Tesla S may have a fire problem. But when it comes to PR at electric carmaker the fire may be burning at least as hot between CEO Elon Musk's ears as under the hood of the car. Columnist Gabe Nelson details Musk's wrangle with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration around who asked whom to investigate the fires. Musk is taking huge risks with his intransigence says Nelson. "What matters is why Musk -- facing the most serious PR challenge in his company's short lifetime -- has stuck to his belligerent communications style. For Musk to try to show up ...
The official basketball of the NBA since 1983 and the maker of hoops backboards and equipment, Spalding now has its eyes on feet, unveiling plans to launch a line of basketball shoes in 2014 with marketing support that will seek to intrude into a category dominated by Nike and division Jordan Brand, with adidas and Under Armour also key players in a U.S. market valued at $14B and a global category put at $75B.
The FDA has ordered genetic test-kit purveyor 23andMe to stop marketing the kit. The agency alleges that the company, run by Anne Wojcicki, gazillionaire wife of Sergey Brin, is wading into murky water by touting the kit as a disease diagnosis tool without regulatory clearance in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. According to the agency, the kit falls under the heading of a regulated medical device.
The NHL is in the midst of what league executives have declared "our most ambitious season ever," with six outdoor games including the Bridgestone Winter Classic, Tim Hortons Heritage Game and the Coors Light Stadium Series (in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles), plus the Discovery Thanksgiving Showdown this Friday and the Olympics in February.
Speaking with Angie Martinez, Kanye confirmed that he's ending his longheld partnership with Nike to ink a deal with shoe rival Adidas. Why would 'Ye leave a relationship that spawned such creations as the Air Yeezys? Well, it's all about Baby North. "I'm going to be the first hip-hop designer, and because of that I'mma be bigger than Wal-Mart."
The American Cancer Society's "Great American Smokeout" is getting support from Hy-Vee stores in Topeka, Kan. The company has teamed up with St. Francis Health Center to give customers a voucher for a free frozen turkey for every pack of cigarettes they turned in. More than 200 turkeys were awarded during the two-hour event.
Market research firm Landor says wearable technology will be one of the leading brand trends in 2014. The firm says wearable tech will serve as digital personal trainers helping people meet exercise goals. Avery Dennison with its Metria wearable sensor, AiQ and its smart clothing, as well as Zephyr Technology with the BioHarness BT are brands to watch. Landor also points to brands becoming enablers of public services in 2014. Citibank's New York City bike program is an example.
Honda says it is the retail sales leader in four of the largest non-truck segments in the U.S. auto market with the midsize Civic, Accord, Odyssey minivan and CR-V crossover. The automaker grabbed a 16.2% increase in retail sales for the first nine months of 2013, while capturing a 16.1% share of the American market. "By the time the dust settles, we expected we'll set an all-time record Honda," in 2013, said Honda's U.S. chief John Mendel.
Grocers like Safeway, Kroger and Canada's Metro are doing customized offers along the lines of targeted shopping experiences that online retailers like Amazon.com use. The central idea for the sales and loyalty program is to suggest items to buy based on past purchases. In the past stores would mail packets of paper coupons tailored to to members of their loyalty programs. Now they're offering similar discounts online or through mobile apps - this time, weekly.
Unilever has today launched its biggest consumer-facing brand campaign to date, called 'Project Sunlight' to promote the company around the world as environmentally conscientious. The effort debuts in the UK, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the U.S. with a view to changing consumers' attitudes towards sustainability and their overall consumer behavior. The mostly online campaign directs consumers to www.projectsunlight.com. The effort, via Ogilvy, includes elements on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, with the hashtag #brightfuture. It involves partners Unicef, Save the Children and the World Food Programme.