• Vodafone, Yahoo Partner On Targeted Mobile Ads
    Vodafone, the world's largest cell phone service provider by revenue, and Yahoo are developing a mobile ad initiative in the United Kingdom that will enable advertisers to direct their message at people depending on gender, demographic group, location and user behavior. If successful, the effort could help shape the nascent mobile-advertising industry. The two companies will jointly develop the look and feel of the ads that will likely include a variety of formats--from banner ads to short video clips. Vodafone also will use Yahoo's sizable sales force to sell to advertisers. For customers that opt in ...
  • Analysts Say Wal-Mart Changes Painful But Necessary
    Wal-Mart, expected to announce today that sales for November fell for the first time in a decade, may be changing too fast. But that may not be such a bad thing in the long run. In the last year, the world's largest retailer started a line of urban fashion, began renovating 1,800 stores, overhauled its advertising to focus less on price and more on style, rolled out $4 generic drugs, ended its layaway program and imposed wage caps on its workers, to name just a few new strategies. It also alienated shoppers with designer-inspired clothing and disruptive store ...
  • Kraft Sued Over Contents Of Guacamole Dip
    A Los Angeles woman sued Kraft yesterday, alleging that it commits fraud by calling its dip "guacamole." Her lawyer says suits against other purveyors of "fake guacamole" could be filed soon. Unlike peanut butter, which by law must contain at least 90% peanuts, the Food and Drug Administration has no legal standard mandating how much avocado should be in guacamole. The guacamole sold by Kraft Foods Inc., one of the best-selling avocado dips in the nation, includes modified food starch, hefty amounts of coconut and soybean oils, and a dose of food coloring--but less than 2% avocado, according ...
  • Domino's Offers Free Pizza To Brooklyn-Style Names
    The first 300 people with any form of the spelling "Brooke" and "Lynn" as part of their names will receive a $10 gift certificates good for a free pizza at Domino's. The promotion is designed to build awareness for the launch of the chain's new Brooklyn Style Pizza. "We thought this was a fun way to add a new layer to the promotions for the pizza," says Domino's spokesperson Dana Harville. Consumers register at Dominos.com and have to contact a Domino's rep to seal the deal. They must provide birth certificates and/or driver's licenses as proof. The promotion ...
  • GM Will Build Buick By Cutting It In Half
    In order to capture more showroom traffic and shun lower-margin sales to car-rental companies, General Motors is prepared halve its production of Buick models. "We don't have to play hard in daily rental with Buick because frankly, we've got other brands to play that role," GM CEO Rick Wagoner says. Buick has offered as many as seven models in recent years, but Wagoner says the automaker is prepared to accept lower unit sales with about four models. Combined with the success of Buick in China, Wagoner maintains that the push will help turn the brand around in the ...
  • Ford's Future Includes Makeover And Crossover For Lincoln
    As the company moves through its painful restructuring, Ford revealed 17 new and freshened Ford and Lincoln models to employees at Cobo arena in Detroit yesterday as part of an effort to boost morale. A makeover for the luxury Lincoln brand is among the reported improvements. Employees wouldn't say what the new Lincoln looks like, but they said it gave them comfort about the future. The Lincoln brand will also get a full-size crossover based on the Ford Fairlane concept. The production version of that vehicle, which is expected to be displayed at the Detroit auto show in ...
  • Wal-Mart Will Offer Film Downloads On Web Site
    Wal-Mart will begin testing a video download service on its Web site next year. Media executives involved in the deal said that all the major studios are either on board or in active talks with the retailer. Hewlett-Packard is providing the technology for the download site. In another sign that the race to put video content online is accelerating, the Internet firm BitTorrent plans to announce today that it has struck distribution deals with eight media partners, including 20th Century Fox, Paramount and MTV Networks. Wal-Mart is the country's largest seller of DVDs, and the decade-old ...
  • Firings At Pfizer Could Change Drug Marketing
    In a move that may have a domino effect on the pharmaceutical industry, Pfizer yesterday said that it would cut about 20% of its sales force. About 2,200 jobs will be lost. The drug giant says that the cuts are an "initial step" in its "transformation strategy." Drug firms rely on salespeople to call on physicians, informing doctors about the benefits of new drugs and handing out free samples. Without such promotion, new medicines, they argue, wouldn't go into wide use. But in the past decade, the number of sales people in the industry has tripled to 100,000. ...
  • Microsoft Kicks Off Small Business Tour Idea Challenge
    To promote the launch of its Small Business Accounting software, Microsoft kicked off an "Ultimate Challenge" van tour of five American cites. The goal is to collect great business ideas for a contest dubbed "IdeaWins." The event in New York's Times Square will be followed by stops in Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago and Atlanta. Visitors to the ideawins.com Web site will be able to track the progress of the ideas via a reality show-style online series. Finalists will then make pitches on a network morning show. The person who submits the best idea will receive $100,000 and free ...
  • Hormel Struggles With Ethnic And Healthy Lines
    Hormel Foods' identification with Spam and other processed meats is proving to be a drawback as it pursues the small but fast-growing premium, ethnic and health-conscious markets. Earlier this year, it pulled all four of the new ethnic-themed varieties of its Refrigerated Entrees line that it introduced in February 2004. Consumers were skeptical that the maker of Spam could also deliver restaurant-quality ethnic fare. The company has also failed to convince Whole Foods to carry Natural Choice, a line of preservative-free deli-style meats. The company is not neglecting its traditional consumers. Innovations include single-serve packets and ...
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