Start-up automaker Nikola founder Trevor Milton is facing criminal and civil securities fraud charges. He is accused of misleading investors — in particular individual investors — about the technology for battery- and hydrogen-powered vehicles Nikola had hoped to manufacture. In a separate civil case, the Securities and Exchange Commission is also accusing Milton of securities fraud.
General Motors’ Chevrolet brand has enlisted an unlikely mascot for its Silverado pickup: a cat named Walter. A 60-second TV spot featuring the exuberant brown tabby broke during the Olympics and is shared on social media. Viewers have been clamoring for sequels on social
and in YouTube comments
. The spot, which highlights the truck’s multi-flex tailgate, is part of a broader campaign from Commonwealth/McCann.
Ron Popeil, the man behind TV pitches for items such as the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman and the Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ (“Set it and forget it!”), has died. “As he pioneered, in the middle of the 20th century, what became known as the infomercial, both Popeil and his fervently promoted products became part of the pop-culture landscape,” per the Los Angeles Times.
Nike is being blasted by one of its star athletes, who says he had nothing to do with the design or marketing of the upcoming Kyrie 8. “These are trash! … Nike plans to release it without my okay, regardless of what I say, so I apologize in advance,” Irving posted on Instagram. The seven-time NBA all-star plays for the Brooklyn Nets. He signed with Nike in 2011.
Lupus patients star in GlaxoSmithKline’s first-ever D2C ads for Benlysta. The effort features three young women who talk about not allowing their conditions to rule their lives. The spots, targeting a younger audience, will air on Hulu and Roku. A digital and social effort includes messaging for healthcare professionals.
Costco Wholesale has reversed its decision to end senior hours and will keep them until further notice. “Weeks after announcing it would end the senior hours on July 26, the retailer changed course and is instead reducing them from five days a week to twice-weekly events” on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 10 a.m., per USA Today.
For the first time in 50 years, Campbell’s venerable soup cans are getting a makeover. The red and white design remains, but the company’s logo is receiving a "modernized logo scripture," per CNN Business. The word "soup" is printed in a new font, along with a slanted "O" as a nod to the brand's original label from 1898. The cans are currently being distributed.
How travel service providers approach diversity is under scrutiny after a year of social justice protests. “In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, everybody from hotel operators to luggage makers declared themselves allies of the protesters,” per The New York Times. Now, travelers are paying close attention to whether companies are following through with their promises from last year.
British-American industrial, product and architectural designer Jony Ive is partnering with Prince Charles to open a design lab through London’s Royal College of Art. The project will be backed by Octopus Energy, the Islamic Development Bank and Amazon. Its goal is to work with students to “create small designs that can make a big impact for the world’s transition to a sustainable future,” according to the press release.
The hard seltzer market is becoming increasingly competitive. Coca-Cola, which recently launched Topo Chico, is rolling it out to the U.S. via a partnership with Molson Coors after first launching in Latin America and Europe. The drink is now in 17 markets and will be in a total of 28 by the end of this year, per Beverage Daily. The company is still in the “learning phase” and the dynamics of local markets are important.