• Is There Merchandising Life After 'It All Ends'?
    How do you keep a marketing juggernaut rolling, Hollywood-style, even beyond the creation of new "original content"? That's the question two movies opening today -- Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," and Disney's "Winnie the Pooh" will be attempting to answer in coming years.
  • Is It Hot In Here (Or Is It Just Bob Lutz)?
    Can management get too book-smart for its own good? Bob Lutz asserts it has done just that in a new book that offers comforting validation -- or is it I-coulda-told-ya-so despair -- to anyone who thinks that the suits upstairs don't know their tail fins from their elbows.
  • Customers Irate Over Netflix' Price Increase
    Netflix yesterday implemented that old marketing adage, "If it ain't broke, gouge the customer." At least that's the way it initially seemed when I was served with an email informing me that to continue the same service I'm getting now come Sept. 1 -- unlimited DVDs and unlimited streaming for $9.95 -- I'll have to pay roughly 60% more, or $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99). You can also get either service independent of the other for $7.99. The price changes are already in effect for new customers.
  • Campbell, In The Soup, Discusses Its Strategy Today
    Campbell Soup has an analyst's meeting this morning -- the first for CEO-elect Denise Morrison, who takes over for Doug Conant at the end of the month. In a walk-up to the presentations, the Wall Street Journal's Paul Ziobro says that the Street is anticipating a "restaging" event and a company press release promises that its top executives have "looked at everything with fresh eyes and charted a new direction for the company."
  • Brand Jeter Hits One Out Of The Park
    There was a huge hit in New York over the weekend and it wasn't on Broadway. It was in the Big Ball Orchard in the South Bronx (v. 2.0), as Art Rust Jr. used to call it.When Derek Jeter smacked his 3,000th career regular season hit (he also has a record 185 postseason hits), you could almost hear the ring of PayPal accounts miles north in Westchester.
  • News Of The Weird & News Of The World
    Two unusual stories caught our fancy on this lethargically steamy July morn: Miguel Bustillo's "Today's Special at Wal-Mart: Something Weird" in the Wall Street Journal and Rhymer Rigby's piece in Financial Times titled "How To Handle Difficult Customer Requests."
  • Will Americans Buy Cars That Get 56 Miles Per Gallon?
    "Sure, we can produce vehicles that meet your stinkin' proposed fuel economy standards," automakers seem to be telling policy makers in Washington, "but those tiny little boxes may move off the lot about as fast as the Santa Monica Freeway in rush hour."
  • Ford Backs Off 'News Of The World' After Hacking
    Withholding advertising from a media outlet is an old-school cudgel that happens rarely enough that it still makes headlines -- and now Twitter feeds -- when it happens, as it does this morning in the case of Ford et al. v. Rupert Murdoch's News of the World.
  • Meta-Study Researchers To Pfizer: Quit Chantix
    A meta-analysis that looks at 14 clinical trials involving 8,216 patients of Pfizer's smoking-cessation drug Chantix finds that its use can be linked to a 72% increase in risk of cardiovascular problems -- including stroke and congestive heart failure -- according to findings published this morning in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
  • Being Green Is Still A Tough Sell
    Stories defending fracking -- a controversial technique for extracting natural gas that is responsible for some frightening footage in the documentary "Gasland" -- seem to hiss the word "environmentalist" and sneer at "the environmental agenda" as if people concerned about fresh air and clean water are liberals or something.
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