• FCA Sets Up Subscription Service Trademark
    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed to trademark the phrase "My Freedom" in the U.S. in relation to motor vehicle subscription services, according to CarBuzz. What's unclear is whether the service would be restricted to premium FCA holdings like Alfa Romeo and Maserati or whether it might offer users access to products from a wider range of Fiat Chrysler marques  like Jeep and Ram. FCA recently signed a merger agreement with Groupe PSA that already offers a vehicle subscription service through its Free2Move mobility brand.
  • Ben & Jerry's Releases Netflix-Branded Ice Cream
    Ben & Jerry’s is creating flavors based on the Netflix brand, with the first called “Netflix & Chill’d” featuring peanut butter ice cream with sweet and salty pretzel swirls and fudge brownies. The phrase “Netflix and Chill” has become “a euphemism for staying home and getting freaky with your partner instead of going out, as in “Hey, do you two want to come to dinner with us?” ‘Nah, we’re just gonna Netflix and chill,’” according to Fast Company.
  • Hallmark Exec Leaves After Fallout From Same-Sex Wedding Ad
    Hallmark's top television executive, Bill Abbott, is leaving the company weeks after a Hallmark Channel commercial was the center of a controversy. The brand pulled four commercials featuring a same-sex wedding after appeals from One Million Moms, a conservative organization. But the company received even more backlash from those who liked the ads after they were pulled.
  • Apple Plans Low-Cost iPhone
    The new iPhone will look similar to 2017’s iPhone 8, with Touch ID. and is expected to launch as early as March. It will be the first lower-cost iPhone model since the iPhone SE. It will not have Apple’s Face ID biometric authentication, but it will feature the same processor as Apple’s current flagship device, the iPhone 11, according to Bloomberg.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Talks Up Spiked Seltzer
    Hard seltzer, like Anheuser-Busch brand's new Bud Light's new hard seltzer and Natural Light and Bon & Viv,  is "here to stay" as tastes move away from beer, said Carlos Brito, the CEO of the parent firm, in a CNBC interview.  “It is something that’s profitable," Brito said.
  • Starbucks Aims For Greener Cups, Food
    Starbucks is testing ways to encourage consumers to use reusable cups and utensils, as well as meat alternatives. The coffee-based retailer aims to cut its carbon, waste and water use by 50% by 2030. CEO Kevin Johnson said the plan is part of the coffee chain's goal to become "resource-positive.” Clean Water Action estimates the chain uses more than 8,000 paper cups a minute.
  • Adults Discover Lego Building Is Meditative
    Lego is zeroing in on a growing demographic: stressed-out adults. “The 87-year-old Danish company increasingly bills its brightly colored bricks as a way to drown out the noise of the day and perhaps achieve a measure of mindfulness,” according to The Washington Post. “The company’s newest kits — which include the Central Perk cafe from the sitcom ‘Friends’ and a vintage 1989 Batmobile — tap into Gen X nostalgia, while its Ideas and Forma lines are being targeted to adults who want to occupy their hands but keep their minds loosely engaged.”
  • Best Buy Exec Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct
    Best Buy’s board of directors is investigating allegations that CEO Corie Barry had an inappropriate romantic relationship with a fellow executive, who has since left the retailer. “The allegations were sent to the board in an anonymous letter dated Dec. 7,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “The letter claims Ms. Barry had a romantic relationship for years with former Best Buy Senior Vice President Karl Sanft before she took over as CEO last June.” Another Best Buy CEO, Richard Schulze, who was also the company’s founder, resigned abruptly in April 2012 after the board opened an investigation into his ...
  • Food-Delivery Companies Pressured To Turn Profit
    "Some on-demand food delivery services are starting to feel the squeeze" as "companies, especially those within the gig economy, are being held to a new standard: profits, and not just growth," according to Fortune. For example, "Grubhub, one of the oldest competitors in the space, reportedly hired financial advisers to explore putting the company up for sale," and "Postmates delayed ts IPO in October."
  • Away Taps Law Firm To Dispute Alleged 'Toxic Work Environment' Article
    D2C startup and luggage brand Away "has hired a law firm known for high-profile battles against major media outlets," Clare Locke LLP,  to respond to The Verge post that described the company's alleged  “toxic work environment," according to Fast Company.
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