KFC China's ads remind diners about the food safety scare at the fried chicken chain, and could undermine its mission to revise sale.» Read More
In the middle of the Avandia blowup, GlaxoSmithKline this week is launching the new over-the-counter diet pill "Alli." The company says it's spending 150 million bucks on the first-year marketing of the formerly prescription-only Xenical from Roche.A big chunk of that is going toward a multi-pronged educational campaign to convince dieters they have to change their eating habits and exercise if they want to get the maximum benefit from Alli. That's crucial with this drug because the more fat you eat, the worse the gastrointestinal side effects. Clue: Glaxo is telling Alli users to wear dark pants and bring an extra pair to work. The company has gone so far as to set up an exhibit in New York City this week where people can get more information about Alli.
Tomorrow is the NBA Draft Lottery. It is designed to give teams who had a bad season a better future and turn their fortunes around, thus giving their fans hope. It is designed to make sure the league doesn't have the same teams competing for the championship every year. Well, despite the fact that LeBron James has Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals, the lottery apparently isn't doing enough. I don't know how you define parity, but I define it as 'amount of teams that win championships in a certain period of time.'This is the first paragraph/short story.
A big controversy has developed over the appearance that Green Bay Packers rookie running back Brandon Jackson was forced to go the the NFL Rookie Premiere this weekend in Los Angeles instead of what he wanted to do -- attend Packers minicamp.The story is not quite what it was originally made out to be. It turns out that Jackson can't go because a rookie can't attend two camps before his class has graduated, not because he's so marketable that the NFL really needs him in Los Angeles so that they could get a great shot of him in his Packers uniform for his football cards.
It's been ten years since you've seen her on television, but now she's back. She plans on taking market share and kicking proverbial 'butt' in the category in which she's best known: syrup. Pancake syrup.
A company called YouMail lets you create specific voicemail messages for specific incoming callers, like a professional message when your boss calls, or a warm and fuzzy voicemail message when mom calls. Now it’s put a wicked twist on the idea, called Ditchmail. Originally intended to block telemarketers, Gen X,Y,Z-ers (is there a Z yet?) are using the service to dump bad dates.
Ford has signed Funkmaster Flex -- a popular hip-hop DJ and personality on New York City's Hot 97 radio station -- as a company pitchman for its Ford Flex Expedition, and as host of a new TV show where regular Joes compete in customizing one of the company's SUVs. This is a smart move by Ford for a couple reasons. First, Flex's popularity with younger car buyers can help the company gain some much needed buzz on the new Flex CUV. Second, it's another case of Ford trying to break out with a new approach.
The New York Times wrote a story about Bud Selig this weekend and how he might deal with Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. The most interesting part of the story wasn't the article though. It was the photo pointed out by my family friend Neil.Let's play a game of what's here and what's not here. There are at least two calculators on his desk, which I thought was strange for a baseball commissioner. I know it's a stat-driven sport, but just how much math is he doing?
Win on Sunday, buy on Monday. The people at BearingPoint only wish that were the case. Their big endorser Phil Mickelson won the Players on Sunday and gave them plenty of exposure on NBC's coverage of the event thanks to the branding on the visor. But don't expect a stock with a current market cap of $1.43 billion to receive any sort of boost from Mickelson's win alone.
After I wrote about Freddy Adu, and how I felt he hasn't lived up to expectations, the folks at soccer message boards jumped all over me. Then, all of a sudden, after all these years of no one really evaluating him, all these Freddy stories come out.Yesterday, I think I was dubbed Adu Critic #1 as USA Today reprinted my sentiments, then John Meyer of the Denver Post yesterday was asking if Freddy's "boots (are) painted with fool's gold?"
Many reporters and columnists over the last couple of days have opined that baseball teams will not hesitate to do anything in their clubhouses about beer and we’ve seen that as more teams over the past couple days have decided to rid free beer from the locker rooms.Then they tell you that nothing will likely happen in the stands because beer is a huge profit maker for the teams and beer companies spend so much money on baseball that there’s a lot of politics behind doing anything more than the symbolic gesture of keeping alcohol out of the locker rooms.
