brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 15, 2013 06:35 PM
Three companies control most of the seed business in the world and one of them is Monsanto, the Missouri-based agricultural company infamous for producing genetically-modified crops and genetically-engineered seeds. The company's resistant seeds were of top concern in a recent patent lawsuit against an Indiana farmer. Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court came down on the independent farmer and declared Monsanto a win.
The farmer, Vernon Hugh Bowman, purchased Monsanto soybean seeds that are resistant to weed killer and planted them one year. It was his actions after that year that got him into trouble. “Bowman v Monsanto revolved around what Bowman contended was a legal loophole in his license agreement with Monsanto: farmers are allowed to sell the second-generation seeds to grain elevators, which, in turn, are permitted to sell a mixture of undifferentiated seeds as ‘commodity grain,’” Forbes reports. “In other words, he maintained he was legally allowed to buy Monsanto’s seeds cheaper from a grain elevator rather than directly from the company.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 15, 2013 05:53 PM
Yahoo is seeking a younger demographic as it looks to shed its outdated image and reliance on an “aging demographic." The internet brand plans to ramp up advertising and marketing to the younger set.
"Part of it is going to be just visibility again in making ourselves cool, which we got away from for a couple of years," CFO Ken Goldman said at Tuesday’s J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom conference in Boston, according to Reuters. "Cool" includes greater visibility on outdoor billboards and at sporting events to catch the eye of 18- to 34-year-olds and promote new products, which will require a significant ad spend across multiple media.
Since taking the helm last summer (and instating a controversial no work-from-home policy) Marissa Mayer has already launched new versions of Yahoo's web email and Flickr photo sharing service and acquired several small start-ups, setting Yahoo stocks up for a near 70 percent surge. But analysts attribute the rise, at least in part, to stock buybacks and the growing value of Yahoo's Asian portfolio. "I do like the idea of buying back stock," said Goldman. "So I don't necessarily suggest at all that the fact that we've got a little bit more to go on the existing purchase does not mean that we would not go beyond that and buy more."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 15, 2013 05:08 PM
Soccer’s quadrennial World Cup is the world’s most-watched sporting event, but there is another event held annually that packs a heftier long-term punch for 500 kids from around the world.
Since 2000, France’s Groupe Danone—the makers of such products as Evian, Naya and Volvic water along with Brown Cow, Stonyfield and Dannon yogurt, among other products—has sponsored 40 youth soccer teams from across the globe to come play in the Danone Nations Cup, essentially a World Cup for the 10- to 12-year-old set. Since 2003, the event has been supported by former French soccer great Zinedine Zidane, who gracelessly ended his career at the 2006 World Cup by getting kicked out of the game for headbutting an Italian player.
After nine championships in France and two in South Africa, the Cup Final has been played in Spain and Poland in the last two years. Word has finally come this week that the world’s youth soccer elite will be heading to London’s Wembley Stadium for this year’s final on Sept. 7. The American team will be decided after the U.S. final to be held on May 27.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 15, 2013 03:47 PM
Google confirmed speculation that it would launch a music service at its annual I/O developer conference Wednesday. The internet giant announced Google Play Music All Access, a subscription-based service that is a little bit of Spotify, Pandora and Twitter #Music all in one. Apparently, the internet behemoth's announcements went over well with Wall Street, as Google's shares closed at a record high of $900, putting the company's market cap over $300 billion.
Unlike Google Music, its cloud music service that lets users upload up to 20,000 purchased songs to listen to on Android devices or on the web, the Google Play Music All Access subscription service launches it into direct competition with music streaming services like Spotify—which has 24 million active monthly users, 6 million paying subscribers and more than 20 million licensed songs in 28 countries—as well as Pandora. Though unlike either of the other services, Google's All Access won't have a free option. The service, which will be available across the web, mobile and tablets will cost $9.99 per month after a 30-day free trial.
“It makes lots of sense for both YouTube and Play, which was built for Google’s Android devices, to sell music subscriptions,” notes AllThingsD. “YouTube is the world’s biggest free music service, which could make it a fantastic funnel for a Spotify-like paid offering, which can also help solve some problems with the music labels."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 15, 2013 02:42 PM
Summertime is a great time for sharing soft drinks—and Coca-Cola wants to make the most of it in a very personal way with the "Share a Coke" campaign, launching across Europe this month.
"This month we're swapping our names with yours," proclaims the world's leading soft drink in a concept that has a country's most popular names showing up on Coca-Cola bottle labels. In Great Britain, for example, Coke bottles on shelves this summer will feature 150 of the UK's most popular names. In addition, Share a Coke vending machines will be on tour so Coke fans can personalize their very own Coca-Cola or Coke Zero bottle. The company is also encouraging Facebook users to create a virtual personalized Coke can to share with someone.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2013 01:38 PM
Many other auto brands are pinning their hopes for global gains on a continued strengthening of the US market and their position in it. So why not Nissan and its Infiniti luxury brand? The chiefs of both brands are expressing their intentions to leapfrog other marques in the next few years in large part by persuading more Americans to buy them.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that he has ordered his team to double Nissan's sales in the US by 2017. If Ghosn also means to double market share, that would give Nissan about a 15 percent chunk of American car sales within three years, compared with its 7.7 percent share and sales of 1.1 million units last year, up in volume by 5 percent over the previous year.
With the European market difficult for its sibling Renault brand and other national arenas, including China, proving somewhat iffier, Ghosn has focused on his disappointment with Nissan's recent sales performance in the US and has vowed to correct it. Much of the problem stemmed from difficult and late launches of the redesigned bread-and-butter sedan, the Nissan Altima, and other new models last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 15, 2013 12:44 PM
Back in January, iconic shaving brand Barbasol launched its “Shave Like a Man” ad campaign, rolling out humorous commercials such as one that features a US soldier in World War II who proclaims that he’s proud to fight so his kids will be able to tweet someday. Another features an old-time baseball player who is in the middle of pitching 17 innings after a breakfast of chipped beef and Scotch. He pokes fun at today’s baseball fans who need to nap after watching the game. “If you’re not going to play like a man, can you at least shave like a man?” he asks.
It was the first new campaign from the 94-year-old brand in five years and it is apparently paying off. Jill Crumbacher, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Barbasol, told the Columbus Business Journal that the response to the ads “has been great and has generated more than 120,000 visits to the brand’s website.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 15, 2013 11:54 AM
United's MileagePlus program can now give members access to a lot more than just upgraded seats on an airplane. The rewards program, which includes 25 airline partners under the "Star Alliance" seal has teamed up with ScoreBig.com to give members access to live event tickets from the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and college sports to popular family, music and theater performances.
ScoreBig, which is the first online marketplace for the liquidation of live event tickets will allow MileagePlus members to both earn miles on ticket purchases as well as use miles to make purchases on the site.
“This is an exciting, first-of-its-kind service offering within the live-entertainment and travel industries," Adam Kanner, ScoreBig CEO said in a press release. "We’re thrilled to be joining with United to introduce ScoreBig to MileagePlus members and to enable them to use or earn MileagePlus miles across millions of tickets at substantial savings."Continue reading...