Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 18, 2013 06:10 PM
Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the New Jersey shoreline and crippled parts of New York City. Many are still recovering, and will be for some time. On Staten Island, many storm victims remain living in a shelter.
Part of the region's recovery will inevitably depend on branding efforts that must override images of utter destruction from the public's mind, just as the need for donations remains as the rebuilding continues.
On the larger scale, New Jersey is deploying its first post-Sandy branding effort to woo tourists back in summer.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2012 09:55 AM
President Obama lobbied a group of big business leaders in Washington this week with his views about the looming fiscal cliff. But at least one of the most important heads of a major American business, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, was taking no guff either from Obama or from the leaders of the Senate and House with whom the president is deadlocked — and apparently willing to push to the edge, if not over it, in a political stand-off.
"It's a concern to all of us, because this is a very, very fragile recovery," Mulally said on MSNBC this week. "It's just so important that we come together on a plan to deal with both the revenue side, but also the expense side, because really what we're talking about is keeping the economic development going. That's the most important thing about this issue."
And while so far the U.S. auto industry has more than carried its weight in the nation's sluggish economic recovery, Mulally said that he couldn't guarantee that it would be able to post continued sales increases if Obama and Congress don't deal quickly and decisively with the fiscal cliff.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 28, 2012 12:06 PM
In July 2011, President Obama warned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor that he would pressure Republicans to compromise and make a deal by "going to the American people" in order to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, and he's doing just that.
The White House (with more than 3 million Twitter followers) and Obama (with 23.9 million followers) created a trending topic on Twitter today by promoting the #My2K hashtag to rally support for the president's call for legislation before the year-end fiscal cliff deadline for former president George W. Bush's tax cuts package.
Obama is stepping up his effort to get Americans to lobby their elected representatives to pass the middle class tax cuts, personalizing the message with "My 2K" as a reference to the $2,000 (well, $2,200) that may be coming out of their pockets: "If Congress fails to act before the end of the year, every American family’s taxes will automatically go up. A typical middle-class family of four would see its taxes rise by $2,200 starting in 2013."Continue reading...
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...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 14, 2012 12:03 PM
"Cher joins 400,000" is not an x-rated film for the AARP set — it's a headline trumpeting news that the singer/actress has signed a petition lobbying Macy's to "dump Trump."
Following Donald Trump's harsh comments against Barack Obama, including a $5 million offer to see the president's passport application and college transcripts, a "boycott Trump" effort has been growing. Macy's CEO was drawn into the fray after protesters zoomed in on Trump's "birther" comments its holiday campaign (top).
Trump's answer to anyone who opposes him is typically a metaphorical version of "you're fired." It's an impotent response to a boycott effort as impotent as Trump's hair piece.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 13, 2012 04:17 PM
Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act no longer faces any obstacles to becoming the law of the land, now that last week's elections solidified Democrats' hold on the U.S. Senate. But private companies will continue to react to the realities of health-care costs in the interests of their own businesses, to the extent they can and for as long as they can.
Take Walmart: Just after the elections, the nation's largest retailer has announced hikes in the cost of workers' health-care coverage of 8 percent to 36 percent because of the rising prices of medical services and health insurance. And some of Walmart's 1.4 million U.S. employees already have reacted by considering dropping their own coverage, according to CNBC.
The cost of Walmart's most popular health-insurance plan, for example, will go up by $2 per paycheck, or 13 percent. Still, overall, Walmart said that average costs its employees will bear for the coverage should only rise by about 4 percent in 2013 because the company has eliminated some high-premium plans and trimmed some services.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 9, 2012 02:57 PM
It's hard to think of a brand that is more in crisis today than the Republican Party. Not even JCPenney or Groupon, Kodak or BlackBerry come close.
The dimensions of the licking that the Grand Old Party took at the polls on Tuesday are still unfolding, but Republican leaders and rank-and-file members alike are trying to figure out, exactly, just where they go from here.
They certainly wasted little time in getting started. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, already was communicating via social media in the wee hours of Wednesday that his party needs a new outreach to Hispanics and other minorities — but one based on the appeal of conservative principles such as the importance of the family and hard work.
Beyond that basic formula, there's little agreement within the party ranks about where and how Republicans need to proceed in order to bolster the flagging morale of partisans, try to make back some of the lost ground in elections in 2014 and, of course, ultimately do better in capturing the White House in 2016 when two-term President Obama can't run again.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2012 12:54 PM
In an historic victory, Maryland upheld the legalization of same-sex marriage yesterday and the city of Baltimore has jumped on board with a dedicated microsite for same-sex couples eager to get hitched, just as New York State reached out to LGBT couples looking to get married last year.
All the details are in one place, such as how to obtain a marriage license, wedding venues and vendors, and information on TAG-approved accommodations. "We encourage the LGBT community to visit Baltimore to celebrate their commitments to one another," said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore. "As a city, we have long been proud to support the rights and equality of our visitors, and the legalization of same-sex marriage is another important step forward."
The Maryland referendum (Question 6) asked voters in the state's general election on November 6 to vote "For" or "Against" the Civil Marriage Protection Act, passed by the Maryland General Assembly in February 2012 and signed on March 1, 2012, by Governor Martin O'Malley permitting same-sex couples to marry beginning January 1, 2013.Continue reading...