• Geico's $1 Billion Gecko Keeps Working
    Berkshire Hathaway-owned Geico spent $935 million in advertising last year, almost three times the average spent by the rest of the 10 biggest insurance companies. And it seems to work: Geico’s premium income increased 11.2% in 2013, per Nomura Group figures. The direct-marketer insurer passed Allstate for the first time to become the second-largest player in auto insurance.
  • Chipotle CMO Says Consistency Means Success
    Chipotle's CMO, Mark Crumpacker, explains the magic sauce that helped the company achieve earnings far in excess of the Street's projections, even with higher higher menu prices because of some food supply shortages. Said Crumpacker, "Chipotle doesn’t play the typical marketing game where we add new menu items and try to get people in with gimmicks like that. Frankly, we’re just really positioned well to be where those folks want to go."
  • Netflix Seeks Creative Agency
    Netflix plans to launch in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg in September -- its biggest expansion in three years. To help, the company is looking for an agency for its pan-European account. Netflix hired Fallon in September last year but stopped working on the account six weeks ago.
  • GM Revenue Plunges On Recalls
    General Motors’ vast numbers of product recalls for safety issues during the second quarter erased most of its Q2 profits. General Motors posted an 85% drop in net income for the April-June period to $190 million from $1.2 billion a year earlier. Recall-related costs and one-time expenses -- including $400 million that GM has set aside to pay victims of its faulty ignition switch -- reduced net profit by about $1.5 billion net of taxes.
  • Consumers Like Cooking Content On YouTube
    Nearly half of all adults watch food videos on YouTube, but millennials watch 30% more foodie footage than other demographics. About 68% of millennial mothers purchase food products featured in the videos they view, while the same percentage also watch videos while they cook, according to research from Millward Brown Digital, Firefly and Google.
  • Ford Second-Quarter Earnings Up 6.3%
    Ford Motor Co. beat analysts’ expectations as second-quarter profits rose 6.3% to $1.3 billion over the same period a year ago. Highlighting the results were a best-ever North American profit of $2.44 million, and its first profit in Europe in three years. Ford’s revenues fell to $37.4 billion from $37.9 billion during the same period a year ago.
  • Restaurant Traffic Flat
    Consumer traffic to restaurants in the United States has flattened, with few signs of an upturn, according to new data from The NPD Group. The Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm found that American consumers made about 61 billion visits to restaurants during the 12 months ended in May 2014, matching year-earlier traffic, and constituting about 1.3 billion annual dining-out occasions below pre-recession levels, NPD found.
  • Stop & Shop Hooking Up With Farmers
    Stop & Shop is working with 41 growers this season to offer local fruit and vegetable items in the produce department, including corn, tomatoes, blueberries, mushrooms and squash. The retailer is holding a local foods event in its stores on July 26 where kids will be given a “Buy local” canvas bag, coloring book and seed packets. Certain stores will have produce sampling and meet the farmer events.
  • Teens, Young Adults Prefer Real Malls
    A new survey by Forest City in partnership with Alexander Babbage finds that 13-to-24-year-olds prefer shopping at actual malls to virtual shopping. The 13-to-17-year-old age group shows the strongest preference for a bricks-and-mortar shopping experience. The study found that young shoppers are four times more likely to be influenced by friends and three times more likely to be influenced by in-store displays than by social media.
  • Swatch Denies It Is Working With Apple
    Swatch Group has denied a report in VentureBeat saying it was working with Apple on a smartwatch. A spokeswoman for Swatch Group said on Thursday the report was unfounded. She said the only business relationship Swatch Group had with mobile phone makers was as a supplier of integrated circuits and other electronic components.
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