Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 6, 2013 06:49 PM
In a deal that looks to dramatically change the complexion of the media business, U.S.-based Liberty Global will buy the U.K.'s Virgin Media to create a broadband company that will supplant Comcast as the world's biggest cable operator.
The $23 billion deal, if approved, will give Liberty Global a strong foothold in the UK. In an intriguing twist, it will also pit Liberty Global's John Malone against his former partner, the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who operates British Sky Broadcasting (widely known as "BSkyB"). BSkyB has been a bright spot in an otherwise difficult time or Murdoch.
"This deal is good news for the company, its customers and our people," commented another media titan: Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur who founded the Virgin empire. "Together, Liberty Global and Virgin Media are in a great position to shake up the industry and bring the full power of digital technology to UK consumers."
The largest media acquisition of its kind since 2007 "will make the U.K. the ring for a straight slug fest between two global pay-TV heavyweights, John Malone and Rupert Murdoch, as they battle for UK fixed broadband, fixed voice and pay-TV subscribers," according to Adrian Drury, principal analyst at the global consulting firm Ovum.Continue reading...
ready for takeoff
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 2, 2013 02:52 PM
It's a safe bet that the unabashedly iconoclastic head of the Virgin empire, Richard Branson, will continue to raise eyebrows in 2013, just as he has done in years past. The latest Virgin Atlantic branding campaign, the airline's first in two years, is just the latest example of Branson brashness that's quite out of the ordinary.
In a two-minute commercial that could pass for an X-Men trailer (and which Adweek calls "stylish, fantastical, tongue-in-cheek"), Virgin Atlantic has fun showing how a group of extraordinary children grow up to be extraordinary employees with superhuman abilities at an airline that is "flying in the face of ordinary." The global spot (watch below) will run in 30-, 60-, and 90-minute television commercials, with elements adapted for digital and cinema use, and slyly references the brand's wannabe-superhuman founder.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2012 08:57 AM
Delta buys 49% of Virgin Atlantic, as Virgin's Aer Lingus hookup mocked by Ryanair and Branson bets on future of the brand. American Airlines, meanwhile, says decision on pursuing US Airways merger is coming soon.
HSBC to pay record U.S. penalty on money laundering.
Diageo terminates talks on "future" of Jose Cuervo.
AIG shares yield $7.6 billion to U.S. government, boosting taxpayers' overall profit to nearly $23 billion.
AOL postpones premiere of hip-hop-inspired TV ad.
Boeing faces revived concerns about 787.
Burberry launches Christmas events and global review.
Burger King expands digital marketing.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2012 09:01 AM
Apple plans limited US manufacturing as it lands back in court with Samsung and baffles Eric Schmidt.
Starbucks agrees to pay more UK tax, capitulating to criticism.
Rolls-Royce is caught in bribery probe in UK.
AmEx works on social engagement that closes the loop with consumers.
AT&T is on track for record smartphone sales.
Barclays Africa is sold to Absa in $2.1 billion transaction.
Bob Marley trademark spat settled as 'relaxation drink' comes under fire.
Deutsche Bank is probed by SEC.
Dish will start selling mobile phones at its Blockbuster movie rental stores.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 14, 2012 05:17 PM
As the Red Bull press release states, "Mission Accomplished."
About 7.3 milion people were watching Sunday as Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner reattempted and nailed the Red Bull Stratos extreme skyjump, freefalling more than 128,000 feet to Earth at 1,342.8 kilometers per hour. He broke the sound barrier but no bones, and garnered congratulatory tweets from NASA and fellow daredevil Richard Branson, and an amusing tribute from Nestle's KitKat. (Update: YouTube reported more than 8 million concurrent livestreams, smashing all previous records, resulting in about 12.6 million viewers including Discovery Channel.)
Red Bull summed up its record-breaking, and latest, extreme sports stunt:Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2012 11:06 AM
Can Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner break the sound barrier by falling from the edge of space? That is the question on everyone's mind as Baumgartner, backed by Red Bull, attempts to become the first human to break the sound barrier unaided by a vehicle.
In a huge leap (literally) for science and brand sponsorships, Red Bull is funding the historic attempt that will see Baumgartner jump out of a balloon above Roswell, New Mexico. He plans to the jump from a height of over 120,000 feet, and will be free-falling towards earth at an estimated 700mph, as soon as the high winds let him actually make the jump. Watch for updates on Twitter and live here. (Update: Today's mission was cancelled "due to strong winds" and has been rescheduled for Oct. 14.)
Like Baumgartner, the execs at Red Bull like to help folks break boundaries. Whether it is helping a few people rave into the wee hours, funding the creation of one of the most incredible Rube Goldberg-esque bits of tomfoolery ever, expanding its flavor menu or funding a daredevil's plunge nearly 23 miles to Earth, Red Bull seems game for, well, pretty much anything.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 19, 2012 03:20 PM
Tesco CEO Philip Clarke told the World Retail Congress in London today that the "tectonic plates are shifting" in retail and residual from financial woes in the euro zone is requiring companies to adopt new technologies or lose their competitive edge.
"We are in the first downturn of the digital age," Clarke stated, adding "consumption is weakening" in China, Thailand and South Korea, regions previously earmarked for growth but reeling from economic turmoil in Europe. "[These economies] are vulnerable to the crisis in the euro zone, as well as inflation caused by high commodity prices.
"Digital technology gives us the opportunity for a warmer, more meaningful conversation with our customers, local communities, our colleagues and the suppliers we work with.” That's why Clarke, who started as Tesco CEO in March 2011, has just launched a corporate blog, Talking Shop, in an effort to build trust and, as he puts it, "explain what we are thinking and how we see the world."
He's not much of a tweeter, though he likes writing bylined op-ed pieces (such as this week's FT column). So why blog?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 6, 2012 09:46 AM
Richard Branson's Virgin America airline is doing it again, shaking up the status quo with its latest 'Originals' experience campaign featuring some of the airline's Elevate frequent flyers, and with more hailing from Silicon Valley than Hollywood.
"For years, flying domestically had largely become a dismal, uninspired experience. When Virgin America launched, the idea that a domestic airline could reinvent that experience – through technology, design and entertainment – was still a pretty radical notion," stated Luanne Calvert, VP Marketing at Virgin America.Continue reading...