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what girls want

Hasbro Agrees to Easy-Bake Oven for Boys; Score One for Kid Activism

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 18, 2012 10:30 AM

What do girls want? For one big sister this holiday season, the right for her brother to have the same toys in a non-stereotypical design. Almost 45,000 signatures and a slew of international headlines later, McKenna Pope, the 13-year-old who started the online petition at Change.org to convince Hasbro to consider boys in their marketing and design scope for the Easy-Bake Oven, has scored a big win for gender equality.

McKenna and her family met with execs at Hasbro on Monday and came out all smiles. Execs at the Pawtucket, R.I., HQ of the toy manufacturer, as AP reports, were deighted to show her design prototypes for Easy-Bake ovens colored black, silver, or blue — ready for her brother and other boys eager to get Easy-Baking.

Pope’s quest had started when she wanted to get her four-year-old brother, Gavyn Boscio, an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. After all, he had shown a love for food prep by attempting to “cook on top of a lamp's light bulb” at their New Jersey home. Pope only found ovens in pink or purple and the boxes only featured girls in its marketing images.

So Pope went out and scored more than 40,000 signatures on a Change.org petition, the support of a slew of male celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, and a meeting with Hasbro, which now says it is going to unveil the new oven at the annual Toy Fair in New York this coming February. Consumers who are looking to purchase Easy-Bake ovens that aren’t pink and purple will be able to snag them next summer. Plus, the new ovens will come with a boy or two pictured on the box as well.Continue reading...


Greenpeace on Getting Levi's to Detox: "We're Not Your Grandfather's Greenpeace"

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2012 02:01 PM

Following in the wake of Zara's capitulation, Levi’s is now the 11th brand to bow to pressure from Greenpeace's global Detox campaign. The denim giant has committed to eliminate releases of all hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chains and products. Still being pressured: Calvin Klein, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret as part of the green campaigner's goal “to expose brands until the use - and abuse - of hazardous substances is totally eliminated.” 

The world’s largest denim brand, has agreed to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain and products by 2020. The commitment comes eight days after Greenpeace launched its “Toxic Threads: Under Wraps” report targeting global fashion brands releasing toxins in Mexico's rivers, resulting in a digital groundswell with more than 210,000 people calling on Levi’s to Detox, tens of thousands taking action on Facebook and Twitter, and over 700 people protesting outside Levi’s shop fronts in over 80 cities worldwide.

As part of its Zero Discharge Commitment, Levi’s (as outlined in a blog post) will start requiring 15 of its largest suppliers in China, Mexico and elsewhere in the Global South to disclose pollution data as early as June 2013, followed by compliance from 25 additional major suppliers by the end of 2013.Continue reading...


Greenpeace Turns #Detox Protests From Zara to Levi's

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 7, 2012 12:25 PM

Having taken Zara to task as part of its Detox/Toxic Threads campaign, Greenpeace is now turning the spotlight on the Levi’s brand.

This week, the eco-activists rolled out a multimedia campaign that included bringing 16 living mannequins to stage a protest outside the brand’s flagship store in San Francisco. Their demand: that the world’s largest maker of jeans (with sales of $4.8 billion in 2011) eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chain. The tactics: turning the denim giant's global Go Forth "marketing platform"— which was inspired by Walt Whitman's "O Pioneers" poem — against the brand.

Campaigners are using the language of "Go Forth" against the brand. Greenpeace is mimicking its graphic style and hashtag (#goforth) with its own #detox tag for a "#GoForth and #Detox!" message. The platform's "This is our time" tagline has turned into "Now is Your Time," in addition to co-opting other Levi's brand attributes (see the Pinterest/Facebook-ready "501 reasons to detox" infographic, below) to encourage the company to live up to its high-minded, noble mesaging.

Levi's is listening.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Tim Cook Polishes Legacy and Apple With US Jobs (and Steve Jobs) Promise

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2012 04:22 PM

Outsourcing jobs has been a topic that kept coming up over and over again during the battle for the US presidency this year. And for good reason. American companies have been moving their manufacturing jobs elsewhere for eons, ia fact that wasn’t exactly helping the nation’s economy recover from a bruising recession.

Apple, which has manufactured most of its products in Asia for years, is doing an about-face following its bruising over labor rights at its Foxconn manufacturing plant in China. Now CEO Tim Cook tells NBC's Brian Williams (in an interview that will air Thursday night) that Apple will manufacture an entire Mac line in the US starting next year. 

