• Xerox To Buy Affiliated Computer For $6.4 Billion
  • Donald Fisher, Co-Founder Of The Gap, Dead At 81
    Donald Fisher, who founded Gap Inc. with a single San Francisco blue jeans outlet in 1969 with his wife and business partner, Doris, died Sunday of cancer at his San Francisco home. He was 81. "I didn't plan to go into the clothing business. I was just fortunate to have a bit of bad luck," Fisher once told a reporter. He was a 41-year-old real estate developer when he and his wife tried to exchange a pair of Levi's jeans that didn't fit him and couldn't find a store in the city that carried all sizes. So they bought …
  • Hummer Deal May Not Go Through; Brand In Jeopardy
    Joseph R. Szczesny reports that General Motors' deal with the only bidder for its Hummer brand, China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery, has hit some glitches, and the brand may "wind up on the scrap heap" if it can't complete the deal relatively soon. "We'll close it," says one unnamed GM official. China's National Development and Reform Commission has said that the purchase of Hummer is inconsistent with the country's effort to become greener. In addition, writes Szczesny, Sichuan Tengzhong has no experience building vehicles for the retail market. But despite the fact that its dealer network is …
  • Viva Takes The Testosterone Out Of Paper Towel Marketing
    Kimberly-Clark's Viva paper towels has cut a deal with the Food Network to run 30-second interstitials on cook Sunny Anderson's show that aim to counter a category that traditionally is a bit too heavy on "male testosterone," Elaine Wong reports. "It's that Brawny man everywhere when you step back and think of it," says Viva brand manager Joe Kardel, referring to the mascot for Georgia-Pacific's line of towels. "We're the girl in the aisle." Adds Kardel: the "Viva diva likes to entertain, she is the hostess with the mostess and she values the little things in life." The …
  • GoodGuide Scrutinizes Ethical Hype Of 75,000 Products
    A small band of venture-funded academics are systematically rating brands that make health, environmental and social impact claims. Each brand is scored on each measure individually and then given a collective rating based on whether the reality of its ethical marketing live up to its claims about it, Jack Neff reports. Dara O'Rourke, an environmental policy professor at University of California, Berkeley, launched GoodGuide.com with a handful of colleagues two years ago; it now has about 75,000 products in its database. Distilling dozens of facts from public and private databases, it has grabbed the attention of marketers such as …
  • Games And Toys Getting Top Billing In Hollywood
    Following the success of movies such as "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Transformers," Hollywood studios are increasingly enamored with projects that are based on well-known toys and games, Ben Fritz reports. "Brands are the new stars," says Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger. "That's what you used to pay the star, although, fortunately, they're not as expensive." Universal alone has optioned Asteroids from Atari, Barbie from Mattel, and has development deals for several Hasbro products. Chris Silbermann, president of talent agency International Creative Management, says that you need "a certain amount of unaided awareness" just for starters if you're …
  • How Much Internet Does Your Brand Really Need?
    Your customers may actually have no interest in "chatting" with your brand, writes Mike Linton, who was most recently CMO at eBay.
  • Does Branding Matter For Gasoline?
    In South Africa, yes. In the U.S. of A., not really -- and the younger you go demographically, the worse it gets.
  • P&G Pledges Hefty Support For Two Sustainability Projects
    Procter & Gamble's new "Future Friendly" program will provide conservation education to at least 50 million U.S. households next year, the company said at the annual Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York City. The multi-brand program is designed to inspire and educate consumers about making sustainable choices. P&G also says it will place its "sustainable innovation products" in 30 million U.S. homes by the end of 2010. Pampers, for example, has a new diaper design that is 20% slimmer than before with no sacrifice in performance. The company also has pledged to provide 4 billion liters of …
  • Environmentalists Take Hard Line On Soft Toilet Paper
    An ongoing target of environmentalists is soft toilet paper -- which has, by the way, actually been getting fluffier and harder to recycle over the years, all marketing hype aside. In fact, writes David A. Fahrenthold. "Quilted Northern Ultra Plush is the first big brand to go three ply and three adjective." Environmentalists say that the soft tissue depends on the kindness of old trees. They'd like to see us go European, where the somewhat stiffer paper is made from recycled pulp. The big guys in the toilet-paper game protest that they're trying to "become more Earth-friendly" but are …
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