Before the shoe drops -- as in if Kevin Durant, the potential number one NBA draft pick, picks Nike or adidas -- we've learned that Durant has signed an endorsement deal with Upper Deck. The sports card and memorabilia company will market Durant in all of its 2007-08 products, and on its packaging, and will unveil a line of autographed Upper Deck Authenticated items.
I was opening up my packs of Donruss' Score Select and I pulled this card. I was excited about who the player was, but I was really angry when I looked at this signature.I guess about 10 years ago, card companies started inserting signature cards in packs, but I have to tell you over the past couple years, the signatures have gotten worse and worse. I don't blame the card companies. They send these athletes a sheet of stickers to sign and in the end, the athletes just get lazy.
There's way too much to talk about today, but I'm leading it off with the Jim Stewart 400 because I think the folks at Diageo have been shortchanged because of the fight and the Derby -- and maybe even the Mavericks getting schooled.If you haven't heard about it, the NASCAR Nextel Cup race this weekend is actually named after a fan. The folks at Diageo, who bought the race for their Crown Royal brand, had an essay contest in which 15,000 fans wrote in their favorite life moment worthy of toasting with the drink.
"Spider-Man 3" is breaking records, and it hasn't even opened in the U.S. yet; it premiered in Tokyo in April, and opened in 16 Asian and European countries on Tuesday, bringing in $29 million dollars on its first day alone.Throughout Asia, the film opened bigger than the first and second films in the series; in some countries, it out-grossed the combined opening day of Spidey 1 and 2. And in some countries, the movie broke records for the biggest single-grossing day ever.
GlaxoSmithKline's Alli (pronounced "ally" -- don't ask me why they put an "i" at the end) is the new over-the-counter version of prescription Xenical from Roche. It's a diet pill, but as I previously blogged, it has potentially embarrassing side effects. On the plus side, GSK says you can subtract 50% more pounds if you use Alli as directed. But, if you still eat too many fatty foods, you could run into trouble.
On the heels of Eli Lilly's new anti-depressant drug for dogs (your dog is depressed? TAKE HIM FOR A WALK), a viewer alerted me to a new drug from a small company called Vical, in conjunction with Merck and Sanofi-Aventis. They've come up with a vaccine to treat melanoma in dogs. SKIN CANCER IN DOGS?
The NBA called me last week and asked if they could make an avatar, or virtual character, of me so that I could attend a press conference in the Cisco Wireless Press Center in which David Stern's avatar would be giving a press conference about the NBA entering "Second Life," the new-age version of the life simulation games.I was a bit confused as to what was real and what was fake, but as more corporations find that there is great branding opportunities and potentially money to be made in this game, it comes as no surprise that the NBA is entering this space.
Despite Brady Quinn's drop to No. 22 in Saturday's NFL Draft, Quinn's CAA marketer Howard Skall insists that Cleveland taking him was the best marketing situation. "From a marketing standpoint, I can't imagine he'd be more marketable if he was taken at number nine at Miami," Skall said. "Cleveland is definitely the best place for him, being that he grew up a Browns fan and has a chance to lead that team back to glory."This is the first paragraph/short story.
Many of you know that I labored for a couple years to write the book, "First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon," so I'm quite informed about the beverage industry.Yesterday, trade publication "Beverage Digest" reported that Coke was in serious talks to buy Glaceau, maker of Vitaminwater. The report isn't surprising. Coke finally knows, after being arrogant for too many years, that no matter how many Diet Cokes with vitamins they make (OK, maybe Coke Zero is a small exception), it's really all about the non-carbonated business if they care at all about growth.
Hey everyone. Here's guest blogger Jeff Mishlove with his contest picks for today. As we said, he'll be posting every day this week with stocks for each day. Here he is: If you followed my recommendations for stocks to purchase last Friday, then you can appreciate that the strategy I use (short squeeze potential combined with earnings announcements and volatility) is designed to detect the big movers.