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  • Rock City Next Stop: A View Of True Business Smarts Friday, 27 Jul 2007 | 8:30 AM ET

    There is likely no better example of American business acumen and showmanship than what I'm standing on right now. 'Rock City', on top of Lookout Mountain, Georgia. I call it made by God, enchanced by man. Actually it could be Lookout Mountain Tennessee, or Lookout Mountain, Alabama as well. The mountain itself runs 90 miles through three states and you can see seven, yes seven states, from Lover's Leap point. Or at least that's what Garnet Carter claimed. We'll come back to that.

  • Microsoft Meeting: Will Another Demo End Up On YouTube? Thursday, 26 Jul 2007 | 4:35 PM ET

    Microsoft's top brass are hosting the company's Financial Analysts Meeting at company headquarters in Redmond, Washington today. I was going to be there as well, but at the last minute, changed plans for several reasons. And it was probably a good idea, at least for Microsoft.

  • Most mind-numbing PR stunt of the summer (so far): Here's the headline: "100 cows face-off against world-class surfers during Honda U.S. Open of Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier." Where's the beef? Against the backdrop of the world's largest professional surfing competition, 100 cows will be herded into the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing by 40 cowboys on Thursday, July 26. The first-ever beach cattle drive at the Huntington Beach Pier takes place at 7:00 a.m., even as professional surfing's "elite athletes take to the waves."

  • Nike: Drop Michael Vick Right Now Thursday, 26 Jul 2007 | 11:58 AM ET
    Michael Vick

    When activist organizations ask for a shoe and apparel company to drop athletes before the legal process has seen them through, I usually don't agree. The main reason I stand up for these companies is that it's good for business to ride it out. People forget and if you have an athlete who is acquitted of charges who is a big star, they will prove they can sell again.

  • Ford Now Making The Right U-Turn? Questions Remain Thursday, 26 Jul 2007 | 8:41 AM ET

    No, your eyes aren't deceiving you--Ford DID post a profit of $750 million. That's right, the automaker that was sucking fumes earlier this year is now back in the black. Which brings up the question: Is this real? The answer is yes, but don't take this to mean Ford is out of the woods.

  • Exclusive Resorts: The New Dynamic In Pleasure Vacations Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 | 3:47 PM ET

    It’s lunch time. The food has been prepared by the Executive Chef (that’s what you call him by the way, ‘Chef’). The horizonless pool is gurgling. The sun is shining and now it’s time for the boat ride around the lagoon. This is a business trip gang. A business trip for Exclusive Resorts. Exclusive Resorts is a division of Steve Case’s Washington DC based Revolution.

  • Tour de France: Let Riders "Do" Drugs? Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 | 2:10 PM ET

    As many of you know, I started boycotting my watching of the Tour de France this year because of all the drug scandals. Of course, the scandals have continued. German cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone and was suspended, Alexandre Vinokourov and his team withdrew after he tested positive for blood doping and we're waiting for the suspension one more rider that tested positive.

  • Disney Mouse Takes On Smokin' Joe Camels Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 | 1:54 PM ET
    Disney Cigarettes

    The "Mouse" is fighting Joe Camel and coming out against the tobacco industry. Just moments ago Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the company's new commitment to remove cigarette smoking from future Disney branded films. Disney made this news public not in Hollywood, but on the national stage of Congress. Iger declaring his company's new commitment in a letter to House Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass), who last month held a hearing on smoking in the media, asking media companies to join the anti-smoking effort.

  • Mercedes-Benz TV: Take It For A Spin On The Web Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 | 11:04 AM ET

    If you are a Mercedes Benz fan, you may have already tuned in to the latest attempt by the automaker to reach out to buyers. It's called Mercedes-Benz.tv. It's actually on the Mercedes Benz Web site www.mercedes-benz.tv and it is perhaps one of the best sites run by an automaker, when it comes to advancing the placement of a brand.

  • Hermes First-Half Sales Growth Capped Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 | 6:08 AM ET

    Hermes International said sales for the first half were 721 mln euros, up 2.9% from 700.5 million a year earlier, as a negative currency impact weighed on growth.

