Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 8, 2013 11:41 AM
What North Americans know as moose and Europeans call elk apparently make a tasty meal. Since January, consumers in Europe and Asia could find the animal’s meat in lasagna sold at the Swedish furniture giant's stores. But recently there has apparently been a little something else in IKEA’s Elk Lasagna that consumers weren’t aware of: pork.
This isn't the first meat mix-up that IKEA has dealt with, as the company was one of several retailers implicated in the horse meat scandal that has swept across Europe. IKEA has been forced to remove its famed Swedish meatballs from its restaurants and frozen food aisles, and adding to its meat woes, the brand has just pulled nearly 18,000 units of its elk lasagne from its stores and websites after authorities in Belgium discovered the product contained a percentage of pork meat.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 3, 2013 11:15 AM
Six European nations are challenging Google's privacy policies it emerged on Tuesday—just after the announcement that its privacy director was stepping down. Later this year, when Google Glass hits the market, privacy issues are already emerging as Google’s wearable tech, estimated retail price $1,500, brings seismic change to the scientific landscape and to what's possible with personal computing.
Google, on the defensive, argues that its already-filled "Glass Explorer" program of Google Glass public beta-testers "will give all of us the chance to be active participants in shaping the future of this technology, including its features and social norms."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 1, 2013 04:04 PM
China's state-run media including CCTV went into the weekend bashing Apple and came out the other side doing the same. Tech writers and journalists agree China's smear campaign against Apple has backfired because the effect China's smear campaign is having on Apple's brand is worse than you think in some quarters, and not such a big deal in others (depending who you read).
China's "attack" on Apple certainly doesn't have a simple black or white outcome. The impact will be seen after the dust settles, and it will (especially now that CEO Tim Cook has reportedly apologized), with one Citi analyst projecting that the showdown could cost the company up to $13 billion in sales in the market.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2013 06:12 PM
Sex sells, right? Well, Louis Vuitton apparently thinks so as its clothing is the star of a new (NSFW) short film that features a few of its top models acting the parts of prostitutes in the dark streets of Paris.
A naked woman in the backseat of a car, a half-dressed woman swaying down an alley, a woman undressing in front of a car’s headlights and a slew of come-hither looks fill up the new film that was produced by the U.K.'s Love Magazine and directed by James Lima.
Watch the NSFW video after the jump.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 21, 2013 03:18 PM
Lululemon Athletica revealed Monday that it expects earnings to drop this quarter due to a dud batch of its popular yoga pants made with its proprietary luon fabric, which its store managers indicated were being returned by customers who found them too sheer for wearing. “Some of our bottoms were made with a batch of black luon that doesn’t meet our standards so we’ve pulled them from our floors and our website.”
After being downgraded by Credit Suisse and others after the news, an earnings call today meant to detail the company's fourth quarter and full year 2012 results along with 2013 developments such as a move into golf and tennis apparel was instead taken up with answering analysts' questions about how it was handling the crisis—and offering more (ahem) transparency about the situation than has been offered to customers.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 19, 2013 03:49 PM
Is this a sign of things to come for Canada's retail darling? Lululemon, the Vancouver-based lifestyle brand and highly successful global retailer, over the weekend pulled its Luon black yoga pants from store shelves after discovering the sheer material was just too sheer, a result, some say, of poor quality control on the company's part. On Monday, the retailer announced it would be pulling various—but unnamed—styles of its popular (and pricey) yoga pants, explaining, “Some of our bottoms were made with a batch of black luon that doesn’t meet our standards so we’ve pulled them from our floors and our website.”
“At lululemon, our most important relationship is with our communities and our guests. We recently learned some information about some product that arrived in our stores and we wanted you to know right away,” according to the retailer's blog post. “We are working with our supplier to replace this fabric and other manufacturers to replenish the affected core items as fast as we can. What that means is there will be a shortage of these styles in our stores and online until our new stock arrives. We are also in conversation with our manufacturing partner to understand what happened during the period this fabric was made.”
The brand said it will offer refunds or exchanges to customers who bought the affected item in March, either online or in stores. Lululemon—which was just named Canada's top retail brand by Interbrand's 2013 Best Retail Brands report—is known for turning around products on short order. "Our guest knows that there's a limited supply, and it creates these fanatical shoppers," CEO Christine Day, a former Starbucks executive, told the Wall Street Journal. But the reported pants issue isn't a calculated sales strategy to boost demand and drive sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 12, 2013 12:27 PM
Fried chicken lovers in China took a brief break from visiting KFC’s there after news broke in December of last year that the fast-food chain was using chicken suppliers that had violated drug rules in order to fatten up their birds.
That wasn’t good news for consumers or for a brand that had more than 4,000 outlets in the company and brought in more than 40 percent of its overall revenue from the country. In anticipation of a hefty backlash, Yum! Brands, the owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, readjusted its yearly expectations downward. However, it appears that Chinese chicken consumers have short memories.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 6, 2013 05:39 PM
Beyoncé is beyond busy. Following her Pepsi-sponsored Super Bowl halftime show, she presented an award at the Grammys with Ellen Degeneres, she's the cover girl for the March issue of Vogue, she did an interview with Oprah Winfrey and her documentary aired on HBO, not to mention that her "Mrs. Carter World Tour" is almost upon us, kicking off in Belgrade in April and reaching the U.S. in late June.
The star posted a Warhol-inspired ad to her Facebook page (which has over 43 million likes!) and can be seen striking three poses, highlighting her much-talked about new bleached blonde hair. The caption, in a nod to her soda sponsor's "Live for Now" tagline and the 60's inspiration: "Pop Art inspires me to Live for NOW."
In another made-for-social promo image, Pepsi's $50 million girl channels Monroe and Bardot, clad in a pair of teeny shorts and a tight-fitting white turtleneck. The ads, which promote her upcoming Pepsi-sponsored tour have come under some fire for portraying the vocal star with a visibly fairer complexion.Continue reading...