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Sir Richard Branson Ready to Return to His Roots as a Music Maven

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2012 11:20 AM

The record company that made Sir Richard Branson the man that he is today may be back on the block soon and the billionaire who parlayed Virgin Records into a global house of brands is saying that he wouldn’t mind putting the business he sold back into his own back pocket.

Universal Music Group is attempting to purchase EMI but it may be forced to ditch Virgin the process by regulators, according to the Guardian (UMG is reportedly ready to offer concessions to get the deal done). Branson, meanwhile, has spoken with French entrepreneur Patrick Zelnik, a former Virgin exec, about buying Virgin together. Branson let it be known that he is ready to join the bid for Virgin Records if it is sold by Universal Music Group as a condition of the major label's £1.2 billion acquisition of EMI Music.

”Richard Branson and Virgin have been assessing how to get back into recorded music business for many years," said a spokesman for Virgin Group, according to the Guardian. "The potential disposal of Virgin Records by Universal Music offers a wonderful opportunity to recreate a dynamic independent label in the market."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Athleta, Hulu, Goldman Sachs and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 17, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

AT&T slashes price of Lumia smartphone.

Aereo online-TV service expands in U.S.

Bank of England chief denies New York Fed chief gave warning on rate-rigging.

Richard Branson considers bid for Virgin Records.

Coca-Cola beats estimates with international sales up 5%.

Famous Dave's expands beyond U.S..

GM likely to retain Opel brand despite brand's woes.

Gap eyes Lululemon's Athletica stores with its own Athleta store openings.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Burberry, DirecTV, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 12, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Adidas gets big boost in buzz from soccer's Euro 2012.

Aereo stays operating while TV networks sue, judge rules.

Airbus nabs $17 billion in orders at big air show.

Amazon weighs cutthroat market in smartphone decision.

Apple finds China jumping the gun on iPhone 5 orders.

Barclays former CEO could face US Congress.

Burberry finds sales momentum slowing.

Cartier sees slowdown in China.Continue reading...

ad watch

Virgin Mobile Australia Taps Brad Pitt's Younger Brother, Doug

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 4, 2012 04:55 PM

Virgin Mobile Australia's latest campaign features a celeb by association: "This is Doug Pitt, the second most famous Pitt in his family. Unlike his brother, Doug's not a super star, he's never been featured on the front page and never made big bucks from a celebrity endorsement. Virgin Mobile believe in a fair go for all, and want your help to make things a little fairer in the Pitt family. Visit fairgobro.com.au and show Doug some 'like'."

tech innovation

Google Reveals First Tablet, Streaming Media Player & $1,500 Project Glasses

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 27, 2012 06:20 PM

The Google I/O three-day annual developer event in San Francisco today kicked off with a slew of product news.

Google is expanding its Nexus sub-brand of smart products from an Android phone (with Samsung, unveiled in October) to a streaming media player and the product that garnered the most buzz today: its first tablet, Nexus 7, a 7-inch device co-developed with Asus.

Nexus 7 is a bigger challenge to Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire than it is to Apple's iPad. The tablet costs $199 (8GB) or $249 (16GB) and is available to purchase now, with shipping starting in July.Continue reading...


Rio+20: PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Other Brands Support UN Sustainability Goals

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 22, 2012 05:05 PM

The United Nations on Friday wrapped up the Rio+20 Earth Summit, a once-a-decade conference on sustainable development, with the message that the world needs to clean up its act. Some major-league companies signed on to put some financial muscle and their brands' influence behind the effort. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have found something they can agree on as both have put cash behind the UN’s goals. Others involved include Microsoft, and Bank of America, according to Bloomberg.

The pledges are worth billions of dollars and will help to “curb the use of fossil fuels, conserve water and encourage wider use of renewable energy,” Bloomberg reports. There are at least 517 commitments from different companies and at minimum $2 billion will be coming from the U.S. “We won’t save the world alone, but we’ll get half of it done, and we’ll get some momentum,” said Bank of America Chairman Chad Holliday at Rio+20. 

For its part, Coca-Cola is allocating $3.5 million to help create more sustainable water access in some African countries. "Access to safe water is essential for our company and our world,” stated Bea Perez, the company's Chief Sustainability Officer. “The sustainability of water resources is a top priority."Continue reading...

social marketing

Virgin's Flat-Footed Social Media Mystery

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 18, 2012 11:03 AM

Richard Branson’s diary was stolen last week. Promoted on Twitter and Facebook, the so-called "crimson bandit" behind the theft posted three videos on YouTube with this comment: "As willing as I am to play this game with you and your fans in Australia, South Africa, the UK and the US, you must know there's no way for you to catch me Richard!”

The game: “Solve the puzzles left behind on the participating Virgin Company pages and you could win amazing prizes.” It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the bandit was no other than Branson himself, as he revealed in a tweet and on his blog

The graphics are fun, but as social media teaser campaigns go, Virgin could do a bit better than this — Americans, for instance, wouldn't know that "diary" refers to his planner or schedule.

brand news

In the News: Microsoft Tablet, Kirin, Dr Martens and more.

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 18, 2012 08:50 AM

In the News

Microsoft will announce Monday a plan to sell tablets under its own brand, in a challenge to Apple's iPad, while Amazon reportedly plans to launch cloud music service in July to rival iTunes.

Kirin Holdings agreed to pay $200.9 million Australian dollars (US$203.4 million) for the shares it doesn't already own in Australian boutique brewer Little World Beverages, as Japanese companies expand offshore to combat flagging domestic demand.

Dr Martens owners seeks up to £200m from potential buyers.

AirAsia plans to follow Virgin model with brand extensions.

Android relaunches user interface.Continue reading...

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