Battery-car start-up Tesla Motors hopes to put a quick-charging "supercharger" within the reach of all U.S. motorists - and most of those in Canada - over the next several years, something that could eliminate the so-called "range anxiety" that has so far been a factor in the limited sales of plug-based" vehicles like Tesla's Model S. The roll-out of the Tesla Supercharger network will now come twice as fast as originally planned, with about twice as many of them being put in place, according to the maker's founder and CEO Elon Musk.
Nissan and some other big brands have suspended advertising campaigns on Facebook after ads were apparently displayed next to offensive content on the site. The campaigns were put on hold in the U.K. just as Facebook rolled out new policies to help it more quickly identify and remove hate speech and other forms of offensive content on its site.
A month after Tumblr introduced sponsored posts into its native mobile applications, the company is today bringing those same brand advertisements to its web dashboard. Launch partners for these new "Sponsored Web Posts," as they're called, include Viacom, Ford Motor Company, Universal Pictures, Capital One, AT&T, Denny's and Purina.
Nation's Restaurant News
Quick-service chains with the most locations ranked among the most-visited brands in a new study from Seattle-based Placed Insights, but the report also revealed new marketing opportunities for some of them based on demographic information. Based on more than 70,000 consumer interviews during April 2013, Placed Insights' "Dining Out in America: The Quick Service Restaurant Landscape" report, 51% of consumers surveyed said they had visited McDonald's recently and 39.7% of them said they had visited Subway.
Convenience Store News
Summer is getting off to a slow start for beverage sales in the convenience channel. According to the latest Beverage Buzz survey by Wells Fargo Securities LLC, growth of convenience store beverage sales fell this year, up only 2% for Memorial Day vs. an increase of 6% for Memorial Day 2012. The cold and wet weather in most of the United States during the holiday weekend put a damper on sales, according to the firm.
New York Times
The year isn't even done yet, but advertisers are going to cram school to get ready for the fall. A couple of examples: Office Depot is uniting with the boy band One Direction for a back-to-school campaign that will include an anti-bullying initiative carrying the theme "Live. Love. Move." Last summer, the retailer teamed with the Born This Way Foundation, founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta.
McDonald's would love to project a healthier image to consumers, but one tactic for achieving that -- salads -- aren't big sellers. Setups like Bacon Ranch and Southwest with Crispy Chicken are only 2% to 3% of U.S. restaurant sales. Said CEO Don Thompson at an investor conference, "I don't see salads as being a major growth driver in the near future." He said the company may push hamburgers and chicken sandwiches as veggie platforms.
Allstate Corp. said that later this year it will launch products aimed at parents who want to monitor the driving of their teenagers, who are expensive to insure as drivers. In return for allowing the insurer to install a monitoring device, motorists become eligible for additional discounts if they drive safely. Allstate's device, which it introduced in 2010, is called Drivewise. "We're going to do something with teen drivers so you can actually know where your kids are if they're driving," CEO Tom Wilson said at the Sanford C. Bernstein 29th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference in New York.
Chain Store Age
Consumer confidence climbed to the highest level in more than five years, according to The Conference Board. The sentiment index rose to 76.2 in May, the highest since February 2008, and up from a reading of 69.0 in April. "Back-to-back monthly gains suggest that consumer confidence is on the mend and may be regaining the traction it lost due to the fiscal cliff, payroll-tax hike, and sequester," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.
A new U.S. Census-based Pew Research Center study says a record 40% of households with children include "breadwinner moms." They are the primary source of income for households with children younger than 18. These moms include two groups: 5.1 million (37%) are married mothers who have a higher income than their husbands, and 8.6 million (63%) are single mothers. The median family income for the first group was $79,800 in 2011, compared with $23,000 for the single mothers.