• Chamber Of Commerce Defends Its Defense Of Tobacco, Fights Obama On OT
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is having itself a week in the headlines as it battles the Obama administration's proposal to expand overtime pay while its hard lobbying on behalf of tobacco companies in overseas markets has come under scrutiny in the "New York Times" and elsewhere.
  • ConAgra Admits Ralcorp Private Label Buy Was A Mistake; Envisions 'Clear-Eyed' Changes
    With a rallying-call that "we are quite clear-eyed about the need for change," new ConAgra Foods CEO Sean Connolly yesterday said the company would get out of the private-label business it has found unfulfilling since wooing and eventually winning Ralcorp in 2013 with a $5 billion dowry.
  • Observers See Win-Win In AOL and Microsoft Display Ad Biz, Bing Agreement
    Microsoft announced yesterday that its Bing search engine will power search and search advertising across all AOL sites under a 10-year agreement and that AOL will sell all its display advertising, including mobile and video, across nine markets. Observers generally hailed the deals as a good - and necessary - moves for both companies.
  • Brands Show Their Colors In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
    The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Friday ruling that the Constitution guarantees the right of people of the same sex to marry in all 50 states was greeted with glee by brands and marketers.
  • McDonald's Making Progress On Healthier Options For Kids
    Depending on how you look at it, fewer kids want soda than they did after McDonald's took the option off its menu boards or, given the opportunity to express their predilection, more kids still want soda than milk, juice or water.
  • Mini Enters Premium Compact Market With Totally Revamped Clubman
    BMW Group yesterday introduced a longer, four-door and five-passenger 2016 Clubman that not only will be its flagship in the U.S. market but also will lead it into the "premium compact" market. It also swung the crushing ball at three under-performing models: its Paceman, Coupe and Roadster. And, BMW says in a blog post, it is "realigning the Mini brand's product and brand strategy."
  • Retailers Take Down Confederate Merchandise
    Major retailers and online merchants including Amazon, eBay, Sears Holdings, Etsy and Google Shopping are following Walmart's lead and say they will no longer sell Confederate flags or merchandise bearing them.
  • Apple Music Proves Swift On Its Tweets
    Apple's about-face on its decision to withhold royalty payments for songs played on Apple Music during its three-month free trail - mostly thanks to Taylor Swift's reverent but damning Tumbler post Sunday morning - provides an eTextbook example of how brands need to stay vigilant for the social media snippet that can upend their well-wrought tactics within hours.
  • That Roar You Hear From Cannes Is The Sound Of Technology Talking
    It's no secret that advertising is really going geeky on us but the extent to which technology has been overtaking the industry is the talk of the Cannes Lions - the annual festival of graying honchos, celebs like Kim Kardashian and Marilyn Manson and 25-year-old CEOs of $16 billion startups that believes, in its heart, that "creativity is the driving force for business, for change and for good."
  • Some Say The Fitbit IPO Runs Mostly On Hype
    Fitbit pushed off the IPO blocks with a burst of energy yesterday, exceeding even heightened expectations. The company raised the share price to $20 Wednesday night after having set a range of $17 to $19 earlier in the week and then surged almost 50% to close at $29.68 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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