truth in advertising
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 29, 2013 04:08 PM
Trouble is brewing between Kraft Foods and Starbucks. The one-time partners have turned courtroom rivals over the $6.6 billion ground coffee category and the former’s advertising claims for its Gevalia Kaffe brand, which Kraft touts as "an exclusively smooth yet rich coffee experience that has been perfected by Swedes since 1853."
In its latest Gevalia campaign, Kraft says a blind third-party taste test “found nearly 60 percent of coffee drinkers preferred Gevalia's House Blend over Starbucks House Blend, versus 34 percent favoring the latter.”
Kraft’s premium coffee brand is leveraging its commissioned survey of U.S. adults to the hilt with its new TV campaign featuring a Swede named Johan, who is seen in the coffee aisle at a grocery store telling shoppers about the taste test while standing next to displays of ready to take home packages of Gevalia and Starbucks coffee.Continue reading...
media and politics
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 26, 2013 02:21 PM
In the aftermath of the massacre of 20 young schoolchildren and six school staffers last December in Connecticut, the word was that this shooting spree was somehow going to be different from all the rest—different from Virginia Tech and Aurora, Colo., and Columbine and Luby’s Cafeteria back in ’91 and, well, all the rest that keep on happening far too regularly. This time, America was going to look at itself in the mirror and change.
So far, though, the Sandy Hook shootings haven’t caused much change. The “national conversation” has dragged on and senators will finally introduce new gun legislation soon. This will be the “first time in years” Congress takes a look at “significant gun control legislation,” NBC reports. But the inaction and relative toothlessness of the legislation has kicked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg into gear.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 22, 2013 03:38 PM
Analysts had thought that Nike’s third quarter earnings would come in at 67 cents per share, but when the info was finally doled out Thursday, the company surprised with a 16 percent increase in net income to $662 million. That’s 73 cents per share. Not too shabby.
The sporting brand saw growth across the globe, except for a teensy consumer market called Asia. Apparently, Nike is doing just fine without China and Japan, as stocks hit a 20-month high at $58.69, Bloomberg reports.
"Our team delivered strong results in Q3. We did it with a relentless flow of innovation into our key categories," said Mark Parker, president and CEO of Nike. "Given the diversity of our portfolio, we're able to capture big opportunities that drive sustainable, profitable growth. At the same time we continue to invest in new ways to enhance athletic performance, build strong consumer communities, and improve how we design and manufacture our products. That’s how we increase our potential and drive shareholder value."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 03:37 PM
Shopping bags at Disney theme parks are generally overstuffed with Mickey ears, Dumbo stuffed animals and Little Mermaid outfits. Soon, though, those bags—at least the ones at Disney World—may be packed with plenty of non-Disney merchandise.
Disney World’s Downtown Disney is getting a revamp and expansion that is scheduled to be finished in 2016 and will result in a change of name to Disney Springs and a total change of sensibility. It will feature “uniquely Disney venues coupled with high profile third parties” and will mean the end for nightclub spot Pleasure Island, Fox News reports. Instead, Disney Springs will get a makeover that will include “Spanish revival architecture amidst a retail setting with waterfront dining.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 01:33 PM
BBC Worldwide has only been the sole owner of the Lonely Planet brand since 2011 after buying 75 percent of it in 2007, but it's been ready for some time to let it go.
For $42 million less than it had purchased it for—and after years of partnering with Melbourne, Australia-based founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler to build the business into a strong global brand—BBC Worldwide this week sold the world's biggest travel publisher for $77.7 million. The buyer is NC2 Media, which vaguely describes itself as “primarily engaged in the creation, acquisition and distribution of quality digital content and the development of the technologies to make that possible.”
The media company is run by a billionaire Kentucky recluse who supposedly doesn’t use email, made a good chunk of money from selling low-cost cigarettes before selling them off and renouncing tobacco, and is one of the top five landowners in the U.S. with 1.7 million acres to his name, Brad Kelley.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 13, 2013 07:12 PM
An age-old battle rages on, pinning two unsuspecting objects against each other and forcing consumers to choose: Would you rather twist or clip?
Apparently, the "reclosure" market is quite hot, as the smallest plastic packaging details continue to fight for real estate along America's bread shelves. While there is no available sales data for the country's largest manufacturers of plastic closures (they're privately held), there is a consensus among industry leaders that places the twist-tie on top of the pile.
“We feel, based on surveys we’ve done, that the twist-tie is consumer-preferred, but of course the clip people will tell you the same thing about their product,” Beth Radloff, marketing specialist for Bedford Industries, a Minnesota-based firm that’s the largest twist-tie manufacturer for the U.S. bakery market, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Despite a lack of attention, the $10 million industry is the focus of an ongoing tug-of-war as brands flip-flop between packaging closures.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 13, 2013 02:23 PM
Plenty of businesses were unhappy when President Obama suggested raising the minimum wage, but Costco CEO Craig Jelinek recently let the world know that he’s all for raising it to $10.10 an hour—and the news isn’t hurting business, either.
Last quarter, Costco's revenue ballooned to $537 million, which is up from $394 million in the same period one year ago, The Huffington Post reports.
“At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business,” Jelinik said last week. “Instead of minimizing wages, we know it's a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 13, 2013 12:16 PM
H&R Block urged those who had filed taxes with other preparers over the last few years to bring in their returns for a free “Second Look” to try and find mistakes other places may have made and bring their customers more dough. It turns out the company may want to use the service itself.
The Kansas City-based company is now offering up apologies because up to 600,000 of the tax forms it filed in February could be delayed up to six weeks due to a filing mistake made by H&R Block associates.Continue reading...