• Gore Launching $300 Million Green Campaign
    A three-year, $300 million ad campaign highlighting the extent to which Americans' growing awareness of global warming has yet to translate into national policy changes will kick off Wednesday. Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection's "we" campaign will employ online organizing and ads on TV shows ranging from "American Idol" to "The Daily Show" to mobilize Americans to push for aggressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Gore says the campaign, which he helped to fund, has been undertaken in large part because of his fear that lawmakers are unwilling to curb the human-generated emissions linked to climate change. Private contributors ...
  • Big Fuss Over Disney's 'Small World' Makeover
    As part of its overhaul of the iconic "Small World" ride in Disneyland, Walt Disney Co. plans to showcase some of its familiar faces instead of an anonymous cast of characters. The company isn't saying how many characters will appear in the revamped ride or how prominent they will be, but relatives of artist and ride designer Mary Blair sent a blistering letter to Disney last week, berating what they called an "idiotic plan" that "represents a gross desecration." Some fans of the original ride fear the changes are a crass attempt by Disney to make the attraction more commercial ...
  • NAD Says Wal-Mart's Savings Claims Are Misleading
    Wal-Mart ads that imply that the retailer saves the average family that shops in its stores $2,500 a year are misleading, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus will announce today. It is a message "for which the advertiser provided no support and, in fact, conceded that there was none," it says. The claim of saving $2,500 dates to 2005, when Wal-Mart--under mounting criticism from unions and elected leaders over its business practices--commissioned a study of its economic impact on Americans. It turns out you save $2,500 even if you never set foot inside a Wal-Mart. ...
  • Burger King Will Build Smaller 'Whopper Bar' Outlets
    Burger King plans to start building Whopper Bars that will be smaller than a typical restaurant and will sell Whoppers that are not typically available at all times. Executives say they haven't finalized the menu--which will be smaller than in a regular outlet--although it could include as many as 10 types of Whoppers, such as the Western Whopper, the Texas Double Whopper and the Angry Whopper, a version topped with spicy onions. BK plans to build Whopper Bars in places like casinos, airports and other venues with limited space. The company won't say how many it will open and where ...
  • Amex Decides Express Pay Fob Doesn't Add Up
    American Express is abandoning its "Express Pay" fob--a payment device that attaches to a key chain--six years after it began testing it. It plans to focus on its traditional cards instead--installing computer chips in them that allow customers to hold the card up to an electronic reader instead of swiping it through a device. "We have actually found that our customers prefer to use the contactless technology through our traditional cards" rather than the key fob, says Richard Flynn, a svp who oversees "cardless" payments at AmEx. Card issuers have been encouraging merchants to install the new readers, which are ...
  • Is The Ad A Success? The Brain Waves Tell All
  • Aloha Airlines Ending Passenger Service After 62 Years
  • Gruff Ad Legend Worked Hard To Craft Easygoing Spots
  • Spring Is Here; Chrysler's Fancy Turns To Minivan Sales
    Chrysler says its redesigned minivans have been well-received by consumers and they have been greeted by glowing reviews--but in the six months since the Chrysler and Dodge brand vehicles launched, U.S. sales have dropped 12%. There's a lot riding on the next few months, since over a 10-year period about 40% of minivan sales have occurred in the spring. Chrysler celebrated the launch of the redesigned minivan a few weeks after it was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management. It came at a time when its Detroit competitors were exiting the segment in favor of so-called crossover vehicles. The minivan segment ...
  • One On One With Nader On The Faltering Consumer Movement
    Ralph Nader seems most angry and obstinate when he talks about what he sees as government's failure to protect its citizens from abuses by corporate America. Claiming that we're living under "corporate fascism," Nader has broadened his targets from the 1960s to include banks, credit card companies and binding arbitration clauses (not to mention his rival presidential candidates). Nader says the reasons why the consumer movement he helped start seems to have faded--or at least stalled--are the dismantling of consumer protection agencies, abandonment of consumer education in schools, and "American Idol," to name a few. Nader sees community organizing as ...
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