So Long, 2016: Top Stories Of The Year

Having been, once upon a time, a general assignment reporter covering the streets of New York City, I know how mayhem sells newspapers. It also attracts the most eyeballs online, apparently, as most of the stories making 2016’s Top 10 “Top of the News” stories below, based on readership, are more about conflict than resolution. The two exceptions involve Victoria’s Secret — no secret why there — and a new Dyson hair dryer. Go figure on that one.  

Chevy Is Punching Holes - Literally - In 'Built Ford Tough'
June 9, 2016
Chevrolet has uploaded a three-minute comparison spot in which an 825-pound load of cobblestones is dumped first into the steel bed of one of its Silverado pickups, then into the aluminum bed of a Ford F-150. Guess which fares better under the pressure?



Riding High On Hype 6 Months Ago, Theranos Faces Grim Diagnosis
April 14, 2016
Theranos, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based blood-testing laboratory that has attracted $9 billion in backing from investors and tons of upbeat coverage for founder Elizabeth Holmes, who famously dropped out of Stanford to launch the company in 2003, is teetering on having its license revoked by federal regulators. 

Red Lobster Lambasted For Response To Beyonce's 'Formation' Shout-Out
February 10, 2016
Red Lobster yesterday said that sales spiked 33% over the previous Super Bowl Sunday in the wake of Beyonce’s “sexually charged” mention of the restaurant in a single and YouTube video released Saturday prior to her appearance on the half-time show the next day. But that good news was tempered by the hammering the chain took in social media for its delayed, and then half-baked, response to the more than 300,000 tweets it generated.

New Balance Burned By Tweet Igniting Anti-Trump Sentiment
November 11, 2016
Call it the Boston Bonfire, social media style. Boston-based New Balance sneakers found itself a symbol of anti-Trump sentiment yesterday after a spokesman told the Wall Street Journal’s Sara Germano it was hopeful the President-elect would kill the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, as he has threatened to do during the campaign. Its sneakers were burned, trashed and vilified. 

Study Faults Coke And Pepsi's Funding Of Health Groups
October 11, 2016
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo provided funding to 96 health organizations from 2011 through 2015 at the same time that they were lobbying against 29 pieces of health-related legislation that could have reduced consumption of sugar-laden sodas or improved nutrition, according to research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study found fault with both the givers and the takers.

Victoria's Secret Goes Public With Reorganization Plans
April 8, 2016
In a move that’s being hailed by one analyst as unusual for its foresight, Victoria’s Secret is laying off 200 people and reorganizing into three business units — Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, PINK and Victoria’s Secret Beauty — while it’s at the top of its game. But another is less appreciative of the moves hailed by Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and CEO of parent L Brands.

Chipotle Cooperating With Fed Criminal Probe As Sales Worsen
Jan. 7, 2016
Chipotle Mexican Grill not only told investors yesterday that its sales had been harder hit than it initially anticipated by the reaction to recent outbreaks of E. coli and other food-borne illnesses, it also revealed that it received a grand jury subpoena last month for an investigation by federal authorities into a norovirus outbreak in August at a restaurant in Simi Valley, Calif. 

Dyson's New Hair Dryer Efficiently Generates Gushing Reviews
April 28, 2016
We’ll save the price for later — suffice to say that this is the sort of thing that the Chobani nouvelles might covet if they weren’t so darn grounded — but Sir James Dyson is looking to do for the human head what he did for the shag rug. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is, simply and elegantly, “the hair dryer re-thought.”

Samsung Under Fire For Its Handling Of Note 7 Crises
Oct. 10, 2016
Samsung is suspending production of its Galaxy Note 7 “in order to take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters,” it said this morning in Seoul as it continues to fumble its way through a mounting crisis steps behind social media posts of devices catching fire.

Trump Takes On Boeing; Businesses Wonder Who's Next?
Dec. 7, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump yesterday tweeted that “costs are out of control” at Boeing for a new Air Force One still in the planning stages and called for canceling the order. He followed up by telling reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower, “I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number.”

As Leonard Cohen said during his final press conference, “If I knew when the good songs came from, I’d go there more often.” On a  more mundane plane, I look forward to continuing to try to hunt down the top marketing story of the day for you in 2017.

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