• Pharma Companies Fight Over COVID Vaccine Patents
    "Drug companies are pitted against each other and government and academic scientists over who invented what. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake," according to The Wall Street Journal. For example, the U.S. government and Moderna are currently battling each other over "who discovered a key component and who owns its rights."
  • Video Game Maker Settles Gender Discrimination Case For $100M
    Riot Games has agreed to pay $100 million to settle a class-action gender discrimination suit "with more than 2,000 current and former female employees," according to The New York Times. That settlement is much higher than the figure originally agreed upon -- $10 million -- "after the women suing Riot changed lawyers, and the new lead attorney... determined that the amount was not sufficient." The company's "flagship League of Legends game made nearly $2 billion in revenue last year."
  • P&G Latest Brand To Bail On CES
    Procter & Gamble is the latest Fortune 500 company to cancel live appearances at the CES tech show next year in Las Vegas amid COVID-19 concerns. "Instead of a physical presence at the highly anticipated annual electronics events, the Cincinnati-based consumer goods giant now plans to host a virtual event at its pglifelab.com website," per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "CES will have digital offerings for those who opt not to physically attend." The event is still scheduled to take place from Jan. 5-8 at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • Cadillac Introduces Gag 'Hands-Free' Holiday Wrapping Paper
    General Motors uses holiday gift wrapping as an opportunity to explain the hands-free technology behind its Super Cruise semi-autonomous option. Cadillac, which is where the technology first originated, created a tongue-in-cheek social media video showing “Super Wrap” for hands-free wrapping. “This imaginary technology uses 'patented micro-sensors' to automatically detect the size and shape of the gift being wrapped, allowing it to apply the right-sized cut of wrapping paper one hundred percent of the time,” per GM Authority. “Just drop your gift onto the sheet of Super Wrap and let Cadillac do the rest."
  • State Farm Continues NBA-Themed Creative
    State Farm used the five nationally televised NBA games on Christmas Day to unwrap “Challenge Your Assumptions,” new creative under the brand’s “Surprisingly Great Rates” umbrella campaign. The spots introduced two more NBA players to the roster, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks and Boban Marjanovi of the Dallas Mavericks. Both spots, which also feature the Jake from State Farm character, aired on ESPN and ABC and now go into regular rotation.
  • Automakers Focus On Safety For Everybody After Decades Of Ignoring Crash Data
    Designers and researchers are finally using technology to create a more standardized bottom line for safety in future car designs. Currently, many cars are less safe for women and people of certain sizes and ages because they are built that way. “Lawmakers, automakers, safety advocates and researchers have known of these discrepancies for almost a decade, at least,” per The New York Times
  • NFL Renews Deal With Bud Light
    The NFL and Anheuser-Busch are extending the brand’s Bud Light position as the global exclusive beer and hard seltzer sponsor of the league through the 2026-27 season. The previous agreement, a six-year pact beginning in 2017 and set to expire after the 2022 Super Bowl, was put at $250 million a year by industry analysts. Bud Light has been the official beer of the NFL since 2011. Bud Light will no longer be the presenting sponsor for Thursday Night Football in 2022, with the start of Amazon’s 11-year NFL deal.
  • NHL Bows Out Of Olympics Due To COVID
    The NHL and NHL Players' Association will not participate in the 2022 Winter Olympic men's hockey tournament in Beijing. “"Unfortunately, given the profound disruption to the NHL's regular-season schedule caused by recent COVID-related events -- 50 games already have been postponed through Dec. 23 -- Olympic participation is no longer feasible,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. Games will now be rescheduled to the scheduled break for the Olympics, Feb. 6-22. The NHL All-Star Game is still scheduled for Feb. 5.
  • Tesla Investigated Over Gaming Feature
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 580,000 Tesla vehicles sold since 2017 over the automaker's decision to allow games to be played on the front center touchscreen. The system, called “Passenger Play,” may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash, the agency said. The decision to open the investigation was based on reports that the gaming functionality “is visible from the driver's seat and can be enabled while driving the vehicle,” according to NHTSA.
  • Nordstrom Considers Spinning Off Rack
    Nordstrom may shift its discount Nordstrom Rack unit into a stand-alone business, people with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg. The company is not satisfied with the recovery of Nordstrom Rack, which didn’t offer enough premium brands and had more lower-priced products than its customers wanted, Nordstrom CEO Erik Nordstrom said during a third-quarter earnings call last month. Other retailers, including Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, are also in the midst of rethinking their businesses as online spending grows amid the pandemic, per Bloomberg.
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