in the spotlight
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2012 03:16 PM
New York City's ban on selling beverages bigger than 16 ounces that passed last month doesn't seem to face a major threat as it heads toward implementation in March. It's fat from popular with many New Yorkers, and the beverage industry and others certainly hate it, but the regulation has begun to assume the momentum of inevitability.
That's why the American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group among other companies, has launched a last-ditch effort that now includes a lawsuit against the city that the organization, as promised. The suit argues that the unelected New York health board, which approved the ban spearheaded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, shouldn't be telling people how much soda to drink, according to CBS Radio. The suit also said that the rule "burdens consumers and unfairly harms small businesses."Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 1, 2012 01:27 PM
Ben Cohen may be a member of the elite 1% in America, but he’s a hippie at heart and always has been up for helping out the other 99%. Although the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand he co-founded with buddy Jerry Greenfield is now owned by Unilever, the brand still reflects their left-leaning vision by maintaining a commitment to activism, funded by a foundation to support “social justice, environmental protection, (and) sustainable food systems.” Plus, what makes the world happier than free ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s has been hosting a free cone day every year since it started in 1979.
Well, there’s one group of folks who aren’t too happy with Cohen today: Occupy Wall Street.Continue reading...