Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 11:52 AM
As restaurant brand executives cut jobs and announced their intentions to raise prices in the wake of President Obama's re-election, no one can say they weren't forewarned.
Chains such as Papa John's are explicitly tying their actions to the costs of Obamacare, while other brands — including GE Healthcare and Virgin Airlines — also are announcing job cuts as a result of their expectations for a continuation of U.S. economic sluggishness in the wake of the voting results.
Papa John's CEO John Schnatter has been the most outspoken. The Mitt Romney backer has said that he'll raise the price of a pizza pie by 10 to 14 cents as well as slash employee hours — but it's not, he says, because of the two million pizzas he's giving away, but due to the cotss of Obamacare. He's not alone. A Denny's franchisee in Florida, John Metz, said that he plans to add a five-percent surcharge to his customers' bills and also to reduce his employees' hours.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 14, 2012 12:03 PM
"Cher joins 400,000" is not an x-rated film for the AARP set — it's a headline trumpeting news that the singer/actress has signed a petition lobbying Macy's to "dump Trump."
Following Donald Trump's harsh comments against Barack Obama, including a $5 million offer to see the president's passport application and college transcripts, a "boycott Trump" effort has been growing. Macy's CEO was drawn into the fray after protesters zoomed in on Trump's "birther" comments its holiday campaign (top).
Trump's answer to anyone who opposes him is typically a metaphorical version of "you're fired." It's an impotent response to a boycott effort as impotent as Trump's hair piece.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 13, 2012 04:17 PM
Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act no longer faces any obstacles to becoming the law of the land, now that last week's elections solidified Democrats' hold on the U.S. Senate. But private companies will continue to react to the realities of health-care costs in the interests of their own businesses, to the extent they can and for as long as they can.
Take Walmart: Just after the elections, the nation's largest retailer has announced hikes in the cost of workers' health-care coverage of 8 percent to 36 percent because of the rising prices of medical services and health insurance. And some of Walmart's 1.4 million U.S. employees already have reacted by considering dropping their own coverage, according to CNBC.
The cost of Walmart's most popular health-insurance plan, for example, will go up by $2 per paycheck, or 13 percent. Still, overall, Walmart said that average costs its employees will bear for the coverage should only rise by about 4 percent in 2013 because the company has eliminated some high-premium plans and trimmed some services.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 13, 2012 11:17 AM
"It's belittling her experience with firearms and her experience. She is a West Point grad."
So went part of a statement to brandchannel by Robert Farago, publisher of the popular gun blog The Truth About Guns. Farago was speaking of a new New York Times profile of Paula Broadwell — disgraced biographer and former mistress of former CIA Director David Petraeus —that referred to the author as "a model for a machine gun manufacturer." Farago further called ther Times assessment "condescending."
Watch the promotional video for Kriss, the "machine gun manufacturer" in question, featuring Broadwell and it's hard not to agree. Then again, Broadwell's own LinkedIn account lists her as a "demonstrator/model for Kriss." Broadwell's speaker bio for the "The PPL" — a media space attached to the Sept. 2012 Democratic National Convention — notes that she is "a sponsored 1/2 Ironman Triathlete and a female model/demonstrator for KRISS (.45 caliber machine gun manufacturer)." It's a detail that her Penguin publishing bio, however, lacks.
The Broadwell scandal comes as the Kriss brand is having its best year ever. After appearing in The Avengers, the Kriss Vector took other starring roles in the hands of athletic women like Kate Beckinsale in 2012 hits Total Recall and in Resident Evil: Retribution. (Milla Jovovich even shot a promotional video shooting a Kriss, not unlike Broadwell's promo.)
Now, Kriss is getting even more name recognition thanks to its attachment to the author who helped bring down, in the NYT's words, "the nation’s top spy."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 9, 2012 02:57 PM
It's hard to think of a brand that is more in crisis today than the Republican Party. Not even JCPenney or Groupon, Kodak or BlackBerry come close.
The dimensions of the licking that the Grand Old Party took at the polls on Tuesday are still unfolding, but Republican leaders and rank-and-file members alike are trying to figure out, exactly, just where they go from here.
They certainly wasted little time in getting started. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, already was communicating via social media in the wee hours of Wednesday that his party needs a new outreach to Hispanics and other minorities — but one based on the appeal of conservative principles such as the importance of the family and hard work.
Beyond that basic formula, there's little agreement within the party ranks about where and how Republicans need to proceed in order to bolster the flagging morale of partisans, try to make back some of the lost ground in elections in 2014 and, of course, ultimately do better in capturing the White House in 2016 when two-term President Obama can't run again.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2012 12:54 PM
In an historic victory, Maryland upheld the legalization of same-sex marriage yesterday and the city of Baltimore has jumped on board with a dedicated microsite for same-sex couples eager to get hitched, just as New York State reached out to LGBT couples looking to get married last year.
All the details are in one place, such as how to obtain a marriage license, wedding venues and vendors, and information on TAG-approved accommodations. "We encourage the LGBT community to visit Baltimore to celebrate their commitments to one another," said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore. "As a city, we have long been proud to support the rights and equality of our visitors, and the legalization of same-sex marriage is another important step forward."
The Maryland referendum (Question 6) asked voters in the state's general election on November 6 to vote "For" or "Against" the Civil Marriage Protection Act, passed by the Maryland General Assembly in February 2012 and signed on March 1, 2012, by Governor Martin O'Malley permitting same-sex couples to marry beginning January 1, 2013.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 8, 2012 11:12 AM
President Obama's "Four more years" victory tweet has become the most retweeted tweet in the history of tweets (sorry, Bieber). Attached to Obama's historic tweet, a photo of the First Lady, arms thrown around the president, who wears rolled-up sleeves and a wristwatch. But what watch?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2012 09:21 AM
It’s a great day for President Obama, and a pretty good one for Nate Silver as well, the political prognosticator and statistician for the New York Times whose model proved accurate – where Gallup’s, among others, did not. As Buzzfeed quipped, "Nate Silver Wins the Election."
Here’s how right he was: correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states yesterday, predicted Obama winning Virginia and Florida by very small margins and projected Obama would win the popular vote by 2%. The only race he missed: Montana's senate race.
“The real loser last night, outside of Mitt Romney and Republicans of course, was the political pundit class,” notes the Examiner. “The pundits have lost credibility as they swear up and down on the eve of the election that the polls must be wrong. Anything can happen, but in 2016 readers would best put their confidence in hard poll numbers as opposed to the “gut feeling” of someone on a cable news network.”
Formerly a standalone website, Silver's data-crunching FiveThirtyEight blog drew huge traffic for the NYTimes.com, which licensed it for three years in 2010. Turns out the controversy his predictions engendered brought supporters and critics to his site – like moths to the light – a best-of-breed example on the power of personal branding.Continue reading...