long arm of the law
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 19, 2013 12:29 PM
When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg steps down from his current job on January 1 of next year, he might want to go find employment with a vice squad. Bloomberg was dealt a recent blow when his move to stop New Yorkers from purchasing oversized sodas was struck down by the court, but never one to give up, he's now got his eyes on controlling cigarette sales in the Big Apple.
The mayor on Monday introduced proposed legislation that would require New York cigarette sellers to hide cigarette packs from consumers so the brands aren’t given any free advertising and consumers don’t break down at the point of purchase and pick up a few smokes. The mandate is similar to one recently proposed in Singapore, to the dismay of Big Tobacco.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on March 11, 2013 09:22 PM
It was doomed to fail, writes the Guardian. Even New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg acknowledged, "When we began this process, we knew we’d face lawsuits." He added, "When you adopt a groundbreaking policy, special interest will sue. That's America."
So the overturning by New York State judge Milton Tingling of Bloomberg's proposed ban on sugary beverages above 16 ounces, which was due to go into effect on Tuesday before being dismissed as "arbitrary" and "capricious" by Tingling, didn't come as a complete surprise.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 11, 2013 11:44 AM
Mention espionage and product placement and one name comes to mind: Zero Dark Thirty. Sure, Skyfall's James Bond used a Sony Experia and, in the other 2012 CIA thriller to feature waterboarding, Safe House, the agency man used an iPhone. Yet, in last year's true life tale spygame, the heroes killed Osama Bin Laden with the help of BlackBerry.
It's a placement the brand was involved with. But unlike other product placements—even some inside Zero Dark Thirty—BlackBerry faces a paradox when it comes to capitalizing on its role in Hollywood's definitive account of killing America's most hated enemy.
While there are many obvious details that Zero Dark Thirty suspiciously avoided, such as substituting the fictional Pakistan station chief "Joseph Bradley" for the real life Jonathan Banks, the production is also credited with paying obsessive attention to the smaller details. A precise replica of the bin Laden compound was built for Zero Dark's SEALs to storm. The film's SEALs wore four-prong GPNVG-18s, cutting-edge night-vision goggles favored by current "operators." And then there were the BlackBerry phones.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2013 03:35 PM
New York politicians are making life difficult for anybody who sells sugared beverages, but it doesn't stop there. Recently, Dunkin’ Donuts came under fire from state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, who doesn't usually deal with what restaurants serve to their customers.
The state’s pension fund owns 51,400 shares of Dunkin’ Brands Group (worth around $2 million) and DiNapoli has been working toward getting any companies the fund invests in to be more involved in sustainable practices, the New York Times reports. As a result of DiNapoli's work, Dunkin’ said Thursday that it would announce in the second quarter a timetable for obtaining the palm oil it uses in its products from sustainable sources.
“Consumers may not realize that many of the foods and cosmetics they eat and use contain palm oil that has been harvested in ways that are severely detrimental to the environment,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Shareholder value is enhanced when companies take steps to address the risks associated with environmental practices that promote climate change.”
Meanwhile, Dunkin’ and other coffee vendors in New York City are preparing for the difficult task ahead of informing its customers about which of its drinks have more sugar than the new Mayor Bloomberg-pushed, American Beverage Association-opposed, NYC sugary drinks ban allows. According to the Times, Dunkin’ Donuts is handing out fliers to inform its customers while Starbucks is waiting until the rule goes into effect Tuesday before taking any action.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 4, 2013 11:10 AM
Women's issues are top of mind, with International Women's Day on March 8th and the the 57th Session the main focus of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women now underway in New York, with about 700 related events taking place March 4-15.
Kicking off CSW, UN Women executive director Michelle Bachelet today formally convened the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (follow on Twitter at #CSW57). The recent gang-rape and murder of a student in Delhi and the One Billion Rising campaign drew global attention, Bachelet notes: "2012 demonstrated that this [violence] is a terrible reality for many women every day. I'm an optimistic woman and I believe it's clear that we can't continue in the 21st century with this terrible violation of women's human rights."
More than 6,000 UN officials, NGO workers and women's rights activists are expected in New York to debate and create action around the issues, lobbying behind the efforts to counter the work of rightwing groups and countries such as Iran, Russia and the Holy See who are already calling for “removal of key lines of this year's draft document that relate to reproductive health and rights, and those that suggest governments take responsibility for tackling gender violence,” notes the Guardian.Continue reading...
getting by with a little help
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 28, 2013 01:51 PM
Critics feeling that Michelle Obama has been overexposed lately, from presenting at the Oscars to mom-dancing with Jimmy Fallon, will have a hard time critiquing her latest move. The First Lady is expanding Let's Move, her three-year-old initiative to get kids moving and combat childhood obesity, and she's tapping one of the world's leading brands in the "get moving" space—Nike.
NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker joined First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Chicago to announce Nike’s $50 million, five-year commitment to help launch a new Let's Move program for schools, an extension of the brand's involvement in the organization's Designed to Move study that found that only one in three American kids are active daily.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2013 04:26 PM
The U.S. federal government still defines the act of marriage as one taking place between a man and a woman even though a number of states have made gay marriage legal and President Obama made it clear in his Inauguration speech (and other speeches since) that gay marriage is something he firmly believes in. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law—for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said after being sworn in on Jan. 21 by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Roberts will have a lot to do with possibly making a change to the way the federal government defines marriage when his Court hears two gay-marriage-related cases on March 26 and 27. Nearly 300 companies came out Wednesday to “urge the U.S. Supreme Court … to strike down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to heterosexual unions,” Reuters reports.
Considering the size and number of brands taking part, it will be hard for conservatives who have long opposed gay marriage to try and boycott everyone involved.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 21, 2013 11:01 AM
Following the countdown, the launch plans of a Kim Jung-Un lookalike are thwarted by a crashed browser. The dictator grabs a rifle, intent on immediately executing the cadre responsible for the embarrassment. But the fast-fingered lackey whips open a Liebao browser and saves the day. "Use Liebao. Launch Victoriously" reads the tagline. Then everyone starts Gangnam Styling because… of course.
Poking fun at ally North Korea is just the latest little stunt by China's Kingsoft to promote its new Lieboa (猎豹; Cheetah) browser. But is the world ready for a Chinese face on its Internet?Continue reading...