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media brands

Liberty Global to Acquire Virgin Media, Creating World's Leading Broadband Firm

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

Virgin Atlantic Touts Superhuman Employees in Wake of Delta Deal

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...

brand news

In the News: Kia, Zipcar, Nivea and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 2, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

Kia names first non-Korean as president and integrates Google Maps.

Avis to acquires Zipcar brand for $500 million.

Nivea woos investors as CEO admits Rihanna was the wrong brand ambassador and brand returns to NYC's Times Square as New Year's Eve event sponsor.

Amazon apologizes for Christmas Eve outage.

American Girl's 2013 Girl of the Year doll addresses U.S. arts education cuts.

Apple sees its store in Paris robbed.

BBC Worldwide appoints chief brands officer.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Virgin Atlantic, HSBC, Diageo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2012 08:57 AM

In the News

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...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Starbucks, Rolls-Royce and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

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...

brand news

In the News: Microsoft, Suzuki, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Microsoft denied "Killer Instinct" trademark, as Microsoft-Google patent fight rests on "fairness" definition and Motorola is denied injuction against Microsoft in patent suit. Microsoft-Intel push to combat Apple in tablet space, meanwhile, seen as "sputtering."

American Suzuki forges ahead with incentives amid US wind down.

Apple wins six new design patents, sees increasing pricing tension with retailers and Steve Jobs bio pic starring Ashton Kutcher heading to Sundance.

Applebee's plans to open "green" restaurant in New York's Harlem where Hot Bread Kitchen is a rising local brand.

Balenciaga hires designer Alexander Wang as creative chief.

Baxter agrees to buy medical-equipment maker Gambro in company's biggest acquisition.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: News Corp., Virgin, Lincoln and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Rupert Murdoch names longtime lieutenant Robert Thomson head of global publishing unit as company's news/book publishing and entertainment assets prepare to be separated into News Corporation and Fox Group. As part of global restructuring, experimental "ipadazine" The Daily is closing.

Delta bids for 49-percent stake in Virgin Atlantic.

Ford unveils new branding campaign for overhauled Lincoln brand.

Air Berlin to lay out overhaul.

Apple goes minimal in new iPad Mini print ads as iPhone 5 hits 50+ new countries.

CNN will strive for "must-see TV" under Jeff Zucker.Continue reading...

political season

Obamascare Tactics: Papa John's Leads Brands Blaming Obama for Woes

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...

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