campaigns

Madonna Hopes 'Secret Project' Will Promote Expression, End Oppression

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 4, 2013 05:22 PM

Ever in the limelight, these days Madonna is increasingly using her celebrity stature for social activism, with her latest initiative introduced via a 17-minute film, Secret Project Revolution. The film unveils the star's Art for Freedom project—a initiative that serves to elevate any and all forms of expression.

"My goal is to show by the example of secretprojectrevolution my creative commitment to inspire change in the world through artistic expression," Madonna said, according to USA Today. "I hope my film and other submissions to Art For Freedom will be a call-to-action and give people a place to voice their own creative expression to help fight oppression, intolerance and complacency."

In partnership with VICE Magazine and BitTorrent, the public art initiative will live online and be open to submissions worldwide, which will aim to answer the questions, "What does freedom mean to you?" Submissions via social media can be tagged with #ArtForFreedom.Continue reading...

media and politics

Food Marketers Convene in Washington as First Lady Continues Health Crusade

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 19, 2013 07:46 PM

Michelle Obama is shamelessly using the power of her pulpit in the best tradition of Dolley Madison, Eleanor Roosevelt and Hilary Clinton, among others. 

The First Lady convened a White House summit that focused on food marketing to kids—a move in line with her ongoing Let's Move initiative and support of healthy food consumption. Members of the media and entertainment executives, food industry representatives and public interest group leaders gathered to discuss curbing junk food ads and restricting iconic kids' TV characters from appearing in spots for unhealthy products.  

“I’m here today with one simple request and that is to do even more and move even faster to market responsibly to our kids,” and to “empower parents instead of undermining them," Obama said in an address to attendeesContinue reading...

brand challenges

Walmart Ready to Re-Up Plans After D.C. Mayor Vetoes "Living Wage" Bill

Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2013 04:47 PM

Walmart has won a huge victory for its business model, brand and worldview with the vetoing of the "living wage" bill today by Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray.

The Large Retailer Accountability Act, nicknamed a living-wage measure, would have mandated that big-box stores like Walmart pay about 50 percent more to their workers inside the District than the city's minimum wage, or about $12.50 compared with $8.25.

Walmart, along with other big-box retailers and business allies argued that the measure would actually hurt economic development and income in the city by forcing Walmart's withdrawal from its existing store development plans there and eliminating thousands of existing and potential jobs in some economically depressed zones. 

The company argued that its absence would further harm low-income residents by depriving them of the low prices that the retailer and others specialize in. There's also the argument about fresh-produce "deserts" in central cities that, in part, are being filled in by new Walmarts.Continue reading...

political brands

Standard & Poor's Takes On Ultimate Heavyweight, Countering Uncle Sam Suit

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2013 03:51 PM

If you're going to trade punches with Uncle Sam, you'd better be able to pack a wallop. It isn't clear yet if Standard & Poor's Ratings Services will prove to bring a haymaker in its new action against the federal government, but it clearly is engaged in a heavyweight fight.

To wit: S&P has sued the government because the feds filed a $5 billion lawsuit against S&P in what S&P is calling "retaliation" for the company's downgrade of America's debt in 2011. The United States had accused S&P of misrepresenting its rating process in the years before the financial crisis to federally insured banks and credit unions that were buying debt, a charge that S&P has called "meritless."

Now S&P, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., alleges that the governent's suit amounts to an attempt to breach free speech, which a Justice Department spokeswoman called a "preposterous" charge, according to the Wall Street Journal. So the sides can be considered even in their "well-I-never" rhetoric.Continue reading...

see you in court

New York State AG Sues Trump Over Phony School, but The Donald Won't Go Quietly

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 26, 2013 05:37 PM

Billy Crystal once joked that Donald Trump was the only person who could look at the New York City skyline and say, “Got it. Got it. Ain’t got it. Got it. Need it. Got it." Nowadays, though, the business magnate known for his strong personality (and other, whispier things) seems to pile up problems as quickly as real-estate deals.

His latest is a lawsuit from New York state’s attorney general, who is seeking $40 million in damages after over 5,000 people paid money to learn Trump's business acumen at his Trump Entrepreneur Institute, once known as Trump University (before it was discredited as such).Continue reading...

First Lady Michelle Obama Joins Hip-Hop Royalty for Get Healthy Album

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 14, 2013 07:16 PM

First Lady Michelle Obama has leant her lean muscle and healthier living initiative “Let’s Move!” to a hip-hop album with Partnership for a Healthier America and Hip Hop Public Health.

The 19-track album, “Songs for a Healthier America,” features multi-genre artists including Ashanti, DMC, Jordin Sparks, Doug E. Fresh, Matisyahu, Ariana Grande and Blink-182's Travis Barker, as well as the New York Knicks Iman Schumpert and Nils Lofgren of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.Continue reading...

political brands

Twitter Joins Fellow Tech Giants on the Hill with Debut of Twitter#PAC

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2013 03:02 PM

With 200 million active users, Twitter, a self-described "digital town square" is taking its views to Washington with its first political action committee, appropriately dubbed Twitter#PAC. 

Joining Google, Facebook and Microsoft, the microblogger will lobby on privacy, internet freedom, net neutrality, and copyright and patent reform, according to a Lobbying Registration form filed by William Carty, who will be Twitter’s first lobbyist, based in the company's D.C. office. 

Carty was most recently a policy director in the Senate's commerce committee and will be joined by Nu Wexler as the company's policy spokesperson, most recently a staffer with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).Continue reading...

political brands

PAC Men: Twitter Hires Lobbyist as Zuckerberg Moves FWD.us

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 9, 2013 04:44 PM

Just as Twitter launches its own PAC (Twitter#PAC, naturally) and hires its first lobbyist (Will Carty) in Washington, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's super-PAC, FWD.us, has had a rough go of it since its launch.

With the backing of numerous Silicon Valley big-wigs and a hard focus on immigration reform, the group has fielded criticism from liberal grassroots organizations including Progressives United, CREDO, the Sierra Club, the Daily Kos and Democracy for America, all of which pulled their ads from Facebook after FWD.us began running ads for the Keystone Pipeline, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and attacks on Obamacare. 

It's been said that the super-PAC "doesn’t understand the tech industry,” and in turn is alienating the core of the Democratic party. In response, the group has tried to revamp its image through enlightening TV spots and videos. The latest, "Serve," follows immigrant Alejandro Morales and his fight to join the US Marines—an ambition which is blocked by his undocumented status.Continue reading...

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