In the News

  • QSR

    Taco Bell Kicks Kids’ Meals, Toys To The Curb

    Taco Bell made news early this week with CEO Greg Creed's announcement that the brand would scrap kids meals and toys by January 2014 - all in the name of kicking up its edgy image and resonating with its target Millennial customers. [pdf..]

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    Ford Focus the Brand Vehicle of Pope’s Humble Car Message – Francis Says Flashy Cars Hurts His Heart by Michael McCarthy

    Does Ford have a friend in high places? Pope Francis is using a Ford Focus compact as a Popemobile to get around Vatican City. That could provide a global marketing boost to the automaker and its Focus nameplate, said experts. [pdf..]

  • Bloomberg_tw

    Why the McWrap Is So Important to McDonald’s by Susan Berfield

    It's a reality of the fast-food business that what can be ordered in a few words, served up in seconds, and consumed in minutes is often the product of years of research and testing. [pdf..]

  • NY Times

    A Spokesman Finds Fame Interviewing Tiny Experts by Stuart Elliott

    How ubiquitous are those AT&T commercials with the inquisitive guy talking earnestly with the cute, lippy children? So ubiquitous that the guy — a comedian, actor and writer named Beck Bennett — sometimes finds himself, despite his best intentions, watching himself on television. [pdf..]

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    Lexus Makes Big ‘Move’ to Regain Crown With New IS Model And Aggressive Ads, Automaker Aims to Recoup Share Lost to Mercedes, BMW by Michael McCarthy

    Forget about perfection. These days Lexus is locked in a relentless pursuit of BMW and Mercedes-Benz to win back its crown as the top U.S. seller of luxury cars. [pdf..]

  • QSR

    Table Service Upgrade

    Firehouse Subs, BurgerFi add table service to score real estate in Florida town. [pdf..]

  • QSR

    Starbucks Stays True to Message with Smoking Ban by Marlee Murpy

    Starbucks made waves in late May when news broke that the brand would ban smoking in its outdoor seating areas and within 25 feet of its entrances. Protestors and advocates alike took to the Internet to voice their support or disapproval of the ban, which took effect June 1. But the smoking ban did not phase Gary Stibel, CEO of the New England Consulting Group, who believes this move was a long time coming. [pdf..]

  • Nation Restaurant News

    McDonald’s makes late-night menu moves by Mark Brandau

    McDonald's USA has confirmed that it will begin rolling out a "McDonald's After Midnight" menu of breakfast and dinner items in select markets at participating 24-hour locations, marking a significant move into the late-night daypart. [pdf..]

  • NY Times

    Intel’s New Slogan Shifts Its Focus to the Present by Stuart Elliott

    THE “sponsors of tomorrow” have determined that consumers are more interested in the present than the future. [pdf..]

  • Nation Restaurant News

    Fast-casual pizza concepts raising dough by Lisa Jennings

    Over the past few years a hotter-than-hot niche has emerged within the $40 billion pizza space that many are watching with keen interest. [pdf..]

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    Marketers Remain Cautious Despite Consumer Sentiment Uptick by Jack Neff

    U.S customers are feeling pretty good right now - as good as they have since the pre-recession days of July 2007, according to one recently released key measure. [pdf..]

  • NY Times

    Pills Tracked From Doctor to Patient to Aid Drug Marketing by Katie Thomas

    In the old days, sales representatives from drug companies would chat up local pharmacists to learn what drugs doctors were prescribing. Now such shoulder-rubbing is becoming a quaint memory — thanks to vast databases of patient and doctor information being used by pharmaceutical companies to market drugs. The information allows drug makers to know which drugs a doctor is prescribing and how that compares to a colleague across town. They know whether patients are filling their prescriptions — and refilling them on time. They know details of patients’ medical conditions and lab tests, and sometimes even their age, income and ethnic backgrounds. [pdf..]

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    Sport Sedan Challenge tests key cars for premium brands

    "ONTARIO, Calif. — Luxury automakers love sport sedans, such as the six in our latest face-off, the Cars.com/USA TODAY/MotorWeek $46,000 Sport Sedan Challenge. These cars yield big profits. As entry-premium sedans, they draw new buyers to the upscale brands. And the cars' size and drivetrains generally deliver better mileage than others in the lineup, helping makers meet fuel-economy rules." [pdf..]

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    McDonald’s Has a Millennial Problem Country’s Biggest Fast Feeder Doesn’t Rank in Top 10 Fave Restaurants Among This Huge and Influential Demo by Abbey Klaassen

    "McDonald's may be the country's No. 1 fast-food chain and one of its most-beloved brands, but when it comes to millennials, the Golden Arches says it doesn't even rank among the demographic's top 10 restaurant chains. It's enough of a concern that McDonald's is launching its biggest product of the year, McWrap, to court a huge and influential cohort that values choice and customization. According to NPD Group, there are 59 million people ages 23 to 36 in the U.S. -- the range it defines as millennials." [pdf..]

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    Lulu Lemon Recall Point Counterpoint

    The yogawear marketer lululemon Athletica reported financial results Thursday morning that beat Wall Street expectations - but said its recall of too-sheer black yoga pants cost it revenue of $12 million to $17 million in the first quarter and will erase another $45 million to $50 million this year. [pdf..]

  • QSR

    Shopping the Brand by Emily Freeman

    "Quick-service sushi concepts, from How Do You Roll? to Yo! Sushi, have taken off in the U.S., with Americans’ increasingly adventurous palates driving growth. And Genji Sushi, which first opened its doors in Philadelphia in 1997, is a quiet leader in the category, with 165 units. But Genji has a trick up its sleeve that’s helped build the brand into such a sushi success: The concept operates exclusively within Whole Foods Market stores." [pdf..]

  • Pittsburgh Post Gazette_twitter

    A look at CEO Bill Johnson, the man behind H.J. Heinz Co by Teresa Lindeman

    "In the 1980s, a couple of young H.J. Heinz Co. managers were visiting grocery stores together. One of them asked the other why he'd left another company to work for the iconic Pittsburgh business. ""He said, 'I want to be CEO,' "" remembers Mike Milone. " [pdf..]

  • Nation Restaurant News

    When corporate policies become public fodder by Mark Brandau

    Recent controversies on the Facebook pages of Buffalo Wild Wings and Denny’s showed that, even if restaurant brands do not pick sides in heated political arguments, they may not benefit from staying silent either. Gun control and the Second Amendment were launched back into the national conversation after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last Dec. 14. With advocates for and against gun control primed for arguments on social media, including and especially Facebook, the debate quickly spread to brand pages belonging to restaurants like Denny’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. Those two chains got caught in a storm when corporate policies surrounding firearms — one restricting concealed weapons in restaurants and one allowing only police offers to carry firearms in restaurants — suddenly were thrust into the spotlight. [pdf..]

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    Snack size set to dethrone super size by Kelly Thurman

    "We’ve become a nation of snackers. Whether it’s a quick trip through a fast food drive-through or a stop at the supermarket, diners are eating more often and choosing smaller-sized portions " [pdf..]

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    Flipsides Is Verizon’s ‘Powerful Answers’ campaign genius or a GE knockoff

    "If ""Powerful Answers,"" from agency McGarryBowen, is Verizon's sole advertising execution for 2013, then, yes, it is a little short on brand-name identification, marketing value proposition, target customer benefit and call to action. But if this is one execution in a multifaceted campaign, ""Powerful Answers"" could prove to be very effective. " [pdf..]