in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2012 09:55 AM
President Obama lobbied a group of big business leaders in Washington this week with his views about the looming fiscal cliff. But at least one of the most important heads of a major American business, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, was taking no guff either from Obama or from the leaders of the Senate and House with whom the president is deadlocked — and apparently willing to push to the edge, if not over it, in a political stand-off.
"It's a concern to all of us, because this is a very, very fragile recovery," Mulally said on MSNBC this week. "It's just so important that we come together on a plan to deal with both the revenue side, but also the expense side, because really what we're talking about is keeping the economic development going. That's the most important thing about this issue."
And while so far the U.S. auto industry has more than carried its weight in the nation's sluggish economic recovery, Mulally said that he couldn't guarantee that it would be able to post continued sales increases if Obama and Congress don't deal quickly and decisively with the fiscal cliff.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 5, 2012 12:59 PM
The urban Chinese consumer has greater confidence that green products are better for the environment than their North American counterparts, according to the a new study from DuPont — its China Green Living Survey: Consumer Awareness and Adoption of Biobased Products.
Seventy percent were either very or somewhat confident that green products are better for the environment, while of North American consumers, 65% of Canadians and 60% of Americans held similar beliefs.
The findings have exponential potential for greening-up in the world’s largest consumer market with growing demands for China to meet its sustainability targets. “Greater adoption of biobased products in China could help the country reduce its energy intensity and carbon emissions and advance a new era of green manufacturing,” stated Jeremy Xu, VP, Global Sales and Applications, DuPont Industrial Biosciences.
A majority of Chinese consumers are likely to purchase apparel, personal care, hygiene and household products made from biobased ingredients that offer environmental benefits. More than three quarters of respondents would definitely or likely buy such products in a range of categories including: Detergents 82%, Personal hygiene 81%, Clothing 78%, Personal Care Products 77%.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2012 03:01 PM
The heads of more US restaurant brands are taking out their frustrations on Obamacare, with David Overton of the Cheesecake Factory becoming the latest. And even if you agree with their plaint, their actions prompt the question: Are they only hurting themselves by making a campaign out of their oppostion to the Affordable Care Act and to the new costs it places on their chains, however onerous they may be?
Instead of promoting, say, his chain's holiday campaign to give away 2013 cheesecakes on Facebook, Overton aired his grievances on CBS This Morning, saying that "for those businesses who don't cover their employees [with health insurance already], they'll be in for a very expensive situation." He noted that the Cheesecake Factory already provides some health insurance, but he warned that the costs of complying with Obamacare would be passed on to customers by the industry.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2012 01:27 PM
America's FDA keeps working toward forcing cigarette makers to encase their product in packaging with some incredibly nasty images in order to help consumers understand what could happen to them if they continue smoking. Australian health officials don’t have to wait anymore.
Thanks to a world-first law that went into effect on Dec. 1st, nicotine lovers (and haters) in the land Down Under are now faced with images a gangrene-mangled limb and a skeletal cancer victim when they buy their cigarettes. The images, which caused an uproar when revealed last year, take up most of the pack’s packaging with the cigarette’s brand name (no logo) printed on the bottom quarter of the packaging, in plain text on an olive-toned blah background.
“They’re so horrifingly ugly that they are magnificent,” Fiona Sharkie, executive director of anti-smoking campaigner Quit Victoria, told Bloomberg. How horrifyingly ugly? Check out the grotesque warning images below.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 28, 2012 12:06 PM
In July 2011, President Obama warned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor that he would pressure Republicans to compromise and make a deal by "going to the American people" in order to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, and he's doing just that.
The White House (with more than 3 million Twitter followers) and Obama (with 23.9 million followers) created a trending topic on Twitter today by promoting the #My2K hashtag to rally support for the president's call for legislation before the year-end fiscal cliff deadline for former president George W. Bush's tax cuts package.
Obama is stepping up his effort to get Americans to lobby their elected representatives to pass the middle class tax cuts, personalizing the message with "My 2K" as a reference to the $2,000 (well, $2,200) that may be coming out of their pockets: "If Congress fails to act before the end of the year, every American family’s taxes will automatically go up. A typical middle-class family of four would see its taxes rise by $2,200 starting in 2013."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2012 12:02 PM
Barack Obama isn't the only presidential incumbent to leverage mobile, social and digital technology in his re-election campaign. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is using augmented reality technology in his presidential re-election campaign's mobile app.
The 'Raila for President' app, built by London based agency Blue Storm Solutions, includes information on the Kenyan election process, current news and videos, and advanced image recognition technology from Aurasma. The deal takes the UK-based brand into its 100th foreign territory with the Aurasma-enabled app to bring election posters and literature to life real-time, and encourage click-through to donate to the campaign.
With penetration of smartphones at 7% and growing fast in Kenya, Odinga’s campaign is looking to the African nation's mobile-savvy influencers to help in his re-election bid, which has been challenged by charges of police harassment of the country's ethnic minority population.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 21, 2012 03:02 PM
The White House today was the scene of the annual pre-Thanksgiving turkey pardon, with Cobbler and Gobbler getting a reprieve — along with a shout-out to New York Times stats-cruncher Nate Silver ("once again, Nate Silver completely nailed it") and Facebook, the platform on which (in a first this year) the turkey pardon was opened to public voting. Portlandia-ready infographics (below) gave more details on each turkey's background to help voters decide. The First Family then went to Martha's Table, a food pantry in Washington, D.C., to help assemble Thanksgiving meals to be distributed to the less fortunate this holiday.Continue reading...