• The Top Stories Of The Year
    If you measure success by the number of clicks you get -- and who doesn't nowadays? -- here are the top "Top of the News" stories in 2012 as determined by your look-sees. It's hard to draw any concrete conclusions from the results other than the fact that Disney is always a good word to work into a headline
  • Consumer Confidence Plunges As Pols Teeter On Cliff
    As politicians fail to get real about fiscal cliff negotiations, consumer fears about the impact of the impasse -- including an imminent 2% hike on taxes deducted from their paychecks -- is evidently hitting home. The Conference Board reported yesterday that its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 65.1 in December from a downwardly revised 71.5 in November, representing the lowest level in four months.
  • The Glitch That Stole Christmas (Eve)
    Just as some folks were settling on their couches for a long winter's eve of marathon movie streaming the night before Christmas -- from "Jimmy" to "Bing" to "Macaulay" to Miss Piggy -- Netflix went kerflooey. It was a "snafu" of the variety that "rattles customers," the hed on the Greg Bensiger's story in the Wall Street Journal tells us. "Netflix said the outage lasted nearly half a day for some of its users, and stemmed from problems with Amazon's Web Services unit, or AWS, which manages online operations for many companies."
  • Getting Real About Fat Loss And Fitness
    After all the feasting, 'tis the season to be jowly. But soon it will seem like there's no end to the parade of celebrity endorsers offering their particular, well-compensated-for weight-loss stories to egg on (hold the yolks in some cases) consumers toward achieving their own fat-reduction goals.
  • Pershing's Ackman Attacks Herbalife's Marketing Model
    Activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman put on an extraordinary show in Manhattan yesterday, making his case in a lengthy, 343-slide presentation that Herbalife, a 32-year-old network marketing supplement company that earlier this week announced plans to open a new $100-million distribution center in North Carolina, is "the best-managed pyramid scheme in the history of the world."
  • Penney Looking For 2013 Turnaround
    How often have you heard a radio news report attribute a bump in a company’s stock price to the hiring of a mid-upper level merchandising executive? But that’s precisely what happened on a Wall Street Journal report on WCBS NewsRadio 88 in New York last evening. Indeed, Street Insider.com also reports “J.C. Penney was up 1.4% … following news that it tapped former Abercrombie & Fitch Co. executive Brandon Tonniges as its director of visual merchandising.” Bloomberg’s Sapna Maheshwari writes that Tonniges was a vice president in Abercrombie’s brand senses division, “which the teen retailer’s …
  • New Research Finds Bacteria Causes Obesity
    How long, a cynic might wonder, before we start to see breakfast cereal fortified with a load of minerals and vitamins, a mega-dose of stevia and battalions of enterobacter cloacae-killing bacteria?
  • Activist Vladek Steps Down As Head Of FTC Unit
    To get a measure of the impact David Vladeck has had on the relatively tiny unit of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission, consider some of the adjectives used to describe his leadership after he formally announced yesterday that he would step down at the end of the year: "hard charging," "aggressive," "tireless," "effective."
  • New Sweetener, New Campaign For Diet Pepsi
    Everywhere you look over the past 10 days or so, it seems like somebody has a beat on something evolving at PepsiCo. The latest is a widely used piece this morning by the Associated Press' Candace Choi about the company adding an artificial sweetener -- acesulfame potassium -- to Diet Pepsi to help with its shelf stability. Diet Pepsi is also slated for a rebranding campaign next month.
  • GM Shows Off Its 'Crazy-Important' New Pickups
    General Motors turned the engines on the marketing push for its revamped half-ton Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks yesterday, an event that evidently has been much anticipated in garages and carports not situated within a 20-mile radius of New York's Columbus Circle.
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