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brands under fire

Big Tobacco's Label Appeal is Denied as NYC Tries to Change Legal Smoking Age

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 23, 2013 02:50 PM

Cigarette warning labels haven’t changed a bit in the last 30 years, despite lots of data being unearthed in that time on the dangers of smoking and plenty of efforts by the government and consumer groups to have those labels changed. The main reason no change has occurred is because of the undying efforts of Big Tobacco’s legal departments. 

Those departments took a hit Monday when the Supreme Court rejected Big Tobacco’s efforts to challenge a 2009 federal law “that requires graphic warning labels on cigarettes and expanded marketing restrictions on tobacco products,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

This doesn’t mean that smokers will soon be carrying around cigarette packs with gruesome images such as a sewn-up cadaver, a crying woman who apparently has lung cancer, smoke coming out of a man’s trachea, and other such unpleasant sights. It will take time to get new images approved and they will likely go through their own legal challenges along the way. Plus, last August, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit “ruled that the proposed labels violated the tobacco industry's free-speech rights under the First Amendment,” the Journal reminds. The Obama Administration later said “it wouldn't mount a further legal defense of the labels, leaving the agency to consider new proposals."Continue reading...

design watch

ColaLife Nabs Best Design Award for Life-Saving Coca-Cola Crate Pods

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 18, 2013 01:15 PM

ColaLife, the non-profit that wedges its medical kits into crates full of Coca-Cola was awarded Product Design of the Year by the Design Museum of London. 

The organization was awarded the honor for its Kit Yamoyo, a simple plastic container that carries an anti-diarrhea treatment including oral hydration salts, zinc and soap. After the contents are disposed of, the container can be used as a water filtration system. The concept was developed by ColaLife and PI Global in an effort to utilize the distribution routes of Coca-Cola suppliers to distribute aid to remote regions of Africa. 

“The maverick in me thinks it’s fantastic that something designed with the poor and for the poor, and with the word ‘diarrhea’ in it, has won a mainstream, international design award," said founder Simon Berry in a statement. "I think it’s safe to say that this hasn’t happened before and I congratulate the judges for being so brave.”Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All The News You Can Drink: Tommy Guns Vodka, Corona's Herd, Dos de Mayo and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 5, 2013 06:30 PM

Gun Company Fires Back at Tommy Guns Vodka

Chicago mobsters back in the days of Al Capone favored a submachine gun known as the Tommy gun, which was then glorified in plenty of films and books about the era. But Tommy guns aren’t some relic of history. Saeilo Enterprises still makes them, and the owners aren’t very happy with Alphonse Capone Enterprises and its Tommy Guns Vodka, which is sold in a bottle shaped like the famous gun.

In fact, they are so annoyed that a lawsuit has been filed, the Chicago Tribune reports. Saeilo wants all of the Tommy Guns Vodka that is left to be turned over so it can all be destroyed. (Consumption counts as destroying, right?)Continue reading...

brand innovation

Is Tide Killing the Laundry Detergent Industry?

Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2013 11:32 AM

Tide Pods seem to be very good for Procter & Gamble, but some observers believe they're killing the rest of the detergent industry.

Naturally, P&G seems quite happy with how the pre-measured Pods are gobbling up market share in the U.S. detergent business, with expected fiscal-year sales of $500 million this year meaning that Tide Pods are well on their way to becoming yet another of the dozens of $1-billion-plus brands in the CPG giant's portfolio.

Moreover, this is a segment that P&G invented, as AP has noted, taking "eight years, 450 product sketches, 6,000 consumer tests and hundreds of millions of dollars." Despite imitators, Tide essentially has the category all to itself so far, with a market share of about 75 percent of unit doses, drawing customers from rivals without the technology. No wonder P&G plans to take Pods to Europe in the coming months.Continue reading...

package design

The Shape of Things to Come: Pepsi's New Bottle Design Reinvigorates Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 24, 2013 09:03 PM

Pepsi is redesigning its 16 and 20-ounce bottles for the first time since 1977 — one in a series of recent moves (see: the recent Super Bowl halftime show sponsorship and related landmark partnership with superstar Beyonce) as PepsiCo attempts to revitalize its flagship brand after a few mis-steps that led to the brand losing market share to rival Coca-Cola's Diet Coke brand in 2011.

The new design features a swirled grip on the bottom portion of the bottle, a shorter label edged in a "cola-colored" border and an enlarged version of its current globe logo and applies to Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Pepsi Next. 

"This new bottle is the next milestone in Pepsi's Live For Now marketing campaign," stated Angelique Krembs, VP of marketing for the Pepsi trademark. "Our single serve bottle is the most visible and tangible connection point we have with our consumers, and we love how the new bottle expresses our brand DNA."

"We started with single serve, because it is the package you're seen drinking and holding," Krembs told Ad Age. "The longer-term view is this new design system would eventually hit all touch points beyond packaging, to be honest, but certainly all other package types, as it applies."

According to PepsiCo's press release, "The new bottle's bold swirl and elevated profile reflect the brand's attributes and youthful spirit, capturing the excitement of now for Pepsi consumers. The etched, grip-able bottom allows consumers to have a more stimulating, tactile interaction with the bottle itself."Continue reading...

package design

Looking for Closure: Twist-Ties, Plastic Clips Battle for Market Share

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 13, 2013 07:12 PM

An age-old battle rages on, pinning two unsuspecting objects against each other and forcing consumers to choose: Would you rather twist or clip?

Apparently, the "reclosure" market is quite hot, as the smallest plastic packaging details continue to fight for real estate along America's bread shelves. While there is no available sales data for the country's largest manufacturers of plastic closures (they're privately held), there is a consensus among industry leaders that places the twist-tie on top of the pile. 

“We feel, based on surveys we’ve done, that the twist-tie is consumer-preferred, but of course the clip people will tell you the same thing about their product,” Beth Radloff, marketing specialist for Bedford Industries, a Minnesota-based firm that’s the largest twist-tie manufacturer for the U.S. bakery market, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Despite a lack of attention, the $10 million industry is the focus of an ongoing tug-of-war as brands flip-flop between packaging closures.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Danone, Unilever Rank High on Global Nutrition Index

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 12, 2013 03:38 PM

Danone, Unilever and Nestlé top the list in the first edition of the global Access to Nutrition Index as the three best global brands offering products that address obesity and poor nutrition.

The report reviews 25 of the world's major food and beverage manufacturers across corporate nutrition-related policies, formulation of healthier, affordable products, informative nutrition labeling and responsible marketing.

"Obesity and undernutrition affect billions of people and threaten a global health catastrophe,” said Inge Kauer, Executive Director of ATNI. “The Access to Nutrition Index is an urgent call to action for food and beverage manufacturers to integrate improved nutrition into their business strategies.” 

The Index, developed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, a non-profit with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, ranked the top 10:Continue reading...

sip on this

New York's Big Soda Ban Overturned; Bloomberg Vows to Appeal

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 11, 2013 09:22 PM

It was doomed to fail, writes the Guardian. Even New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg acknowledged, "When we began this process, we knew we’d face lawsuits." He added, "When you adopt a groundbreaking policy, special interest will sue. That's America."

So the overturning by New York State judge Milton Tingling of Bloomberg's proposed ban on sugary beverages above 16 ounces, which was due to go into effect on Tuesday before being dismissed as "arbitrary" and "capricious" by Tingling, didn't come as a complete surprise.Continue reading...

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