brand news

In the News: Yahoo, Apple, Facebook and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

Yahoo CEO and five board members step down as Ross Levinsohn named interim CEO and Scott Thompson discloses he has cancer.

Apple drops "4G" from UK iPad ads and reportedly bringing retina display to MacBook Pro while Foxconn prepares for Apple TV production.

Facebook co-founder renounces U.S. citizenship to avoid $600M in taxes as almost-over IPO roadshow focuses on mobile and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wants in. (Also, wish Mark Zuckerberg a happy 28th birthday today.)

ABC bids adieu to Desperate Housewives.

Ally mortgage unit files for bankruptcy.

Avon weighs sweetened offer from Coty. (Update: Coty withdrew its offer late Monday.)Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Brand is Booming for Beam

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 3, 2012 10:13 AM

Bethenny Frankel may have been a housewife a few years back when she starred in the reality shows Real Housewives of New York and Bethenny Getting Married, but she got hot and heavy into business now with her Skinnygirl cocktail brand before selling it to Beam last year.

Now she must be pretty proud mama of the business she founded, which is expanding into cleanses and workouts to become a lifestyle brand — the drinks company was the fastest-growing brand of spirits in America last year, according to Technomic research (via MSNBC).

The company had a .388 percent increase in sales last year, Technomic reports. Skinnygirl started out by just selling a premixed margarita and now has "four lines of premixed cocktails with four flavored vodkas and three wines debuting nationally this month."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Hermes, SpongeBob and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 3, 2012 08:55 AM

In the News

Abbott Laboratories looks to consumer for growth.

Amazon looks to produce its own TV programming.

BMW reports higher profits and more investments in future.

Best Buy sees departure of global CMO.

Caribou launches sparkling teas.

Chesapeake Energy goes on damage control after CEO apologizes for personal financial arrangements.

GM says profit strained by European losses.Continue reading...

sustainability

Nothing Fishy About the Seafood at Whole Foods

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 5, 2012 02:02 PM

Saint Francis is the patron saint of ecology so it makes sense that San Francisco was one of the pioneers to celebrate this annual environmental event. Once a day that the conventional culture thought of as a time for hippies to hug the trees, it has transformed as the culture has continued to turn its collective attention to the damage humans have done to the earth and what can be done to repair it. Earth Day has become so much a part of the landscape that it now ends up being used as a kickoff point for environmental efforts by organizations and businesses of all sizes.

This year, Whole Foods has announced that it will mark Earth Day by beginning its effort to refrain from selling “wild-caught seafood plucked from depleted waters or captured through unsustainable methods.” The Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium label seafood “red-rated” if it comes from overfished waters or if the fishermen use methods that harm other sea life. Anything in that category, such as Atlantic halibut, gray sole, and skate, will not be available at Whole Foods after Earth Day.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Groupon, MolsonCoors, Fisker and more

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

In the News

AFA Foods files for bankruptcy after pink-slime hit.

Apple faces UK inquiry on advertising, while stock price projections soar.

BSkyB sees resignation of James Murdoch as chairman.

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's ride the zeitgeist with Kate Upton, also in DirecTV spot.

Chrysler invests to boost quality.

Dropbox faces time to come through on hype.

ESPN reaches out to Hispanics with Spanish-language ad for SportsCenter.

Express Scripts and Medco win U.S. merger approval.Continue reading...

kidding around

April Fool's Brand Pranks: Google, YouTube, Virgin, Honda, Sony, Toshiba & more [Updated]

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2012 12:01 PM

In a bid to outdo last year's April Fool's Day jokes, a few April Foolin' Around branded fake gags today include:

• Richard Branson's next adventure, Virgin Volcanic, will take the intrepid billionaire to the center of the earth with Tom Hanks;

• in addition to really advanced search and Google TV Click, perennial prankster Google brings its self-driving car to NASCAR racing (above) and, below, announces Morse Code-based Gmail Tap (double your typing speed!) with LL Cool J, plus 8-bit Google Maps for the neglected Nintendo Entertainment System, and more:Continue reading...

health matters

Pink Slime Boycott Heats Up Everywhere But Frying Pan

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 26, 2012 05:12 PM

Frank Zappa once told his fans not to eat the yellow snow. Now a whole lot of folks are deciding not to eat another colorful item: pink slime.

It's a substance that many Americans (well, the few who watched) Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last April would have seen in the series' premiere episode on ABC. That's when the British chef, accompanied by a bovine companion, demonstrated what goes into the 70% of America's ground beef that contains leftover cow parts (a.k.a. "pink slime"), meaning meat that has been treated with ammonia to banish bacteria such as e.coli and salmonella. It's also used to convert the fatty beef offcuts into a beef filler for burgers.

Ammonia-treated meat can be found in virtually all U.S. grocery stores, fast food restaurants, many national restaurant chains, and school cafeterias, but a backlash has been forming over fears that it is unsafe — and now the company that produces 'pink slime beef' has suspended operations at three of its four plants.Continue reading...

branding together

American Express Promotes Twitter Sync at SXSW with Jay-Z

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 8, 2012 11:15 AM

American Express announced an innovative social media integration with Twitter this week, enabling US cardmembers to turn customized Twitter hashtags into savings via sync.americanexpress.com. Promoted with the tagline “Sync. Tweet. Save.” the social marketing promotion is the most direct use of Twitter to date by a brand that creates a real utility for customers: couponless savings loaded directly to their synced cards and automatically delivered in a credit statement.

“With Twitter, we’ve really hit the trifecta. We have a great platform in Twitter,” said Ed Gilligan, Vice Chairman, American Express. “We know our cardmembers are engaged in Twitter. We’ve been working with them to think about how can we help them move from conversations to commerce. To turn a tweet into a transaction.”

Brands trying out Amex Sync include Best Buy, McDonald’s, Whole Foods Market, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Century 21, The Cheesecake Factory, Dell, FedEx Office, FTD, Gulf, H&M, Seamless.com, Sports Authority, Ticketmaster, Virgin America and Zappos. They'll be closely watching the analytics on this test, with the Amex Synch API offering also supplying reports to merchants about customer spending, online and offline.

And if they're in Austin for SXSW on March 12th, they can celebrate at a concert featuring Jay-Z.Continue reading...

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