in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 13, 2012 09:58 AM
As many as 25,000 people died in India back in 1984 due to the Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal, and residents are still understandably upset about the experience that left many without family members, spouses, or friends.
In 1999, Carbide was bought by Dow Chemical, a purchase that Dow execs are likely muttering about to one another these days. The lasting unhappiness with Union is now being manifested in what seems to be a growing protest against Dow having anything to do with this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
Dow has forked over big bucks to be a top-tier IOC sponsor and was all set to “wrap” the main London 2012 Olympic stadium in a massive banner as part of its deal. However, the company responded to activists last month by scrapping to scraps its plans for the stadium wrap. That, apparently, has not been enough.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 6, 2012 12:09 PM
The gay-rights movement was kicked off back in 1969 when a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a hangout for the gay community of the time, in New York’s Greenwich Village was met with outrage, protest, and violence. More than 40 years later, New York is getting its first gay, but “straight-friendly,” hotel.
The Out NYC is scheduled to open in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood on March 1. Hotelchatter.com reports that room prices start at $229 a night, although there is actually a cheaper option. The Out also has $99 “Sleep Share” rooms that will have you sharing your room with three other people. Don’t worry, you each get your own bed, TV, privacy curtains, and “a cubby to store your belongings,” the site reports.
The Out will have its own nightclub (partially put together by the creators of New York’s legendary Roxy), restaurant, and 5,000-square-foot fitness center along with three courtyards, one of which the hotel suggests would be good for a wedding now that gay marriage is legal in the state of New York.
Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 4, 2012 11:01 AM
In the branding world, Las Vegas stands out as a city so well known that it is in a class by itself. The hotel brands that occupy the Vegas strip are just as famously iconic, so it's a rare event when one of them changes its name.
But on Tuesday, some Sin City visitors may have thought an extended New Year's hangover had them seeing things. That's when the long-standing Hilton name was removed from the Las Vegas Hilton and a new marquee appeared: The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
Opened as the International Hotel in 1969, the property soon became the Las Vegas Hilton when the hotel chain bought it in 1971. But last year, financial troubles led to the hotel-casino seeking to end its agreement with Hilton, and new ownership took effect this year.
The new owners, an investor group that includes Colony Capital LLC, were determined the hotel will remain open for business without any big changes beyond a new name and website (indeed, Flavor Flav used the hotel to launch his vodka before the holiday, LeFlav Straight Up). However, guests staying at the hotel can no longer take advantage of Hilton's hotel loyalty program.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 23, 2011 10:01 AM
The New York Tourism Board has been busy this year, between offering same-sex marriage vacation packages or counting every last visitor that’s come into the Big Apple. That last one has paid off.
The city this week named its honorary 50 millionth visitor in 2011: actually, two of them, a British couple, named Craig Johnson and Lucy Foulger, who were in town to get married at Rockefeller Center. For their efforts, the pair got to spend an hour with Mayor Michael Bloomberg in lovely Times Square. But that’s not all!Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 20, 2011 02:04 PM
Imagine handing your Twitter account over to a stranger. Now imagine a country handing over its Twitter feed to a citizen. Crowdsourcing digital communications has reached a new level as @Sweden hands over the official Swedish Twitter account to one of its citizens for a week.
The social public engagement project, called Curators of Sweden, was devised by the Swedish Institute and VisitSweden, both part of NSU, the National Board for the promotion of Sweden.
“No one owns the brand of Sweden more than its people. With this initiative we let them show their Sweden to the world,” says Thomas Brühl, CEO of the country’s tourism agency VisitSweden who has been updating the account since January 2009.
Hasan Ramic (at top) is the Twitter citizen (or as we're calling it, Twitizen) of the week, who has been given access to Sweden's national Twitter account to share his recommendations and opinions (in English) about his country and his nine million Swedish brethren.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2011 02:02 PM
When it was announced in August that Dow Chemical planned to spend $10.8 million to have its name emblazoned in a fabric wrap around London’s Olympic stadium for the Games next summer, there was an angry outcry, particularly by athletes and Olympic organizers in India.
After all, it was there that the Dow subsidiary Union Carbide leaked enough gas and chemicals to kill approximately 15,000 and leave many others sick back in 1984. There was even talk that the Indian Olympic team would boycott the Games, but that was rejected on Saturday.
Dow didn’t own Union then, but Indian residents are feeling the fallout and Dow’s name doesn’t exactly inspire the Olympic spirit in many Indian residents. Now TheHindu.com reports that Dow has “agreed to remove all its branding from the London Olympic stadium.”Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on December 19, 2011 12:02 PM
Sherlock Holmes' methods may be unorthodox, but they are profitable. The modern, guns-blazing, action-packed kung-fu adaptation of the legendary literary character unraveled the secrets to the box office this weekend, raking in $40 million.
Naturally, while it did have some unexpected tie-ins, product placements were likely to be few and far between in a movie set in 1891. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows did however continue one movie marketing trend of the year: Destinations. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 14, 2011 11:59 AM
At least one geopolitical struggle has eased this holiday season, and a temporary peace reigns — around the Great Lakes, that is. This is because Wisconsin and Michigan appear to have buried the hatchet in their epic struggle over which state has the most legitimate claim to the mitten metaphor to describe the shape of their homeland.
Sounds like big stakes, eh? Well, despite the thorniness of the issue, Michigan and Wisconsin tourism officials today managed to declare a truce in the mitten war and even their joint establishment of a philanthropic effort they're calling The Great Lakes Mitten Campaign.
"We encourage everyone in both states to 'shake hands' and donate mittens to help make this winter a bit warmer for those in need," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said in a press statement announcing a handful of mitten-dropoff sites around the state.Continue reading...