Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 13, 2013 05:16 PM
The U.S. government has been in a long-running battle with Big Tobacco to try and get nasty images placed onto cigarette packaging, a fight that seems destined to end up in the Supreme Court someday.
Singapore is the latest country that appears ready to step into that same boxing ring. With 5.3 million people, Singapore may not be the largest country in the world, but it has the world’s fourth-leading financial center and one of the top five busiest ports in the world, and soon, it may be difficult to see any packs of cigarettes. The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Singapore government is proposing to ban shops from displaying tobacco-related products."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 22, 2013 12:57 PM
Above, a Coke and a smile are still the right stuff for the brand during China's Lunar New Year holiday.
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 10 reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Dwayne Wade visits the Bird's Nest... VW bump... stealing Coke's recipe... McDonald's... Versace wallpaper... poisonous fake mutton vs. horse meat... lobster... coffee beaneries... New Zealand's Chinese New Zealand milk... and more. Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 11:48 AM
Australia’s smokers had to start purchasing cigarette packs with extremely graphic images on the front last December, which did not sit well with the world’s Big Tobacco companies, whose lawyers have been set loose to try and repeal the Aussies' anti-smoking efforts. Now, New Zealand is ready to enact a similar effort that will remove branding from cigarette packages and sell them with plain wrapping.
New Zealand, however, won’t push forward with the practice until it sees how all that legal wrangling works out for its larger neighbor.
“This announcement demonstrates that the New Zealand government recognizes the significant international trade issues with standardized packaging and will not implement it until the pending international legal challenges to Australia’s law are resolved,” Philip Morris said in a statement. “There is no credible evidence that standardized packaging will lower smoking rates, but strong evidence that it will jeopardize jobs, benefit the black market for cigarettes, and is a breach of international trade rules that have already made Australia’s policy subject to WTO action.”
The WTO actions were set in motion by a few nations that happen to be—surprise!—big producers of tobacco: Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Indonesia.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 03:23 PM
Coca-Cola just wants to Open Happiness around the world, in keeping with its ongoing marketing theme, including rolling out a Valentine's Day video this week that was shot in New Zealand to thank its multitude of fans. It's just that global consumers haven't been as happy lately to open a Coke.
A slowdown in sales in Europe and China joined essentially stagnant sales in the United States to undermine Coke's fourth-quarter results. Global sales volume rose just three percent even as the beverage giant's earnings rose by 13 percent during the period.
Ongoing struggles in Europe were a main drag, with volume falling by five percent. Even sales in China, another key market, fell by four percent as Chinese consumers increasingly feel crimped. Meanwhile, the U.S., pushing an anemic economic recovery, yielded just a one percent sales gain during the quarter, though CEO Muhtar Kent said on Tuesday's earnings call that the American market "could get better."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 12:19 PM
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Meet Monty, Porter and Ginny — three dogs trained by Mark Vette to drive cars in a novel partnership between a local SPCA branch in New Zealand and the automaker that puts a whole new spin on "adoption drive."
The cruising canines were selected by SPCA Auckland as the first crew for the Driving Dogs campaign, and started training two months ago with MINI New Zealand's instructors. Beginning with mock car controls, Monty (the Neil Armstong of the group) graduated to a real car where he spent hours behind the wheel – much like any nervous teenager, practicing his driving skills, while accompanied by a human instructor.
This week, Monty drove the car on his own on Campbell Live on New Zealand television, and social media exploded.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 13, 2012 10:00 AM
McDonald's US released this holiday TV commercial today, touting its Happy Meal tie-in with Dreamwork's Rise of the Guardians animated feature, hitting theaters on Nov. 21.
Meanwhile, it's heating up down under, where McDonald's is launching its new "Do Summer" campaign with limited-time menu items in Australia and New Zealand: the Blazing Omelette McMuffin for breakfast; the Smoky BBQ Bandit, boasting "100% Aussie beef, golden onion rings and smoky BBQ sauce;" and "with a new fiery chilli-coated patty and Peri-Peri style Mayo," the new Scorcher Peri-Peri chicken sandwich. Check out those spots below.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 29, 2012 12:21 PM
Denny's has partnered with the upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for a Hobbit-themed line of menu items. Insert your "second breakfast" joke of choice here.
The partnership has been the source of some jokes. But Denny's has approached the tie-in with some unique, even brave strategies. One of which could easily have blown up in its face.Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 28, 2012 10:55 AM
Americans purchased 636.5 billion cigarettes way back in 1981. A good chunk of them were likely sucked in by the slew of air-traffic controllers that President Reagan fired. Or maybe it was all the people coming out of the year’s fifth most-popular film, “Cheech and Chong’s Nice Dreams.” Or those taking a break after getting down to Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration.”
It’s hard to know just where all those cigarettes were going, but that year found Americans purchasing more of the so-called cancer sticks than any other. Since then, of course, there has been a long battle to help people ditch tobacco products in the hopes of bringing down the numbers of death from cancer.
It appears that the anti-tobacco movement is working, just as the FDA is ready to ramp up a massive new five-year, anti-smoking campaign in the U.S. According to a new report from the Federal Trade Commission, cigarette purchases in America fell to an all-time low of 281.6 billion in 2010.Continue reading...