In the News: Beetle, Viacom, Toyota and more


In the News

BMW and Mercedes outpace rivals in China, as Shanghai auto show opens and a new report shows the most popular brands in China are predominately foreign. Ford‘s China JV execs mull own brand, while Volkswagen reveals the new Beetle at events in Shanghai, New York and Berlin today. The Volkswagen Group also saw record first quarter sales as China deliveries boom.

VH1 woos female viewers with new programming, while siblings BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nick, and Spike remain holdouts on Time Warner Cable‘s iPad app due to Viacom lawsuit, although Cablevision‘s iPad app gets only grumbles.

Toyota resumes production at all Japan plants for first time since tsunami, as its Lexus brand slips behind rivals in the US. TEPCO also laid out a plan for shutting down nuclear reactor.[more]

Adweek‘s integration of Mediaweek and Brandweek debuts this week as Michael Wolff morphs title from “B2B” to “business to influencer.”

Apple reportedly selling iPads at Toys”R”Usleads Forbes’ list of the 10 most innovative companies.

Avon launches green products for Earth Day.

Baja Fresh may be for sale.

Blast by Colt 45 launches with Snoop Dogg‘s help, raising Four Loko-like fears.

Charlie Sheen moves to trademark catchphrases.

Chevrolet turns to Europe as it sells 1.1 million vehicles in brand’s best first quarter ever; Cruze sales increase 117% over 2010, to become best-selling Chevrolet nameplate.

Chrysler debt refinance nears.

Cisco and other B2B tech brands stymied by consumer markets.

Comcast and Fox prescribe cost cuts for House.

Donald Trump presidential run would put The Apprentice in limbo. 

Disney challenged by Spider-Man’s Broadway fiasco.

Facebook sues over sexy knock-off.

Ferrari should be valued at $7.3 billion in IPO, Marchionne says.

Ford plans to bring Focus spokespuppet campaign to UK, and runs cobranded campaign with The CW.

Gatorade pursues more “authentic” approach to celebrity endorsement.

Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric test their star power as standalone brands.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said to be ‘exhausted’ from financial crisis and lining up insiders as possible successors.

Huawei closes in on Ericsson after tripling sales in five years.

Kate Middleton said to have hand in wedding dress, as a designer — Sophie Cranston of “low-key” Libelulaemerges.

Kotex launches feminine-care products for tweens.

Kraft will sell Gevalia coffee in US supermarkets after losing rights to distribute Starbucks‘ packaged coffee.

Microsoft‘s legacy challenged by cofounder Paul Allen’s new book.

Moleskine‘s brand expansion seen as smart move. enhances on-air playoffs coverage during select live games.

Netflix streaming in Canada challenged by broadcasters.

Obama‘s design strategy recalled for 2012 campaign. 

Philips Electronics transfers struggling TV business to joint venture.

Samsung may sell hard drive business in wake of iPad.

Synthes confirms talks with J&J.

Three Cups of Tea author defends book against questions from CBS.

UK advertisers trimmed 1st quarter spending over economy fears.

US cable TV and online media advertising will continue to outpace traditional media this year, says Magna Global forecast.

W HotelsDesigners of the Future named.

West Africa finally gets broadband.

Zara‘s expansion to Australia makes local fashion retailers nervous.

& the New York Times looks at how monks adjust recruitment strategy to digital.