One thing that's clear about the growing dust-up over Kashi's use of the work "natural" in its labeling is that marketers are being held to a higher standard of clarity than before. It's not just consumer watchdogs issuing press releases and hoping they'll garner a few paragraphs in the mainstream media. Consumers are taking to the digital ramparts and stories such as this are becoming larger than passing headlines in the 24-hour news cycle, as we most recently witnessed with the "pink slime" story.
No one is doing cartwheels at Betsey Johnson, LLC this morning. Most of its 63 retail stores will be closing in coming weeks and roughly 350 employees will lose their jobs after the licensee that operates the retail operation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Still, the seemingly irrepressible namesake and creative backbone of the enterprise is managing to put a neon front on a dreary backstory.
Brook Barnes' piece in the "New York Times" this morning, wondering who will succeed Rich Ross as chairman of Walt Disney Studios, poses several conundrums confronting Disney chief Robert Iger that are faced today by most large companies with a collection of fiefdoms ruled by their own powerful chieftains. The primary one is: "Does running Walt Disney Studios require a brand manager, or a strong movie hand?"
New York Yankee radio announcer John Sterling is a master of that old Dale Carnegie saw of telling us what he'll tell us, telling us, and then telling us what he told us. Last night, he was telling us for the umpteenth time that shortstop Derek Jeter was a bona fide superstar who'd be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. All that talk about his slowing down was a fabrication of "the media," which "likes to build stars up so they can knock them down."
You've probably been wondering what impact the emerging bribery scandal in Mexico will have on both Wal-Mart, the corporate entity, and Walmart, the brand above the portals that consumers enter in their hometowns and online every day. More on the former than the latter, one intuitively suspects, but we thought we'd take a look at what others were writing this morning.
Country signer Rosanne Cash wailing a tune called "Land of Dreams" is the grabber in a global campaign for U.S. Tourism that will be unveiled today at International Pow Wow 2012, which opened yesterday at the Los Angeles Convention Center and runs for three days. The spot carries the tagline "Discover this land like never before," Andy Fixmer reports in "Bloomberg Businessweek."
In a call to non-action that no doubt froze the screens of people who market personal computers everywhere, the "Wall Street Journal"'s influential tech columnist Walt Mossberg yesterday granted the everyday, average consumer "permission to procrastinate" on buying a new laptop unless their current machines are sputtering on their last boot-ups.
Dick Clark, who died yesterday at 82, knew he wanted to make his living speaking into a microphone after seeing comedians Jimmy Durante and Garry Moore on stage in a New York theater when he was 13, he once told an interviewer. He went on to study advertising and radio at Syracuse University before taking a job at a Philadelphia television station that would lead to his becoming the impresario most responsible for making rock and rock a viable commercial medium.
Reporters around the world have been scrambling to catch up with a report late yesterday that Nestle was the leading candidate to acquire Pfizer's infant formula business and that a deal for upwards of $9 billion could be announced as early as next week. Primarily, the inquirers have found that the deal is not done, however, and "last minute jockeying could alter the playing field," as Anupreeta Das, Dana Cimilluca and Jonathan D. Rockoff initially reported in the "Wall Street Journal." Danone and Mead Johnson are said to be the primary also-rans-in-the-making.
Ford announced that it would be overhauling the Ford Mustang for its 50th anniversary quite a while ago but a story by the Wall Street Journal's Michael Ramsey yesterday has the auto-punditocracy asking larger questions about what it all means, particularly to the Boomers who, it seems, revel in anything that reminds them that they once were young. (How else to explain a recent Newsweek commemorative issue on The Beatles that bring backs memories of Tiger Beat?)