• Google Plays A New Tune
    If indeed "it don't mean a thing/if you ain't got that swing," Google got a lot brassier yesterday with its announcement of an All Access subscription music service on Google Play that not only will compete with innovative but far smaller rivals such as Spotify, Rdio and Pandora, but more tellingly, "has stolen a march on Apple," as Richard Waters and Tim Bradshaw put it in the "Financial Times."
  • The Drift On Tesla: How Founder Musk Drove Profitability
    "The Tesla Model S takes everything you know about cars and stands it on its head," an overview of the sporty vehicle started out in Consumer Reports last week. And that's a good thing, with the car garnering 99 out of a possible 100 points -- CR's top-scoring automobile ever -- "even though it's an electric car. In fact," the report continues, it earns that designation "because it is electric." CR's findings were announced on a "near-perfect day" for the motor company, ABCNews.com's Richard Davies writes, as it also announced its first-ever quarterly profit -- $11.2 million -- after 10 ...
  • Bloomberg Faces A PR Crises From The Other Side
    "Appease nervous customers" is not a phrase any business wants to see in a story about itself but coverage in the New York Times says that what executives at Bloomberg are attempting to do as the crisis over the disclosure of a single reporter's breach of security on the company's financial data terminals widens, deepens and lengthens.
  • With Six Cylinders You Get Eggroll: Mercury Orders From Chinese Marketing Menu, Offers Meals
    How do you reinvent your dowdy luxury automobile brand so that it seems "as sexy as Jaguar, as refined as Lexus, sporty enough to convert German loyalists," James R. Healey writes in USA Today? If you're Ford Motor Co., you start by setting up Lincoln Motor Co. as a separate entity, then you produce a car that inspires reviewers to conclude that despite a lot of shared components, the first offering is "not-just-Fords-with-big-grilles."
  • The Mother Of All Marketing Opportunities, Literally
    Before this coming Sunday is over, upwards of $20.7 billion will flow from devoted children and appreciative husbands into the coffers of grateful florists, stationary stores, restaurateurs and gaudy knickknack purveyors in this country, according to a survey conducted by BIGInsight for the National Retail Federation (NRF). The average spend of $168.94 for mom will be up 11% over last year and engage nearly 90% of population, many of them apparently frustrated by one mom in particular -- Mother Nature's icy demeanor this year.
  • Coke Takes Its Anti-Obesity Initiative On The Road
    Coca-Cola is going all-in, and all-over, with the global anti-obesity initiative it launched with a fair amount of criticism earlier this year. It says it will put calorie counts on the front labels of all of its products in every country they are sold (which is everywhere save Cuba and North Korea), will cease advertising globally in media where kids under 12 constitute more than 35% of the audience, will offer a greater selection of low- and no-calorie beverages in all markets and intends to promote "effective active lifestyle program" -- a.k.a. exercise -- as an antidote to the global ...
  • Embattled 'Junk' Food Looks To Emerging Markets
    Taking an arrow from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's quiver, a bill being debated by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations in California today would ban the sale of "junk" food and "sugary" beverages in vending machines on state property. And in Wisconsin yesterday, a bill favored by Republicans that would restrict the use of food stamps for unhealthy food -- two-thirds of the items purchased must be listed in the federal Woman, Infant and Children program -- was passed by its assembly, 68 to 28.
  • Internet Sales Tax Measure Faces House Battle
    To the relief of bricks-and-mortar retailers across this unlevel-paying-field land, the Senate easily passed a bill yesterday requiring that online retailers collect state and local sales tax. But Christopher Gregory's picture of Grover Norquist accompanying the story in the "New York Times" is a good indication of the uphill battle the legislation faces en route to passage by the House. Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, "which wields great influence in the House," is among the "small government" groups that opposes the measure, the caption informs us.
  • Taking Offense, Walmart Takes The Offensive
    In an effort to get its "energized differentiation" flowing in a positive direction among the "opinion-leader" class, Walmart broke a $10-million image campaign titled "The Real Walmart" on the Kentucky Derby broadcast Saturday, Shelly Banjo reports in the "Wall Street Journal."
  • It's Foreign To Hollywood
    It isn't the case that the Enterprise enterprise is daring to go where no movie marketer has gone before -- in fact, the trend has been accelerating for years -- but the fact that the latest Star Trek offering opened in Europe last night two weeks before its debut on these federated shores tells us something many may not have realized. "Captain Kirk doesn't travel well," as the "New York Times"' Brook Barnes reports in an extensive piece on the international hoopla surrounding the roll-out of Paramount's $90 million "Star Trek Into Darkness."
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