political season

Serving Candidate Ryan: The Politics of Paul Ryan's Beer Brands

Posted by Abe Sauer on August 14, 2012 02:16 PM

"My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, and a little Spotted Cow, Leine's, and some Miller."

That was the Republican Congressman from Wisconsin and potential U.S. vice president Paul Ryan brand-checking a selection of his state's beers during a hometown acceptance speech last weekend.

Like everything else lately in Wisconsin, Ryan's other two selections — Spotted Cow and Leine's — are very much partisan and very unlikely to be found at the same political picnic.Continue reading...

political season

Papa John's CEO Slices Into Obamacare

Posted by Dale Buss on August 13, 2012 10:32 AM

Many U.S. companies, CEOs and their allies in Washington, D.C., have been warning since the end of June that the Supreme Court's upholding of most of Obamacare would impact their financial health. And they indicated that they wouldn't stand by and watch the diminishment of their bottom lines because of it.

Now, the head of one of America's biggest pizza chains, Papa John's, has dropped the other shoe: Directly because of the requirements of Obamacare once the full law takes effect, according to the Huffington Post, Papa John's customers will have to pay 11 to 14 cents more per pizza, or 15 to 20 cents more per order, said John Schnatter.

Papa John's has taken on a higher profile over the last few years, including its buzz-worthy Coin Toss Promotion during the last Super Bowl. And its ascendance has included a very public role in the chain's TV commercials for Schnatter. So he's not exactly trying to maintain a low profile. But Schnatter's direct shot at the employer-carried costs of Obamacare is sure to be noticed.Continue reading...

cola wars

Bolivia Keeps Coca-Cola, Dismisses Foreign Minister Statements

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 10, 2012 10:28 AM

Bolivia was recently rumored to be dispensing with Coca-Cola after this year’s Summer Solstice on Dec. 21 — which wouldn't have been quite the global boost the soda maker was hoping its sponsorship of the Olympics would bring it.

“The twenty-first of December 2012 is the end of selfishness, of division,” Bolivia’s Minister of External Affairs, David Choquehuanca, said according to Forbes. “The twenty-first of December has to be the end of Coca-Cola and the beginning of mocochinche (a local peach-flavored soft drink). The planets will line up after 26,000 years. It is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism.”

The news that Coca-Cola's days might be numbered in a country that had McDonald's evicted in 2002, according to Care2.com, didn't seem entirely beyond the realm of whackiness. But the rumors of any Bolivian marching orders were not only incorrect but "taken out of context," and Coca-Cola execs in the market can rest assured. "Foreign Minister Choquehuanca's statements about Coca-Cola were taken out of context and there is nothing official," Bolivia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Consuelo Ponce told Dow Jones.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson provided the following statement to brandchannel:

"The Coca-Cola Company has been a part of the community in Bolivia, generating jobs, generating income for thousands of customers, suppliers and workers, and refreshing people since 1941. Additionally, we support education and other initiatives that create positive social impact in the community. Like the Bolivian economy, our business has been growing steadily and we have plans to continue our investments and growth in the coming years."

That's good news for the nation of 11 million consumers, where “consumption of Coca-Cola products has tripled in Bolivia since 2001 and has increased notably in all Latin American countries.” And it's not like Bolivia needs any more bad press with anything that remotely sounds like "coke."

brands under fire

GLAAD Kiss-In Caps Wild Week for Chick-fil-A

Posted by Dale Buss on August 3, 2012 03:39 PM

The numbers were probably stacked against them from the start, but Friday's protest of Chick-fil-A by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) didn't turn out nearly as many participants in the planned LGBT "Kiss-in" as the chain was able to generate at former Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee's nationwide "Appreciation Day" for the restaurant chain on Wednesday.

Or gauging by another measure, by mid-afternoon Friday, nearly 14,000 Facebook users had subscribed to GLAAD's "National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A" event, while some 630,000 subscribed to Wednesday's "appreciation day," according to a report by Politico.com.

