bc q&a

Fur Real: 5 Questions with Brandi Halls, LUSH Cosmetics, on #MakeFurHistory

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2014 10:32 AM

Cruelty-free cosmetics brand LUSH is reaching beyond the make-up counter to its very brand ethos with its latest anti-cruelty campaign, which targets the harsh realities of the fur industry. 

Nearly 500 international fashion designers—including Mulberry, Gucci and Fendi—showcase fur in their collections, and many use fur from the 100 million animals who are mistreated and then killed for their pelts annually, worldwide.

Mimi Bekhechi, PETA UK’s associate director, said of the fur industry, “With all the chic, cruelty-free options available on every high street, including ones which are warmer to boot, it is not only cruel but also utterly pointless to steal animals’ skins. Those who cater to every fashion whim with no sense of ethics are a dying breed.”

To bring awareness to the consumers that are most unaware of these facts, LUSH's campaign is cleverly centered around an online shopping hack.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Huawei Announces First US Sports Team Sponsorship: The Washington Redskins

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2014 04:11 PM

Washington's NFL team, which bears an increasingly controversial moniker, has found itself a new friend—with deep pockets.

Huawei Enterprise USA, the American division of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications and network equipment provider that is the third largest cell-phone manufacturer on the globe, has announced a multiyear sponsorship of the Washington Redskins.

The tech giant, which debuted at No. 94 as the first Chinese brand to make brandchannel owner Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report, is also now the “Official Technology Partner” of the team, according to a press release.Continue reading...

retail

Toys"R"Us Backs Down on Breaking Bad Toy Line [Updated]

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 21, 2014 09:31 AM

Toys"R"Us is under fire for stocking a line of action figures based on the Emmy Award-winning TV series, Breaking Bad.

“After all, nothing quite says holiday shopping like a bendable, fully costumed figurine of Walter White—the murderous chemistry teacher turned crystal meth manufacturer—and Jesse Pinkman, his former student and current bag man,” TIME quipped.

“And you want accessories? We’ve got accessories—including a duffle bag stuffed with imaginary cash and a plastic bag of, yes, faux crystal meth for White.”

It all started with a Florida mom's Change.org petition, which gathered thousands of signatures.Continue reading...

retail

Walmart Plans to Shore Up Stores, E-Commerce—and Take Action on Wages

Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2014 01:01 PM

For Walmart and its relatively new CEO Doug McMillon, the future is about the challenge of managing the gaps. The gap between $15 an hour and $7.25 an hour in wages. The gap between Amazon's commanding presence in e-commerce and Walmart's footprint so far. And even the gap between the company's performance and McMillon's own expectations.

"There is no excuse for us not to be doing better," McMillon told investors this week at a meeting in Walmart's home state of Arkansas, as Walmart cut its forecast for sales growth in the current fiscal year to between 2 percent and 3 percent from a prevoius range of 3 percent to 5 percent.

In outlining his growth strategy to the investment community McMillon stated, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, "I really believe our future is bright. There are so many ideas percolating around."

One of them involves accelerating the company's investments in e-commerce. But many challenges keep surfacing as well.Continue reading...

brands under fire

LEGO Protests Go Global as Greenpeace Targets Shell Partnership

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 29, 2014 02:19 PM

As part of an ongoing effort by Greenpeace, more than 50 children protested today outside Shell’s London headquarters, building three massive LEGO Arctic animals while Greenpeace volunteers and parents looked on. The peaceful protest, which has spread to the US, is in response to LEGO's partnership with Shell on branded block sets that have been sold at gas stations in 33 countries—one of the largest promotional lines that LEGO has ever produced.

Since 2012, Shell's Arctic program has been under fire by environmental NGOs and regulators as its two drilling vessels, Noble Discoverer and Kulluk, both failed to meet pollution limits set by the US Clean Air Act. Nearly 700,000 people have signed a Greenpeace petition calling on the toy maker to end its deal with the oil brand. 

“Children are leading this playful protest because global warming, and what’s happening in the Arctic, is an enormous threat facing all children,” said Elena Polisano, Arctic campaigner at Greenpeace, in a press release. “LEGO is adored by kids, and it has a responsibility to look out for them. It’s unethical for LEGO to partner with any company that’s threatening kids’ future. LEGO’s endorsement of Shell is incredibly damaging because it helps Shell hide its role in the threat to the Arctic.”Continue reading...

brand strategy

In Vermont, Unilever Fights—and Ben & Jerry's Funds—Anti-GMO Activism

Posted by Dale Buss on June 16, 2014 01:51 PM

Ben & Jerry’s may be taking hits from fans over recent recipe changes, but the original foodie ice-cream brand is sticking with its progressive DNA and eliminating some 110 sources of ingredients that contain GMOs. The move echoes the ambitions of the brand's home state, Vermont, which recently became the first US state to mandate GMO labeling.

The move by Ben & Jerry’s also puts the Unilever-owned brand in interesting opposition to the expressed stand of its global parent company, which along with other members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association in the US is suing Vermont over the new law.

But this is the kind of cultural tension that Unilever signed up for when it acquired Ben & Jerry’s from founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield for $326 million in 2000. At the time, Unilever promised a hands-off policy concerning Ben & Jerry’s social consciousness, and by all accounts the acquiring company has basically complied with that promise over the years.

But the GMO issue is a new kind of test on the unique relationship. Ben & Jerry’s revealed last year that it planned to eliminate all GMO ingredients from its products, and has since become a major supporter of the new Vermont law that is being challenged in court by major CPG brands under the GMA umbrella. In fact, activists have called for a boycott on all GMA members' products—of which Ben & Jerry's is included.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Protests Fail to Slow World Cup as Brands Press On with Promos

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 13, 2014 03:31 PM

Come hell or violent protests, nothing is stopping the World Cup train from running wild through Brazil. Thousands of protestors and police donning riot gear clashed in the streets of Sao Paulo in the ongoing battle over exorbitant spending on the major tournament by the Brazilian government and the millions being spent by brands sponsoring the event. 

Despite the shadow strewn across the World Cup, brands are rolling on with their elaborate and expensive campaigns, sponsors or not. Pepsi, whose rival Coke is the major beverage sponsor of the tournament, just released a new short film directed by Spike Lee featuring a World Cup-themed song from Kelly Rowland. The film is part of Pepsi’s Beats of the Beautiful Game project, which consists of a short films and a music album featuring stars like Janelle Monáe, Timbaland and the all-girl Brazilian funk band Pearls Negras.

In addition, Pepsi has teamed up with Dutch consumer electronics brand Band & Olufsen to release a limited-edition headphones as part of its soccer-themed Live for Now capsule collection. The headphones have street-art patterns on the underside with black, white or Pepsi blue on top, according to Stylus.com.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Global Day of Fast Food Labor Protests Hits QSR Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2014 07:11 PM

Is the fast-food business model creaking under the weight of new wage protests? “Living-wage” advocates hope so after today's global demonstrations in support of better pay and workers' rights, billed as the biggest fast food strike ever.

On Thursday, labor and union activists and Occupy Wall Street alumni, as well as thousands of fast-food workers who walked off their jobs, came together to protest at least 17 major QSR chains in some 30 countries, calling for wages of $15 an hour as well as a right to form a union, organized by a group calling themselves Fast Food Forward.

The movement, which has its roots in the US where one-day protests have occured in over 150 cities for the last 18 months, stalled sales at fast-food outlets around the world as protesters demonstrated in front of restaurants, on sidewalks and inside malls, some even donning Ronald McDonald costumes.Continue reading...

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