• Volkswagen Execs Charged Over Diesel Emissions Scandal
    Volkswagen's current CEO and chairman were charged by German prosecutors on Tuesday with stock market manipulation. The charges, revealed in a 640-page indictment, are tied to the automaker's diesel emissions scandal. Herbert Diess and Hans Dieter Putsch are accused of failing to disclose the huge financial risks of the diesel scandal to shareholders in a timely fashion. New charges against Martin Winterkorn, the company's former CEO, were also revealed.
  • WeWork CEO Steps Down After Botched IPO
    Adam Neumann stepped down as WeWork’s chief executive following a botched attempt to take the company public. “The announcement marked a swift and stunning fall for Mr. Neumann, who had enormous control over WeWork and spoke about the company with missionary zeal,’” according to the The New York Times, which described Neumann as a “charismatic frontman, a towering, hard-partying Israeli with long hair and a penchant for leather jackets and tequila. He used the company to fund his pet projects, maintained a lavish lifestyle complete with private jets and luxury homes.”
  • Buick Badging No Longer Features Nameplate
    General Motors’ Buick division has stopped adding chrome “Buick” signage on the back of its 2019 vehicles. The vehicles instead carry the brand’s logo. “Buicks still carry a stylized version of the brand’s 'tri-shield' logo, which was introduced to highlight its stylish but poor-selling 1959 Electra, Invicta and LeSabre models,” according to The New York Times. “The absence of Buick lettering leaves room for the new Avenir badge, which Buick introduced as a ‘sub-brand’ suggesting a higher level of luxury. Some auto analysts expect that Buick will eventually make a full transition to the Avenir name.”
  • General Motors Strike Heads Into Second Week
    General Motors workers are heading into their second week on the picket line, and the longer the United Auto Workers strike continues, the more that consumers will be impacted. Car shoppers looking to buy one of the automaker’s new products as well as owners of vehicles needing repairs will feel the sting. “In the weeks leading up to the contract deadline, Detroit’s largest automaker beefed up production to help pad dealer inventory, industry analysts noted. But that will only carry things for so long, especially with high-demand models, as well as hot new products like the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette,” according …
  • Kimberly-Clark Invests in D2C Brand Thinx
    A Wall Street Journal article about the growth of nontraditional feminine-care products notes that category member "Kimberly-Clark Corp., which sells Kotex brand tampons and pads, hopes to capitalize on the shift. The consumer-products giant is investing $25 million in startup Thinx LLC, which makes reusable period underwear." The pairing with a D2C company "aims to get the mostly online brand into mainstream retailers like Target and Walmart." But Thinx is still " a niche product since it launched in 2015, with $50 million in sales last year," out of a $1.6 billion industry in the U.S.
  • Lego Launches First Brand Campaign In Three Decades
    Lego is debuting a new tagline, "Rebuild the world.” It’s intended to be a rallying cry for children to reimagine a more playful universe. Created by BETC Paris and The Lego Agency, it will run globally in markets including Beijing, Berlin, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris and San Francisco across TV, cinema, events and out-of-home.  Creatives features a chase scene between a hunter and a clever rabbit, mixing elements of reality with fantastical scenes imagined by kids. “Lego bricks don’t appear until the end, but every character and vehicle is based on an actual toy with the same characteristics,” according to Campaign.
  • Walmart Offers Mobile-Friendly Credit Cards
    Walmart is partnering with Capital One for a co-branded credit card, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, and a private-label card exclusively for Walmart purchases, the Walmart Rewards Card. Both debut Sept. 24.  “Cardholders will also have access to Capital One digital tools, such as real-time purchase notifications, security alerts, 0% fraud liability if the card is lost or stolen, and the ability to lock and unlock their card directly through the Capital One mobile app,” according to Chain Store Age.
  • Gun Safety Group Uses Back-to-School Hook To Drive Home Somber Message
    Gun safety advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise's ad "starts as cheerfully as any other back-to-school commercial, with a boy at his locker praising his new backpack,” says TheNew York Times.  “Then, the testimonials darken. ‘These new sneakers are just what I needed for the new year,’ one boy says as he sprints away from the sounds of screams and gunshots. ‘These new socks, they can be a real lifesaver,’ a girl says, peeling off her knee-high hosiery to use as a tourniquet on another student’s bloody leg.”
  • Retailers Deal With Cheap Americans
    Americans are quick to revolt when retailers try to raise prices for any reason. Target, Macy’s and Walmart are among those dealing with the pressure to keep prices stable. Macy’s attempted to pass along tariff costs — making items like luggage, furniture and other household products more expensive — but the company faced consumer backlash and may reverse those hikes,” according to Axios.
  • White Claw's Immense Popularity Hinges On Marketing
    The key to White Claw’s success is its gender-free marketing and subsequent appeal to both men and women. “For decades, our televisions told us that men drank beer, women drank wine, and that’s just the way the world was,” according to the Washington Post. “Sometimes, after years of such gendered marketing, a company will realize that it has ignored or alienated half of its potential customer base, and then overcorrect, occasionally to awkward effect. … [hard seltzer] White Claw, meanwhile, has sidestepped all that whiplash.”
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