And while Politico reported that the "kiss-ins appear to have occurred without incident" in Chick-fil-A restaurants, there was one ugly scene: The exterior of a Chick-fil-A in Torrance, Calif., was defaced with graffiti reading, "Tastes Like Hate."Continue reading...

chew on this

At Least PepsiCo Can Spoon With Gov. Cuomo, if not Bloomberg, in New York

Posted by Dale Buss on August 2, 2012 02:55 PM

The need for jobs in a job-starved America can create some interesting political dynamics. Witness how New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is going out of his way today to praise practically every other politician in the state for having anything to do with bringing new PepsiCo jobs in yogurt-making to upstate — and implicitly thumbling his nose at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has put PepsiCo on the Most Wanted list with his proposed big-soda ban.

"This is a new New York State, partnering with the private sector to create jobs and grow new industries," Cuomo said in a PepsiCo press release today. He's been notably lauded even by some Republicans for making economic development (tagline: "New York - Open for Business") a priority of his administration, including a high-profile TV campaign promoting economic investments in New York State, with not only PepsiCo but Fage bringing their yogurt works to upstate New York.Continue reading...

political season

Socialection 2012: Twitter, Google and Soundcloud Get Their Politics On

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 1, 2012 04:52 PM

Adam Sharp, Head of Government, News and Social Innovation at Twitter, is calling the 2012 presidential race “the Twitter election.” Given the plethora of digital ways of connecting and pulse-taking, it should more accurately be called the 2012 Socialection.

Let's start with Sharp's employer, which today announced its new sentiment analysis tracking of its users. The new Twitter Political Index is a social Gallup Poll, taking the daily pulse on users’ feelings towards the two candidates between now and November 2nd. Each candidate’s Index will be updated daily after 8 p.m. ET capturing the day’s trending conversations along with an historical chart, while partner Topsy will be posting its daily analysis, and USA Today has created the USA Today/Twitter election meter to run through the election. 

“More Tweets are sent every two days today than had ever been sent prior to Election Day 2008 — and Election Day 2008’s Tweet volume represents only about six minutes of Tweets today,” Sharp blogged. “For the first time, it’s possible to measure conversations that just an election cycle ago were limited to coffee shops, dinner tables and water coolers.”Continue reading...

brands under fire

Chick-fil-A Day Lures Same-Sex Marriage Foes as GLAAD Gears Up Friday Protest

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2012 03:12 PM

If Mike Huckabee ever runs for U.S. president again, he’ll be sure to get the Chick-fil-A vote. The former Arkansas governor suggested that consumers go eat at the fast-food chain in order to show their appreciation for the organization’s disdain for same-sex marriage. 

Chick-fil-A pulled in $12.7 million a day in 2011, according to ESPN’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell. And that’s without doing any business on Sundays, since the chain closes down in case its workers want to attend church.

Observers on both sides will be paying close attention to how much traffic and how many dollars Chick-fil-A pulls in today. (According to Huckabee's podcast and BuzzFeed's report, Chick-fil-A restaurants saw line-ups across the country.) But the chain will also get a few customers on Friday as well, CNN reports, when GLAAD is encouraging same-sex couples to visit Chick-fil-A’s across America to protest with a "Kiss Day" public display of affection.Continue reading...

political season

Obama Campaign Slogan Punctuates, Deflates, Reinflates in Ongoing Debate

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 31, 2012 02:14 PM

President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign video, released in April, introduced his rallying cry and slogan, “Forward.” But since that day, grammarians, pundits, conservatives and scores more have weighed in on the pros and cons of adding that simple, powerful period at the end of the word.

"It's like 'forward, now stop,' " commented Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the National Economic Council and an Obama advisor, to the Wall Street Journal. ”It could be worse. It could be 'Forward' comma," which would make it raise the question: 'and now what?'"

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney mocked the slogan, telling a fundraiser in May, “‘Forward,’ what, over the cliff?”Continue reading...

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