the last few days by conceding that his company may have to end up skewing future production much more toward other countries and away from Japan because of the persistent imbalance of the yen against the weaker dollar and other currencies.

In fact, he told the Wall Street Journal that Toyota may actually end up exporting Corolla subcompact sedans that it is beginning to build at its just-opened plant in Mississippi, in addition to supplying the North American market from there.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Mini Kids Collection Launches at Target

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 14, 2011 10:31 AM

Harajuku Mini, Gwen Stefani's highly-anticipated kids' clothing collection for Target, is now available in-store at select Target locations. With prices below $29.99, part one hit stores on Nov. 13, while part two of the affordable chic kids' collection — aimed at toddlers, boys and girls and tween girls — will launch on Dec. 25th.Continue reading...

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