  • With little or no fanfare Pfizer launched a new ad campaign for its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra on NBC Nightly News last night. Pfizer has gotten into a bit of trouble before for its relatively racy Viagra spots like the "Horny Devil" campaign featuring the guy with two horns growing out of his head. This time it's got a bunch of 40-something guys sitting around a dusty barn singing "Viva Viagra" to the tune of Elvis' "Viva Las Vegas".

  • Polo A Mass Market Sport? An Avid Reader Responds Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007 | 2:22 PM ET

    Avid Retail Detail reader Davis Skinner weighed in on the viability of polo as a mass market sport and the appeal of Nacho Figueras as a model (a title that the athletically accomplished Figueras doesn't like.)

  • Ralph Lauren Rides Logo Onto Real Polo Team Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007 | 12:36 PM ET

    After years of using the polo player as its signature branding logo, Ralph Lauren (RL) is taking on a sponsorship role of an actual polo team. Ralph Lauren is now the official sponsor of the Black Watch polo team and its star player (and longtime Ralph Lauren model) Nacho Figueras. Taking the sponsorship a step further, the company is now selling match shirts for Black Watch fans that are embroidered with Nacho Figueras' number 2 on the shoulder.

  • NBA's Stern Talks About Ref Scandal Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007 | 12:21 PM ET

    NBA commissioner David Stern addressed the media today to discuss what the league knows about former NBA referee Tim Donaghy betting on games. This is my live commentary as it happened.

  • Michael Vick Protest Brings "Dog Day Afternoon" Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007 | 10:00 AM ET
    Long Beach Armada

    The minor league baseball independent Long Beach Armada is hosting "Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day" on Sunday. Any fan who trades in his or her Michael Vick T-shirt or jersey will get free admission to the game and a donation will be made in their name to a non-profit that helps "inspire a better understanding of dogs." Those shirts and jerseys will be destroyed in some manner, the team says. Fans can also bring their dogs to the game, will be provided a special entrance to the ballpark and sit in a special section of the ballpark.

  • Bikini Clad Workers Mow Down The Competition Monday, 23 Jul 2007 | 5:13 PM ET

    It's nice being able to pay someone else to mow the lawn. Now a company in Memphis is taking it a step further. You can pay a little more, and a crew of lawn mowing women will arrive at your house--wearing bikinis. The company is www.tigertimelawncare.com, a three-month old firm using the gimmick to get attention. It's worked.

  • NBA Ref Donaghy: Is Media Focus "Over" Wrong Stat? Monday, 23 Jul 2007 | 9:57 AM ET
    Tim Donaghy

    After watching much of the media look at the wrong data when considering whether NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on the games he officiated, I've decided to let the cat out of the bag. Folks, you're not going to get anywhere by looking at the point spreads.

  • Langlitz Leathers: A True American Fit Monday, 23 Jul 2007 | 9:30 AM ET

    What do Neil Young, Clark Gable, Andy Devine, Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp, Geena Davis and Jay Leno all have in common? The jacket on their back. The leather jacket. Benicio Del Toro owns 5 or 6. Those are the names of just some of the high profile folks that have worn or owned a Langlitz leather jacket.

  • I'm blogging from a Barnes and Noble which is readying for Harry Potter's final book going on sale at midnight. Handmade, full-size "magic" brooms are hanging from the ceiling and anxious Potter fans are rereading the past books in line for wristbands for tonight's pre-Potter party. This book is a pricey 35 dollars, five dollars more than the last book's listed price, and it's going to make several companies very, very happy.

  • UAW Contract Talks: Separating Fact From Fiction Friday, 20 Jul 2007 | 11:49 AM ET
    UAW

    Day one of the UAW contract talks kicked off with union leaders shaking hands with Chrysler executives at company headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Already I'm tiring of the news reports, talk shows, commentators and general public portraying these talks inaccurately. If I had a nickel for every time a talk show host blamed the rank and file guy at GM for all of that automakers problems, I'd be rich. So with that in mind, let's play fact or fiction.