• Coca-Cola Foregoes Super Bowl
    Coca-Cola is sitting out this year’s Super Bowl. The beverage giant calls it a “a “difficult choice” made to “ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times.” Rival Pepsi is also not running an ad, instead opting to focus on its annual half-time show rather than run commercials for its flagship drink. PepsiCo will run a commercial for its Mountain Dew soda along with various snacks from Frito-Lay. Coke spent $10 million in commercials placed in Fox’s 2020 broadcast of Super Bowl LIV, according to data from Kantar.
  • Ikea Elevates App To Shopping Platform
    With online shopping and curbside pickup becoming the norm due to the ongoing pandemic, Ikea is upping its digital game in the United States. “Among the new features, the updated app includes an inspirational feed of product recommendations, as well as engaging content and campaigns, which customers can choose to personalize by selecting their favorite products,” according to Furniture Today. Ikea originally launched the app update in July 2019 in Sweden, France, the Netherlands, the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Canada and Japan. So far, it has been downloaded by 4.9 million users worldwide.
  • Detroit Auto Show Downsizes Amid Continuing COVID-19 Concerns
    Detroit’s North American International Auto Show is shifting gears once again. Originally planned for June and then shifted to September due to the pandemic, the show is now relocating to Pontiac, about 30 miles north of the city. The new show, renamed Motor Bella, will have an abbreviated run Sept. 21-26, compared to the original plan for events from Sept. 24-Oct. 9.  “This marks the second year major U.S. auto shows have been thrown into disarray by COVID-19,” per the Detroit Free Press. “The Chicago auto show, which traditionally takes place in February, is seeking government approval to take place …
  • Garage Door Company Builds $3,000 Dog Door
    File this under “for the person who has everything” or maybe “gadgets you didn’t know you needed.” Chamberlain, the world’s largest garage door company, has built a fully automated, internet-connected pet door that gives pets the freedom to go outside whenever they want, or lets customers remotely activate it. It includes an app that’ll automatically track the pet’s comings and goings in a diary.
  • Online Holiday Shopping Topped Record $188B
    Online shopping sales during the holiday season hit a record $188.2 billion, a 32% increase over the same time the previous year, according to an analysis from Adobe Digital Insights. Sales for "online spending during the two-month holiday shopping period [were], for the first time, over $1 billion every day, which shows that the predominant mode of spending over the past year because of the pandemic is likely here to stay,” according to PYMNTS.com. Contactless shopping was also prevalent, as customers would buy goods online and pick them up in the store.
  • What Will Become Of Trump Brand?
    The financial ramifications from last week’s attacks on Washington continue for President Donald Trump. “The Trump brand, premised on gold-plated luxury and a super-affluent clientele, may not fully recover from the fallout of his supporters violently storming and vandalizing the U.S. Capitol, hospitality analysts say and some people close to the business acknowledge,” according to The New York Times. “Other companies linked with the Trumps, including Deutsche Bank, the president’s largest lender, and Signature Bank, are also seeking distance from him and his business.”
  • Airbnb Bans Capitol Rioters
    Airbnb announced steps it is taking to help keep Washington safe as a lead-up to inauguration activities. The home rental company plans to ban people involved in last week's Capitol riots. As Airbnb learns through the media or law enforcement the names of individuals who have been confirmed to be responsible for criminal activity at the Capitol on Jan. 6, it will investigate whether the individual has an Airbnb account, according to USA Today. The company is also reviewing next week's reservations in the Washington area and will check whether any guests are associated with a hate group.
  • PGA, R&A Shun Trump Golf Courses
    The PGA of America’s board voted to terminate an agreement to host next year’s PGA Championship at a golf course owned by Donald Trump in New Jersey. “It’s become clear that conducting the PGA championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver our many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission,” Jim Richerson, PGA of America’s president, said in a video message. The R&A, which organizes the British Open, said it wouldn’t hold golf’s oldest championship at Trump’s Turnberry course in Scotland in the …
  • Major Companies Suspend Political Donations
    The list of companies that have said they are altering or reviewing the political donations made through their PACs continues to grow. Many are suspending contributions specifically to the Republican members of Congress who challenged the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Among the first to make the move were Marriott International, Blue Cross Blue Shield, CitiBank and JPMorgan Chase. Hilton Hotels, American Airlines, BP, Goldman Sachs, Boston Scientific, Microsoft, Hallmark, Facebook and Visa all said they will suspend and review political giving to both parties, while AirBnB, Verizon, AT&T, American Express, Mastercard, and Dow are halting donations to the …
  • Grocers Hope To Accelerate COVID-19 Vaccinations
    Grocers want to accelerate their COVID-19 vaccination efforts, but some say they are hitting bureaucratic obstacles. The executives of Kroger and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.,expressed frustration over what they said was a slower-than-necessary rollout. Kroger is getting only a small number of doses, a fraction of what it has the ability to handle. The company has given about 4,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations. On average, Kroger provides roughly 200,000 doses of the flu vaccine each week during flu season.
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