brands under fire
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 17, 2013 05:47 PM
It turns out that angry consumers aren't the only ones that American retailers need to worry about. In a joint statement published Thursday, a group of investors sought out to express their dissatisfaction with US retailers that have refused to sign the Bangladesh fire and safety agreement.
The release, undersigned by Amalgamated Bank Longview Funds and 14 others said, "We expect companies in our portfolios to ensure the integrity of their supply chains." The group, which reportedly holds a combined $1.35 trillion in assets, called out both Walmart and Gap, two major US retailers who spoke out against the accord, advising them to act swiftly and effectively in agreeance with the legally-binding proposal, which was signed by over 30 international companies by its May 15 deadline.
The response is a reaction to the late-April factory collapse in Savar, Bangladesh that has now claimed over 1,120 lives. The accord, which is a version of a previously proposed agreement that was in effect turned down by several US retailers in 2011, hopes to protect the millions of Bangladeshi people that work in the country's 5,000 garment factories, for as little as $38 per month. The industry, now the second largest garment producer next to China, has seen a surge in recent years, resulting in the creation of faulty building sites and poor labor conditions. The circumstances surrounding the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory highlight the shortcomings of an industry built on loose ethics and fast, inexpensive turnaround. While the agreement looks to enforce independent building inspections and fire and safety training, it also hopes to create a more open administrative atmosphere for workers to present their concerns.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 17, 2013 01:46 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: VW gets nostalgic... Luxury brands suffer... Starbucks canbalizes itself... Apple "ruins" family life... Translating cat app... Tencent profits... BYD... Let Li... Dutch infant formula... What Taobao can tell you about breast size... McDonald's McCafe absurdity... Face toothpaste... What a poorly made $30 hamburger reveals about China's middle class... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 16, 2013 07:36 PM
Giving charity is apparently the way to retired tennis great Andre Agassi’s heart. He left Nike eight years ago after a 17-year relationship to join the folks at Adidas, partially because the company was willing to put more financial oomph into Agassi’s foundation than Nike was.
But it looks like the tide has turned back in Nike’s favor and is shooting Agassi back into the spotlight. The company announced Monday that the 43-year-old Agassi is back in the fold, Yahoo! Sports reports, and Agassi celebrated the event by posting an image of himself under a huge Nike swoosh with the caption “Back Home” on his Facebook page—a bit of a dig to nearly 8-year sponsor Adidas.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 16, 2013 10:43 AM
Coca-Cola is killing Vietnam's children. That's the takeaway message of a video that is part of a boycott movement against the world's most famous, most successful soda maker. But is Vietnam's anti-Coca-Cola consumer movement all state-sponsored fizz and no substance?
Even after the war was over and the troops had left, news stories used the presence of Coca-Cola as an example of persisting American influence in Communist Vietnam. "Girlie Magazines and Coca-Cola Still In Vietnam" read the headline from a May 1975 Associated Press story. Sadly, two decades did not make the press much more sensitive. "Coca-Cola Invades Vietnam" read the Nov. 18, 1994 Albany Herald headline announcing Coke's official return to selling in the nation.
During the post-war US embargo, Coca-Cola was still widely available in Vietnam, brought in from neighboring nations. Thanks to this make-do distribution system, Coke claimed a majority of Vietnam's soft drink market even before it officially returned to bottling in the nation. But for the last several years, Coke's success has become a sore spot for Vietnamese consumers who suspect the brand is cheating the nation out of tax receipts—and a new boycott is aiming to do something about it.Continue reading...
end of an era
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 8, 2013 05:36 PM
Manchester United has had a steady hand running the team for the last 26 years as it built itself into what Forbes has called the world’s most valuable sports brand, worth billions of dollars. Now, Sir Alex Ferguson, who managed the team to 13 league championships and at least double that in other championship cups, is calling it quits at the end of this season and going off to get hip surgery.
"Manchester United has been transformed as a football club under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson," Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, told CNN.
The club’s popularity has allowed it to rake in sponsorship dollars, as it recently signed deals with two financial service providers in Denmark and Vietnam, a social gaming company in Japan, Aon to sponsor its practice gear, and a slew of others.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 3, 2013 11:39 AM
While Facebook fans spend more money on brands they've 'liked' than on ones they haven't, is there any real value hidden behind that thumbs-up?
On average, a 'like' is worth $174.17. “Superconsumers,” says a study by Syncapse, have significant power to effect products. "Not only do they tend to be brand users first, they spend more, engage more, advocate more and are more loyal. The significant and increasing value of a Facebook brand fan affirms past social marketing investment and mandates deeper commitment and accountability in the future."
But while brands navigate the tides of "like-currency," it turns out that the gesture by "slacktivists" doesn't translate into anything significant for social causes. After years of encouraging consumers to click for issues of conscience, UNICEF Sweden is the first major international charity to restate the obvious, pre-'like' era fact: donate money and supplies—not just virtual support.Continue reading...
the media is dying
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2013 11:17 AM
The Wall Street Journal remains the top-selling US daily newspaper, while The New York Times has bumped USA Today for second place, largely due to digital subscriptions which now account for 19 percent of average US daily newspaper circulation, up from 14 percent in 2012, according to The Alliance for Audited Media’s (AAM) semiannual Snapshot report.
The report covers top-line circulation and audience figures from October 2012 through March 2013 for approximately 700 US and Canadian newspapers. In this case, the bottom line still tells a story of continued newspaper circulation declines despite gains across digital platforms.
Daily circulation for the 593 US newspapers reporting comparable averages for March 2012 through March 2013 decreased 0.7 percent. Sunday circulation for the 519 newspapers reporting was down 1.4 percent.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 30, 2013 11:26 AM
How appropriate is it that Jaguar has finally released its much anticipated branded short film Desire at the very same time that a fictional Jag representative on the hit show Mad Men is arguing for foregoing a "national ad campaign in favor of hard driving sales ads at the local dealer level?"
The Desire film is absolutely a national brand-making campaign and by no means a "hard driving" sales push of any kind. It is not meant, in the Mad Men dealer's words, "to move metal." It's too bad then that Jaguar's real-life branded film is so poorly targeted since Mad Men set the brand up with such a meatball opportunity.
For months, the auto-watching world has wondered about the Jaguar mini-film. When the music video tie-in from Jaguar music partner Lana Del Rey was released on Valentine's Day, it sucked up attention. The video has since logged over 300,000 views.
The full, quarter-hour mini movie is now here and it's hard to argue that Jaguar's Desire isn't a rather naked attempt to recreate the themes of BMW's decade-old iconic branded film series The Hire.Continue reading...