The star-studded, limited-edition Pirelli calendar is a much-anticipated event in fashion circles, but the tire company decided to cancel the 2021 edition in response to the global pandemic. Instead it's donating 100,000 euros ($107,906 at current exchange) to "the fight against and research into Coronavirus," the organization said in a release. The 2020 calendar featured actresses Kristen Stewart and Emma Watson, among others.
Rich Williams has been relieved of the title of Groupon CEO a month after the deals site reported a dismal fourth-quarter performance. Williams will continue as an employee and the company’s current president of North America, Aaron Cooper, will become interim CEO and help in the search to find Williams’ permanent replacement. Chief Operating Officer Steve Krenzer is also no longer serving in his role, but will continue as an employee, the company says in a release.
Mortgage companies are anticipating a wave of customers who won’t be able to make payments due to job loss or illness related to COVID-19. “The companies, such as Quicken Loans Inc. and Mr. Cooper Group Inc., expect a wave of missed payments from borrowers as early as next month that will force them to come up with tens of billions of dollars on short notice,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “The mortgage firms are on the hook to continue paying principal and interest on the mortgages they service even if homeowners are in arrears.”
Chase, American Express, Capital One, Citi and Discover are all offering assistance to customers experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Customers are being encouraged to call the customer support phone numbers on their cards to see what might be available. On Chase’s website, there is a dedicated coronavirus resource page with a message from Chase Consumer Banking CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett saying, “If you need help because of COVID-19, please reach out to us,” according to CNBC.
The International Olympics Committee said millions of Tokyo hotel rooms had been booked for this summer, and some of the city’s venues might not be available a year from now. Organizers have reported spending $12.6 billion on preparations. The sprawling athletes' village was scheduled to be sold off, piece by piece, as condominiums in the fall. That plan will have to be put on ice.
Amazon Care, a medical unit of Amazon, is helping with the logistics and delivery of at-home COVID-19 testing kits. The initiative is part of a research effort in Seattle’s King County — one region of Washington most impacted by the coronavirus — backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Researchers hope to learn how the infection is spreading among different demographic groups, which could provide a window into how the virus is likely to progress.
While many grocery stores have been instituting special shopping hours for the higher risk community such as senior citizens and those with chronic health issues, a Michigan-based retailer is taking it a step further. Meijer is providing special hours for “essential service workers” such as doctors, nurse, pharmacy and grocery store employees. Those workers can shop on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Nike, which took the lead in closing stores before ordered to do so, on Saturday launched a poignant ad campaign encouraging consumers everywhere to practice social distancing. "If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance," the ad reads. "Play inside, play for the world." Top athletes the company sponsors have posted the ad on their respective social media channels, including Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
As COVID-19 causes many consumers to shelter in place, potential riders are not using e-scooters, causing Lime to consider more layoffs.
While most industries are looking at adjusting their messaging in light of a global pandemic, pharma marketing is mostly staying the course for now, according to a survey of ad agencies and communications firms that handle pharma clients. "[F]or now pharma and healthcare marketing continues, albeit from home offices and on virtual platforms," according to Fierce Pharma. “The shift from in-person to digital is not only happening in office work groups but also for advertising, medical conferences and sales rep detailing.”