brand wars

Macy's-Stewart-J.C. Penney Case Off to a Catty Start—And That's Just the Lawyers

Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2013 06:12 PM

Sure, we get the occasional brand vs. brand dustup in court, but the three-ring circus that opened this week, pitting Macy's against J.C. Penney and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia already has brought more color than that Apple-Samsung dispute last year—and that's without any of the colorful principals even making an appearance yet.

In the first day of testimony in a Manhattan court on Wednesday, the Stewart-Penney alliance and Macy's made the outlines of their arguments pretty clear.

Macy's believes that an agreement by Stewart's company to supply some of her homeware designs to a giant J.C. Penney "store within a store" violates Macy's agreement for its own Stewart-brand merchandise that has been renewed through 2018. Besides, they believe Martha Stewart and her company owe Macy's some loyalty because it struck a deal with her in 2004 when she was just out of prison for conspiracy.

J.C. Penney and Stewart, on the other hand, believe they're doing nothing wrong in planning to sell Stewart-designed stuff as long as it doesn't bear her actual name and likeness, which they concede would violate terms of the Macy's deal. Besides, this argument goes, a bunch of the stuff has already been manufactured overseas and is on boats on the way to the U.S. for their debut in Penney stores—and does Macy's really intend on asking these ships to turn around?Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yahoo!, GE, Boston Globe and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2013 09:04 AM

In the News

Yahoo! teams up with Facebook for social site revamp as Marissa Mayer puts her stamp on the homepage.

GE sues Whirlpool over alleged price fixing in Europe.

New York Times puts Boston Globe on the block.

AB InBev updates Modela discussions with DOJ.

Alamo targets broader audience.

Apple files patent for slap version of rumored iWatch.

AT&T expands partnership with BMW.

Boeing plans to propose package of fixes for Dreamliner.

Burger King unveils new ads with a human element.Continue reading...

celebrity designers

"The Donald" Threatens Lawsuit Against Leader of Macy's "Dump Trump" Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2013 02:03 PM

Donald Trump is not about to get out-bullied. The real estate mogul and celebrity designer is threatening to sue the organizer of a petition that urges Macy's to "Dump Trump" and its varied line of merchandise under the Trump name.

Through a letter from his lawyer, Trump has threatened a $25 million suit against Angelo Carusone, who started the drive on SignOn.org urging Macy's to sever ties with the lightning-rod personality. Trump's attorney alleges that Carusone is "tortiously interfer[ing] with Mr. Trump's business and contractual relationships" and accuses Carusone of "mob-like bullying and coercion" and "intentionally disseminating misinformation."

Carusone's response was to release a letter from his own lawyer defending his First Amendment rights, as well to call Trump a "bully" and describe Trump's brand as "consequence-free bullying and chicanery" in a press release. He told brandchannel that "threatening to sue someone for $25 million who lives in a studio apartment" and "to silence them—I'd say it's fair to call that 'bullying.'"Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, BMW, Boeing and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2013 08:55 AM

In the News

Apple is hit by hackers who struck Facebook.

BMW issues biggest-ever recall.

Boeing union divided on contracts as company seeks parking spaces for its grounded Dreamliners.

Burger King apologizes for Twitter hack.

Dell sales top estimates as company prepares for buyout.

Grey Poupon revives classic "Pardon Me" spot for Oscars telecast.

Heinz pre-merger-announcement trading draws FBI probe.

Martha Stewart may take stand in lawsuit pitting Macy's versus J.C. Penney. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Boeing, GE, Burberry and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 08:53 AM

In the News

Boeing faces looming strike vote following Dreamliner tumult.

GE seeks inventions via social campaign.

Burberry lauded for London Fashion Week digital experience.

Amazon acts on controversy over German TV show about its workers.

Audi blocks use of GQ3 vehicle name by Qoros of China.

BP faces next bout of Gulf spill liability.

Cracker Barrel can't shake off activist shareholder.

Danone cuts 900 jobs in Europe.

Ferrari plans to price new supercar starting at 1 million euros.Continue reading...

retail watch

Walmart Steps Up on U.S. Jobs, Veterans to Spark 'American Renewal'

Posted by Dale Buss on January 15, 2013 03:03 PM

The world’s largest retailer and employer is going on the offensive with a new corporate citizenship push to bolster its beleaguered brand. Walmart on Tuesday announced its bid to jolt the U.S. economy out of its continued sluggishness by pledging huge new investments by the company in boosting jobs, sourcing domestically and even hiring military veterans.

Walmart announced plans to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next decade in areas such as sporting goods and high-end appliances and invited other retailers to combine in similar efforts that would total $500 billion in purchases over 10 years and spark an “American renewal,” as promised in October.

The commitment was the centerpiece of a speech by Bill Simon, Walmart’s U.S. president and CEO, at the National Retail Federation annual convention on Tuesday.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Martha Stewart, BMW, CES and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 4, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

JCPenney and Macy's set for trial over Martha Stewart.

BMW blows away Mercedes-Benz with December sales to claim U.S. 2012 luxury-segment crown.

CES trend-watching and predicting begins.

Adweek invites votes on best and worst brand extensions of the year.

Al Jazeera deal for Current TV could change U.S. cable news.

American Airlines promises merger decision on US Airways within weeks.

Apple sees iPad lift from holiday sales and marketing.

Barnes & Noble sees Nook lose ground in tablet wars.Continue reading...

brand revival

Parents Hope Mattel Doesn't Go Off-Track With Thomas the Tank Engine

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 2, 2013 11:11 AM

Thomas the Tank Engine has been steaming along on the fictional island of Sodor since 1945, but he is finally catching up to the times. Still, the news that Mattel is ready to revamp the little British engine that could for new markets has some parents of Thomas-obsessed kids worried.

Thomas started out as the creation of British clergyman Rev. Wilbert Audry, whose goal was to come up with a story to entertain his measles-ridden son. Today, Thomas is a global kids powerhosue brand, from toys and licensed goods that expand on his popular TV series.

The Thomas brand brings in about $1 billion in retail sales annually and was a big part of the reason Mattel shelled out $680 million last year for the engine’s former owner, HIT Entertainment, which also parted ways with such beloved kid characters as Barney, Angelina Ballerina, and Bob the Builder as part of the deal.

Finally, Mattel is ready to boost the Thomas brand.Continue reading...

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