Mattel (MAT) has released a Barbie doll with tattoos on her neck and shoulders, and wearing leopard print leggings, pink pleather mini skirt, sparkly silver shoes and a black top with heart and crossbones logo. Some parents have protested the doll could encourage children to disfigure themselves. Christian Science Monitor 10/20/11
McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) delivered appetizing third quarter overall sales growth of 5%, while spin off Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) served up a tasty third-quarter profit jump of 25% versus a year ago. MarketWatch 10/21/11
Brand name references to alcohol in rap, R&B and hip hop music may constitute a form of advertising, and could contribute to early use and substance abuse among adolescents, say University of Pittsburgh researchers. Addiction Journal 10/20/11 via Name Wire 10/21/11
Urban Outfitters (URBN) has removed the word "Navajo" from product names on its website in the wake of criticism from the Navajo Nation government, bloggers and others, who viewed the usage as disrespectful and a trademark violation. Critics found the use of the Navajo name on products including a flask and ‘hipster panty’ to be particularly offensive but the company initially defended the product names stating, in part, “…like many other fashion brands, we interpret trends and will continue to do so for years to come…” The Associated Press10/20/11
Shares of Crocs Inc.(CROX) lost almost 40% of their value after the shoe maker lowered its third-quarter profit and sales forecast – even though they still project a sales gain of 27%. MarketWatch 10/18/11
Coca-Cola (KO) is still the world’s most valuable brand, according to Interbrand. Download report here.
The Liz Claiborne brand has been sold to JCPenney (JCP).Liz Claiborne Inc. (LIZ), the owner of remaining brands Kate Spade, Lucky Brands, and Juicy Couture, has 12 months to find a new name. Name Wire 10/13/11
Apple became the world's most valuable brand last year according to the Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2011. Facebook debuted in the top 100, and Amazon passed Walmart to win the honor of no. 1 retailer.
WPP and Millward Brown Optimor have released the Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands. Download the free report here.
Microsoft's Bing has apologized for its #SupportJapan tweet promising to donate $1 for every retweet of its pledge to donate up to $100,000 to Japan earthquake relief efforts. Critics say the fundraiser was exploitive, while defenders derided critics for doing nothing to help relief efforts. Clickz 3/12/11
Nissan, Honda and Toyota say despite the impact of the earthquake they will be back online by next week. Toyota closed three factories and Honda Motor company suspended production which could affect exports of the Toyota's Yaris sedan and Scion cars and the Honda Fit car. MediaPost 3/12/11
After a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, Google launched its person finder application, which helps victims of natural disasters share and access information about loved ones. Inc. 3/11/11
In what was deemedTwittersteria, multiple Twitterers retweeted false reports that a CNN anchor giggled and made Godzilla jokes as the Japan earthquake and tusnami was being reported. Advertising Age 3/11/11
Walmart is testing a small-store rollout, testing three different formats -- rebranding its Neighborhood Market to Walmart Market, an even smaller format called Walmart Express, and Walmart on Campus, which is smaller still. The concepts are being tested in “urban and rural markets, with and without pharmacy, with and without fresh foods.” MediaPost.com 3/10/11
New Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby says one major finding of a recent Volvo brand audit is that the company "must redefine its legacy of leadership in safety by not only keeping up structural and design safety in its cars, but also blaze a new trail of safety when it comes to onboard electronics and communications” AdAge Global 3/4/11
The National Pork Board has replaced 25 year tagline "The Other White Meat," with a new tagline: "Pork, Be Inspired,” which the board says goes beyond providing basic information to positioning pork as a versatile ingredient. The new tagline is accompanied by a new logo. Advertising Age 3/4/11
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and NBC’s consumer products division has launched “Late Night Snack” in honor of Jimmy Fallon and his Late Night Show. The ice cream combines potato chips, caramel swirl, fudge and vanilla bean ice cream. AdFreak 3/4/11
Apple tops Fortune’s list of the 50 most admired companies from their survey of business people. Rounding out the top five is Google at number 2, Berkshire Hathaway 3, Southwest Airlines 4, and Procter & Gamble at 5. CNNMoney.com 3/3/11
Forrester says the Apple i Pad will claim 80% of the US tablet market in 2011, thanks to a product strategy that cultivates an emotional connection with consumers through an unrivaled app ecosystem, a channel that's a demo lab (The Apple Store) and excellent service from 'real humans.' Forrester Blogs 3/2/11
Super Bowl XLV was the most-watched US telecast of all-time and web hosting site GoDaddy.com saw the largest lift of any website in post-Super Bowl traffic, with a 41 percent increase in unique U.S. visitors during the week following the game compared to the week before. GoDaddy aired two commercials during the game with their 1st quarter ad starring Joan Rivers as the new GoDaddy spokesperson. NielsenWire 3/1/11
United Continental Holdings Inc. plans to launch an "interim" advertising campaign for the combined company on March 8th, and will utilize a new logo combining the United name with the globe used by Continental. Wall Street Journal 2/28/11
Although the AppleiPad has been positioned as a media consumption device, not for an enterprise environment, there are reports estimating that 65-80% of Fortune 100 companies have deployed or piloted the device. Túaw 2/14/11, All Things Digital 2/14/11
A British Airways passenger who was afflicted with bed bugs during an overseas flight, “was so furious about the way staff dealt with her complaint that she set up a website with photo proof of her experience.” Daily Mail 2/25/11
Nokia’s decision to utilize Microsoft’s Windows Phone as their primary platform will help Microsoft to achieve scale and provide Nokia with differentiation in the competitive mobile phone market. But most new phones won’t hit the market until 2012. Forrester Blogs 2/14/11. Currently the dominant mobile platforms are iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
Starbucks (SBUX) has pulled the plug on Seattle’s 15th Ave Coffee & Tea, an independent-café-like concept store to provide a “real-time, real-world exploratory environment” for their designers. The company still operates another “indie-model” testing lab, Roy Street Coffee. Investorplace.com 1/11/11
General Motors (GM) Chevrolet division has introduced a new subcompact brand, Sonic, emphasizing that the Sonic will be built in America, and provides 138 hp, 40 mpg on the highway. Buick has introduced Verano, the smallest car in its lineup in about 20 years. AutoNews.com 1/11/11
Groupon, the site that sells daily coupons for local businesses, has raised $950 million from investors, the largest amount raised by a start-up. The investment follows Google’s $6 billion bid for Groupon, which fell apart last month. HuffingtonPost 1/10/11
McDonald’s new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal must contain 100% maple sweetener in the maple product to use maple in the name, says the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. According to the VAA “there is no actual maple in the McDonald’s product being advertised.” Slashfood 1/10/11
Crumbs Bakery, the largest chain of cupcake bakeries, is going public in a reverse merger worth $66 million. The deal is expected to close next month. Business Insider, 1/10/11
Arm & Hammer, maker of kitty litter product "Super Scoop" is asking a Federal Court to stop Clorox, maker of “Fresh Step” from asserting in a commercial that cats prefer Fresh Step. The suit argues that "It is not possible scientifically to determine whether cats view one substance to be more or less malodorous than another substance." NYDaily 1/5/11