• Mobile Phone Makers Scramble For Hit Designs
    LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia and other mobile device manufacturers are in a fierce battle to please finicky customers as new entrants like Apple--with its popular iPhone--seek to upend the traditional mobile phone business. It has become more important than ever to understand the psyche of consumers and why they pick one phone over another, say company executives and analysts. Like fashion or entertainment, the cell phone industry is increasingly hit-driven, and new models that do not fly off the shelves within weeks of their debut are considered duds. Teenagers, one of the fastest-growing markets, are especially quick to ...
  • Management Shake-Up At Unilever Combines Divisions
    An overhaul of senior management at Unilever expands the roles of two key Indian executives--and the odds one will eventually succeed Patrick Cescau, 59, as CEO. Vindi Banga, 53, now president-Foods, will also oversee Home and Personal Care. Harish Manwani, 54, now president-Asia/Africa, adds Central and Eastern Europe to his duties, putting most developing markets under his leadership. Doug Baillie, 52, born in Zimbabwe, will move from CEO of Hindustan Lever to become president of Western Europe, which will now operate as a separate unit from the rest of Europe. The moves complete a near-total overhaul of senior ...
  • CPSI Suing A-B, Miller Over Caffeinated Alcohol Drinks
    Claiming that Anheuser-Busch's Bud Extra and Tilt, and Miller's Sparks, contain stimulants that are not officially approved for use in alcohol drinks, the Center for Science in the Public Interest says it will seek a judge's order prohibiting the companies from combining stimulants with alcohol. The activist group also accused the companies of falsely suggesting those stimulants help to combat alcohol's effects. The center will ask that the companies' profits from the drinks be diverted into a charitable fund. Federal regulators have approved the formulations and labeling for Sparks, and Miller has marketed the beverages responsibly, company spokesman ...
  • DeGeneres's Deal Signals New Direction In Endorsements
    Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, who has taken an estimated 15% stake in Halo Purely for Pets pet food, will be the new pitchwoman for its high-end dog and cat products and will look for ways to work them into her widely watched daytime talk show. To start, her face will be featured in 33 million newspaper and marketing circulars for the Petco chain and a series of in-store advertising displays promoting Halo this weekend. The deal is an example of the unorthodox marketing agreements that celebrities are increasingly inking with companies. Rather than a straight annual endorsement fee, some ...
  • FTC Chairman Majoras Joining P&G
    Deborah Platt Majoras--who as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission has received high marks from industry representatives and consumer advocates for her knowledge of the issues and willingness to listen to all sides--will join Procter & Gamble in June as vice president and general counsel. Majoras, 44, will have primary responsibility for P&G's global antitrust and litigation practice. During Majoras's four-year tenure at the FTC, companies such as DirecTV and Ameriquest Mortgage paid millions in fines to settle charges of illegal telemarketing. The FTC also brought cases against several pharmaceutical companies, alleging that they paid off generic-drug makers ...
  • Puma, Designer Hussein Chalayan Team Up
  • Big SoBe Lizards To Take Manhattan
  • Yao's Injury Disappoints Olympic Sponsors, Fans
    Chinese basketball fans, bloggers and multinational companies all expressed their condolences yesterday to Yao Ming, the 27-year-old, 7-foot-6 superstar center, who announced Tuesday that a stress fracture in his foot would prevent him from finishing the season with the NBA's Houston Rockets and threatens his participation in the Beijing Olympics in August. Yao's grin seems to be plastered everywhere in China, from cans of Coke to billboards for Visa. A Web site launched by Reebok--www.reebokyao.com--features a "Yao-o-meter" of Chinese support for the star, measuring the growth in digital sentiments such as clicks and phone messages. So far, the ...
  • G.E Using Olympics To Shed Light On Global Message
    With sales to emerging economies representing the fastest-growing chunk of General Electric's revenues, the company is making a big splash at the Beijing Olympics to impress potential customers and shareholders with its "Imagination at Work" campaign. The company is building an imagination center in the middle of the Olympic Green--a two-story building that is half fun house, half museum exhibit. And it is putting the finishing touches on a series of print ads and commercials that put an Olympic spin on its effort to bring desalination technology to the Middle East, X-ray technology to China and heart monitoring gear ...
  • Mom-And-Pop Franchisees Fight Dairy Queen
    Daily Queen owner associations with franchise members in 10 states are suing the company, claiming that it is trying to force them to spend between $275,000 and $450,000 to remodel stores and to adhere to an unproven concept that will cost more to operate, double staffing requirements, and cut into profits. Dairy Queen's plans center on two relatively new restaurants lines. DQ Grill & Chill establishments would sell meals and desserts, and would expand to include limited table service, among other things. Outlets that sell only Blizzards, Dilly Bars and desserts would combine with the Orange Julius beverage chain ...
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