2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

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At the Movies: Will 'Margin Call' Benefit From Occupy Wall Street Fervor?

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 21, 2011 06:01 PM

Could there possible be a better timing for the release of a film loosely based on the sub-prime investment banking shenanigans that led to an economic meltdown? The soft marketing of Margin Call seems to be struggling to leverage its tale against the intense, growing, top-of-the-fold Occupy Wall Street movement, but will it succeed?Continue reading...

retail watch

Walmart Cuts Health Benefits as it Grapples With the Economy

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2011 05:01 PM

Walmart may employ more than 1% of the U.S. labor force, but it's not ingratiating itself with the 99% who are marching in its streets — at least, the ones who were marching in the nation's capital last night.

Economic pressures in the United States continue to roil the world's biggest retailer, which this week told its U.S. employees that it plans to shift a substantial share of the health-care cost burden back onto them in a roll-back of the major coverage expansion the company made just a few years ago.

Citing rising costs, the nation's largest employer stated, according to the New York Times, that all future part-time employees who work less than 24 hours a week on average will no longer qualify for any of the company's health-insurance plans. Related moves include a significant health-insurance premium boost for full-time staff.Continue reading...

brand bites

Brand Bites: WikiLeaks Gets Priceless, Burberry Flakes, Sappy Nappies and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 21, 2011 12:16 PM

Wikileaks spoofed Mastercard's "Priceless" campaign this week. Watch the spot below, along with new perfume commercials featuring Scarlett Johansson and Christina Aguilera, plus place branding with a twist and more.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: McDonald's Monopoly Money, Wella vs. Willa, and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 20, 2011 09:01 AM

In the News

Abbott Labs plans to split into two companies.

American Express equalizes health costs for gay employees.

Citigroup agrees to pay hefty fine to settle securities charges.

Daimler dismissed US. head of Mercedes-Benz over personal expenses.

Eni makes big natural-gas find off coast of Mozambique.

Fox's The X Factor gets off to a slow start.

Frito-Lay draws complaint about "immersive" marketing to kids.

Groupon discounts its IPO valuation.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Wall Street Wobbles as Occupy Wall Street Marches On

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 19, 2011 02:10 PM

With the Occupy Wall Street movement now one month old and continuing to rattle workers in the financial industry around the world, a few big financial brands are being rattled independent of placard-carrying protesters in their midst.

Goldman Sachs lost $428 million in its latest quarterly earnings report, its second quarterly loss ever.

Citigroup has agreed to pay $285 million to settle SEC charges that it misled investors related to its mortgage businesses.

And Bank of America can't bank on being Number 1 anymore, as BofA cedes top spot to JPMorgan Chase this week.Continue reading...

brand commentary

Schultz and Immelt Take Different Approaches to America's Economic Woes

Posted by Dale Buss on October 19, 2011 10:02 AM

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does a rudderless economy. So it's quite natural that corporate chieftains increasingly are promoting their own prescriptions for righting the U.S. economy when the politicians can't figure out how to address the country's 9-percent-plus unemployment, shaky consumer confidence, wildly gyrating equity markets, moribund housing values and government deficits as far as the eye (and the eyes of everyone's grandchildren) can see. If government can't create the conditions necessary for business success, then business itself must try to do more.

Fortunately, as the Occupy Wall Street protests spread erratically around the nation and the world, some CEOs still have the courage to offer these prescriptions. Howard Schultz and Jeffrey Immelt come to mind, as the chiefs of Starbucks and General Electric, respectively, weigh in on the economic crisis in America.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, WSJ Europe, Toyota & more

Posted by Peter Feld on October 13, 2011 08:58 AM

In the NewsAir Canada avoids strike for now; hits union with labor-board unfair practices complaint.

Apple defeats Samsung in Australian tablet patent case; prepares to offer movies over the "cloud."

Carrefour cuts its profit targets.

Citigroup's Vikram Panda ready to talk with Occupy Wall Street protesters; calls their concerns "completely understandable."

JPMorgan profits sink.Continue reading...

follow the money

Bank of America Increases Fees Despite Ongoing Occupation

Posted by Matthew Moore on October 12, 2011 05:01 PM

While some companies are embracing the ‘Occupy’ demonstrations popping up across the United States, others like Bank of America have made the decision to ignore the impact that these demonstrations can have on consumer sentiment.

Less than two weeks after ‘Occupy Wall Street’ demonstrations began in downtown New York, executives at Bank of America thought it a good time to roll out a new $5 monthly charge to its customers making check card purchases in a given month. Two other large banks, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, are also reported to be considering similar fees.

Bank of America is now taking heat (including being spoofed on Ellen) for its recent fee introduction from both legislators and the media. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill. urged customers to take their money to different banks. A Fox Business Network anchor went further and made headlines when she cut up a Bank of America debit card on air.

Consumer watchdogs will argue that the fee is not fair and that the government needs to protect consumers; however, the damage for Bank of America has already been done thanks to all of the negative press its announcement has received. Recent reports of sluggish performance on the bank’s website over the past few week have even been attributed to the bank’s fee announcement.Continue reading...

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