brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 2, 2012 04:01 PM
To run or not to run — that has been the burning question in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in New York this week.
As New York continues the massive clean-up and restoration of a wounded, limping city, with millions still without power, food, water and transport, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was adamant the ING New York City marathon (rededicated as a "Race to Recover" with proceeds to relief efforts) would go on, even though the starting line is in hard-hit Staten Island. The refusal to reschedule the race has been widely protested, while observers are questioning the impact on title sponsor ING, and fellow sponsors including Timex and Asics.
“The city is a city where we have to go on,” stated Bloomberg in a press conference on Thursday, arguing that the race must go on for the cash and morale infusion. "There's an awful lot of small businesses that depend on these people. We have to have an economy,” Bloomberg said in a news conference Thursday. "It's a great event for New York, and I think for those who were lost, you know, you've got to believe they would want us to have an economy and have a city go on for those that they left behind."
Update: At 5:21 pm Friday, the mayor's office confirmed media rumors that the race will not go ahead on Sunday. Bloomberg told the press, "We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it." And while this means there will be no 2012 NYC marathon, New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg said canceling was the right move, telling AP, "This is what we need to do and the right thing at this time." ING also supported the cancellation, commenting, "ING U.S. understands that many people, businesses, as well as its own New York-based employees have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy this week. The company encourages everyone to consider making a donation or to volunteer with a nonprofit that is helping with disaster-relief effort if they are able to do so."Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 2, 2012 09:28 AM
Emily Rahimi has emerged as a heroine in Superstorm Sandy’s wake. As social media manager for the New York Fire Department's Twitter account, she tweeted messages of comfort in response to New Yorker’s in peril from Monday night as the storm approached until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
"You could see the panic and fear in the words they were typing," said Rahimi to Firehouse News. "People were so scared they were reaching out to anyone they thought might listen. It really struck a chord with me. I tried to help them as best as I could."
As callers jammed 911 (despite Mayor Bloomberg’s constant plea to use 311 for non-life threatening issues), Rahimi responded to every tweet, “took their information and called our dispatchers myself to make sure they sent an emergency crew."Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 31, 2012 12:38 PM
While your humbled (by Sandy) editor's NYC apartment is still without power, I've made it to a power outlet and Wi-Fi and finally catching up with some of the impact of the storm on the U.S. and Canada, with 107 people dead and an estimated $20 billion in damages and $30 billion in lost business:
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 25, 2012 03:23 PM
You know the launch of the Windows 8 operating system, Windows Phone 8 and the Surface tablet is a big deal for Microsoft when it pulls out the big guns — chairman Bill Gates — to talk about why this week, with Friday's launch of Windows 8 globally and these new devices, represents a game-changer for the company and the brand.
Microsoft is spending hundreds of millions of dollars and is the brand’s largest sustained global marketing activity in its 37-year history, including opening pop-up stores around the world in the brand's biggest retail activation to date.
The Times Square holiday store in New York, for example, will give the first 100 people a year’s Xbox Music Pass (value $99.90) with purchase. The Big Apple will also be home to Microsoft's Microtropolis, a major interactive installation at Pier 57 on the Hudson River. Opening Friday, it's described as:
a stylized one hundred and sixty foot version of NYC in an art installation we are calling Microtropolis. Microtropolis is Manhattan experienced through Windows. It creates the ultimate hands-on demonstration of Windows 8, with the city of NYC as the backdrop. As you walk into the installation, you are literally walking through the avenues and streets with skyscrapers towering above. This interactive experience has hundreds of devices placed on rooftops within the city, customized to the neighborhoods in which they are placed.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 22, 2012 03:06 PM
New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been bullish on having his city rival Silicon Valley as a hub of high-tech innovation. As the Associated Press just noted, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, eBay, Yelp, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Tumblr, Kickstarter and Gilt Groupe have set up shop in the Big Apple. Between 2005 and 2010, the city’s tech workforce grew 10 times faster than city employment according to the Center for an Urban Future.
The city's Economic Development Corp. set-up a $22.5 million startup investment fund and most recently offered 12 acres of land on Roosevelt Island and $100 million in improvements for a state-of-the-art graduate school, CornellNYC Tech, to be run by Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which is slated to open in January. Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank will serve as on-campus patent officer. But it hasn't been an easy road.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2012 03:16 PM
New York City's ban on selling beverages bigger than 16 ounces that passed last month doesn't seem to face a major threat as it heads toward implementation in March. It's fat from popular with many New Yorkers, and the beverage industry and others certainly hate it, but the regulation has begun to assume the momentum of inevitability.
That's why the American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group among other companies, has launched a last-ditch effort that now includes a lawsuit against the city that the organization, as promised. The suit argues that the unelected New York health board, which approved the ban spearheaded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, shouldn't be telling people how much soda to drink, according to CBS Radio. The suit also said that the rule "burdens consumers and unfairly harms small businesses."Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2012 06:25 PM
When Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly faced off Saturday in a mock debate, the topic of whether the government should decide what size soda consumers should drink was brought up and summarily dismissed, but there are plenty of other folks — like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who aren’t letting the issue go.
The just-passed law that Bloomberg pushed to help keep New Yorkers healthy by making it illegal to sell sodas larger than 16 oz. in many New York establishments will go into effect on March 12. And Bloomberg isn’t alone. A soda-tax measure was put on the ballot in Richmond, California, that would discourage consumers from drinking soda and collect money through a soda tax “for neighborhood gardens, recreation and other youth projects that would help fight childhood obesity,” BeyondChron.com reports.
Sick of being called a bad guy in the war against obesity, the American Beverage Association (and the soda giants it represents) today launched a "Calories Count" vending machine program that will start being distributed in the new year. The ABA's new initiative will help consumers identify lower-calorie sodas in vending machines by placing soda calorie counts right on the buttons of vending machines.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2012 01:11 PM
New York City’s subways and buses have about 8.5 million riders every day. Transit cards are carried by everybody from construction workers to hedge-fund managers and tourists from across the globe, to nannies minding children and rap stars who own basketball teams and concert/sports venues. And now the MTA has finally debuted a way for marketers to reach that card-clutching audience by placing advertisements on both sides of the MetroCard.
In the launch campaign for the two-sided branding opportunity, New Yorkers may find themselves swiping cards with Gap ads across the front of them that not only spread the Gap name but offer 20 percent discounts for those that visit the retailer’s new flagship store — the first ad to appear on the front of a MetroCard, the fare payment medium on all New York City subways and buses, since the mid-1990s.Continue reading...