The Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful have reunited for the first time since the breakthrough "The Crying Indian" campaign brought a dose of environmental reality to Americans indulging in escapist fare such as "Bonanza" and The Ed Sullivan Show" more than 40 years ago.
Gas prices are high, jobs are scarce and nothing seems to be made in the U.S.A. anymore. Do you know what America and Americans really need? The Elio, according to a promotional video for the three-wheeled vehicle that "puts the fun in functional." It will be manufactured in a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, La., starting next year and is already the star of a foot-to-the-pedal traveling road show.
Dunkin' Donuts hasn't been primarily about doughnuts for quite some time. And it's not just about breakfast, although it has "listened to all our customers out there," as CEO Nigel Travis put it on "CBS This Morning" last week, as he answered questions about the rollout of a 360-calorie "sweet-and-savory" Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich that is purportedly "going where no breakfast has gone." It wants to be, well, a daylong destination like a lot of other fast-food chains who are emulating Starbucks and trying to entice the untethered workforce.
Microsoft, where by most accounts the departmental silos have long resembled Russian nesting dolls, announced a sweeping plan to reorganize yesterday. The intent of what CEO Steve Ballmer calls "One Microsoft" is to "break down internal fiefs that have slowed product development and caused friction among teams of employees," Shira Ovide and Don Clark write in the Wall Street Journal.
The Justice Department claims the big winners in its successful antitrust action against Apple for conspiring to fix ebook prices with five major publishers are the "millions of consumers who choose to read books electronically." Others -- including Apple, of course -- will tell you that it's Amazon.
Kroger, the No. 2 retailer in the country, is acquiring Harris Teeter, an upscale chain based in Matthews, N.C., with 212 stores in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic markets, including Washington, D.C. The $2.5 billion transaction is not about extending the Kroger's brand, mind you, or gaining ground on No. 1 Wal-Mart or even about streamlining operations, though Kroger expects annual cost savings of about $40 to $50 million over the next three to four years. It's about sharing each other's best practices.
The saga of Barnes & Noble -- a plodding melodrama in which a blockbuster of 20th century retailing struggles to embrace the rapidly evolving realities of 21st century ebook technology -- took a melodramatic, if somewhat predictable, twist yesterday with the resignation of CEO William Lynch.
Douglas Dayton, the co-founder and first president of Target in 1961, died at home in Wayzata, Minn., Friday at 88 following a battle with cancer. The first Target opened in May 1962 in Roseville, Minn., and three more stores were in business in the suburban Twin Cities soon thereafter.
There may be a few exceptions but most CEOs would like their companies to be viewed as Good Corporate Citizens -- a persona that can be as elusive to oil companies as a flopping flounder in an oil slick. But with Herb Schmertz, his gun-slinging public relations chief covering his every move, former Mobil CEO and president Rawleigh Warner Jr., took on the press in combative op-ed pieces, pulled all advertising from the "Wall Street Journal" in 1984 because he didn't like the cut of its gibes and wooed the high-minded public by sponsoring PBS' "Masterpiece Theater."
Who can blame Markus Dohle, the CEO of the newly erected Penguin Random House, for speaking of code? With Simon & Schuster author Dan Brown's latest symbol-ridden fiction burning up the "New York Times" bestseller list, he says one goal of the merged entity that will control 25% to 30% of the global publishing market is to "crack the code of discoverability" - or, as the "New York Times"' Julie Bosman puts it - "of how to put books in front of potential buyers 'in a world with fewer bookstores.'"