• Brewers Boycott St. Paddy's Parades Over Gay Rights
    Diageo's Guinness brand yesterday joined Sam Adams and Heineken in withdrawing sponsorship of St. Patrick's Day parades in New York and Boston because of organizers' bans on LGBT groups displaying any messages more supportive or controversial than "Erin go bragh."
  • Amazon Holds Prime Increase To $20
    Well played, Amazon. Those "phews" you heard from neighboring cubicles yesterday morning were from colleagues who had been primed to expect an annual increase of as high as $40 on their Amazon Prime fee. It is holding to a lower $20 increase, it announced in an email to current members yesterday morning.
  • The Muppets Bid For A Commercial Comeback
    The Muppets have come a long way from their humble origins as lovable kiddie characters who couldn't help but find themselves in teachable moments on public television. Now, they are lovable characters on the other side of middle age who can't help but find themselves in marketable moments to all those Millennial parents who have themselves moved along in the world.
  • The Selling Of Obamacare 2014
    I knew the President's communications team had hit its target market when my 24-year-old son emailed me a link last night with a "thought you might find funny" subject line and the note, "Barack Obama gets interviewed by the fat guy from 'The Hangover'."
  • Chiquita, Fyffes Blend A Fruity Smoothie
    The merger of Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita and Dublin, Ireland-based Fyffes creates a new top banana, as headlines writers around the world can't resist telling us, by reuniting two brands that once co-existed under the umbrella of United Brands but have squabbled at other times in their colorful histories.
  • William Clay Ford, 88, Former Ford Vice Chairman
    William Clay Ford, who learned to drive on the lap of his grandfather, Henry, worked on the assembly line during summer breaks at Yale, led the design and development of the stylish Continental Mark II in the '50s, bought the NFL's Detroit Lions in the '60s, and went on to become chairman of the Ford Motor Co. executive committee in the '70s and vice chairman in the '80s, died yesterday at age 88.
  • $9 Billion Deal Would Merge Safeway With Albertsons
    We'll bet a bottle of Honey Locust Farm House Elderberry Elixir against a Safeway Red Mango that Cerberus Capital Management's offer to buy Safeway for more than $9 billion and merge it with Albertsons is not being toasted by locavores (even with regionally sourced cider). But it's perhaps instructive to note that the CEOs of both chains were all over the word "local" in their statements announcing the deal.
  • GM's Barra Vows Transparency In Recall Probe
    Both General Motors and the federal agency that oversees its compliance with safety standards are under fire for who said what to whom - and when, precisely - regarding a faulty ignition switch in certain discontinued models that has reportedly led to airbags being disabled under some conditions.
  • Up To 1,100 Shacks Facing The Bulldozer
    RadioShack yesterday transmitted the official word on reports that it would close a bunch of the stores it operates and the number was even higher than the previous speculation: up to 1,100, which represents almost 25% of the current retail locations. The news came in a fourth-quarter 2013 earnings report that showed a net loss of $191.4 million - more than three times what the retail chain lost a year earlier. Revenue ($935.4 million) was down 20%.
  • Microsoft Rebooting Its Marketing System
    CEO Satya Nadella rolled out a new version of Microsoft's marketing OS yesterday, announcing in a memo that Chris Capossela is replacing the departing Tami Reller as EVP and CMO. Meanwhile, Mark Penn - the pot-stirring ex-politico who is fond of data-driven decision-making and skeptical about good old intuition - is moving up from directly overseeing advertising to the more nebulous title of EVP and chief strategy officer.
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