“I don’t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job,” Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek in its new cover story on his first year helming the brand. “But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs.” Cook estimates that the company has created more than 600,000 jobs in America since 1980 (WSJ.com does a nice job summarizing Apple's US manufacturing history.)

Perhaps this is a way for Cook and Apple to give a little back to America. The New York Times reports that Apple is planning to shell out $100 million for American manufacturing next year. It currently manufactures some parts of the iPhone in the US. It's also, of course, a way for Cook to carve his own brand and legacy apart from his predecessor and old boss, Steve Jobs.

“My own personal philosophy on giving is best stated in a [John F.] Kennedy quote, 'To whom much is given, much is expected,’” Cook told Businessweek. “I have always believed this. Always. I think that Apple and Apple’s employees have done enormous good and can do even more.”Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Greenpeace Claims Success as Zara Bows to Detox Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 29, 2012 10:56 AM

Greenpeace is doing battle against the fashion world. In the past week, it organized more than 700 volunteers in more than 80 cities in 20 countries to dress up like mannequins and stage “walkouts” of Zara stores as a protest against the company for using any hazardous chemicals in its supply chain.

The “Detox Zara” campaign has spread to include all of fashion; the eco-campaigner's latest video, above, is a manga style trailer called "Detox Fashion" (tagline: "Toxic is so last season.")

The campaign has worked, according to Greenpeace's Tristan Tremschnig: "Zara — the world’s largest retailer — has now committed to clean up their supply chain and Detox following 9 days of intensive pressure from people around the world. This included over 320,000 people joining the campaign online, over 44,000 mentions of Zara and the Detox campaign on Twitter alone, and a reach of over 7.1 million people across Twitter and Weibo. Not forgetting our activities on Facebook, Pinterest and outside the brand’s stores."Continue reading...

cause marketing

US Budget Crisis Pressures Bono's ONE and (RED) World AIDS Day Push

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 28, 2012 01:09 PM

There's good news and bad news when it comes to AIDS, and ONE wants to make sure the world's population is aware of both this December 1, the 24th annual World AIDS Day.

The ONE Campaign, the global advocacy organization co-founded by U2's Bono, just released a new report on the global fight against HIV/AIDS. The good news: Scientists now have the tools to "turn the tide" on AIDS, and the world should be heartened that the UN set targets for the "beginning of the end of AIDS" to be met in 2015. The bad news: Unless "sufficient funding, coordination and political will" are brought to bear in the fight against AIDS, it will be 2022 before the "beginning of the end of AIDS" can be reached.

With America mired in a heated national debate over how to fix the debt and the looming fiscal cliff, Bono has been personally lobbying U.S. lawmakers to urge them not to cut U.S. foreign assistance and aid funding. ONE is stoking up the urgency through a variety of actions in conjunction with World AIDS Day 2012.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Greenpeace Targets Zara in Global Detox Campaign

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 26, 2012 10:51 AM

Now you don't have to worry about mannequins watching you — they may also be following you onto the sidewalk. As part of Greenpeace's global "Detox" campaign, more than 700 people, in over 80 cities, in 20 countries around the world protested, staged street theater and conducted "mannequin" walk-outs to demand Zara to eliminate the use of all hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chain.

From Bangkok to Buenos Aires, the activists also called on Zara store managers (who don't permit photos of their mannequins) to forward Greenpeace's Detox demands to their headquarters, after new research found traces of hazardous chemicals in ZARA clothing items, some of which can break down in the environment to become hormone-disrupting or even cancer-causing substances. As Greenpeace put it, "how will the world's largest fashion retailer — which responds so swiftly to changes in fashion trends — react to this global call for toxic-free fashion?"Continue reading...

black friday

Walmart's Biggest Black Friday Marred by Labor Dispute

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 23, 2012 07:58 AM

Black Friday shoppers in the US (and Canada) could set a record today, as the post-Thanksgiving annual retail rush is on.

Here in New York, just before midnight on Thanksgiving evening, I observed massive line-ups at the corner of Broadway and Lafayette for Adidas and Best Buy on the northeast corner of that intersection, and smaller queues starting at the southeast corner for Hollister, H&M, Uniqlo and, across the street, American Eagle and Victoria's Secret. Police, using bullhorns, tried to get the crowds to disperse by announcing, "Stores don't open until 8 A.M." — but the shoppers, mostly in their late teens and 20's it appeared, were undeterred.

All eyes, in particular, are on Walmart today, which has been downplaying the threat of OUR Walmart-organized employee strike action at its stores across the US, which are being organized online and shared on Twitter via the #walmartstrikers#changewalmart and #makingchange hashtags, and on Tumblr.Continue reading...

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