Marketing News

Marketing News is South-Western's service to provide summaries of the latest marketing news stories. Review the brief summaries and, for stories of interest, select the full summary.
Title  Brief Summary 
Taser Winning Hearts, Minds, Lawsuits
Full Summary
While Taser stun guns have been out in the streets fighting crime, Taser International Inc. has been in court fighting dozens of product-liability lawsuits from law enforcement opponents. Strings of legal victories and an ongoing public relations effort are helping the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company pull out of a vicious downward spiral caused by negative publicity.
(Updated July 2006)
Does Advertising Cause Obesity?
Full Summary
For years, health agencies and activists have made claims that the food industry's marketing practices put kids' long-term health at risk. Now members from the National Academy of Sciences are raising the stakes on the issue, calling for Congress to enact legislation that would steer food and beverage advertising towards products deemed to be "healthy fare."
(Updated February 2006)
Finger Hoax Bites into Wendy's Profits
Full Summary
Wendy's International Inc. is seeking to rehabilitate its reputation after an incident in which a San Jose, Calif., woman claimed the fast-food chain served her a bowl of chili containing a human finger. While police investigating the case have since arrested the woman for perpetrating a hoax and have cleared Wendy's of wrongdoing, restaurant officials say the prank cost the company millions of dollars through plummeting sales and negative publicity.
(Updated May 2005)
Hello, It's Britney Calling
Full Summary
Global fragrance developer Elizabeth Arden is breaking new ground in marketing scents to young women. The company recently announced that the successful launch of its Curious fragrance was driven by a mobile-phone marketing campaign featuring personalized phone messages from pop diva Britney Spears.
(Updated April 2005)
Ad Spending on the Rise
Full Summary
Advertising spending is finally emerging from a multi-year slump brought on by the bursting of the tech bubble and the effects of 9-11. Even so, advertisers have to adjust their strategies to accommodate shifts in the way consumers are using media such as television, games, and the Internet.
(Updated February 2005)
Steroids Disaster for Major League Baseball
Full Summary
San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds has averaged a home run in every 8.2 at bats since the 2000 season. However, his staggering performance is now under question as Major League Baseball grapples with the possibility that the season home-run record holder has been using steroids. If recent reports are any indication, the League's public relations nightmare has only just begun. The Barry Bonds case is exposing further revelations of widespread drug abuse in the sport, and League officials are scrambling to save baseball's reputation.
(Updated January 2005)
Full Summary
Video game fans have become accustomed to the occasional fixed ad flashing across the screen during an intense lap on the NASCAR track or a shoot-out against futuristic zombies. Now gamers can expect to see a greater diversity of ads while playing their favorite games. New developments in popular advergame technology are enabling advertisers to place rotating ads onto in-game billboards just like they do in the real world.
(Updated 11/1/04)
Bailing Out Martha Stewart Omnimedia
Full Summary
In a move designed to stave off negative publicity surrounding her embattled multimillion dollar homemaking business, troubled diva of domesticity Martha Stewart officially resigned from her position as director and chief creative officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. The move came shortly after the highly-publicized March 2004 court verdict against Stewart for insider stock trading violations unrelated to the company.
(Updated 4/1/04)
Shock and Bra: Advertisers Threaten Pullout after Super Bowl Halftime Antics
Full Summary
The National Football League and its sponsors continue to face a major backlash over this year's controversial Super Bowl halftime show. Janet Jackson's now infamous "costume malfunction"-a supposed wardrobe failure that revealed a side of the pop diva unknown to most of the American viewing public-has the NFL, CBS and MTV in full-on damage-control mode to stave off a defection of advertisers from future Super Bowl events.
(Updated 2/17/04)
Let There be Lime!
Full Summary
Diet Coke with Lime will begin appearing in stores across the country, as consumers look for new, great-tasting low-calorie options to help them keep those New Year's resolutions and enjoy a balanced lifestyle.
(Updated 1/15/04)
National Coupon Month Comes Only Once a Year
Full Summary
Did everyone remember to mark his or her calendar in honor of this year's National Coupon Month? To the members of the Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council, September is one of the most festive months of the year. That is the month the Council has set apart for the celebration of coupons. While champagne and party streamers are certainly in order, the Council celebrates by pointing consumers to its Web site,, which offers tips, education and resources for consumers to "shop smart" using coupons.
(Updated 10/01/03)
Celebrity Swag-Giving Freebies to the Stars
Full Summary
Celebrities wield considerable power to influence consumer purchases. Approximately 20% of all television advertising features a well-known individual from the world of sports, TV, movies or music, and studies show that customers are more likely to choose goods and services endorsed by celebrities. Even so, the high cost of big-name endorsement deals is driving marketers to search for alternative ways to acquire glam power for their products.
(Updated 10/01/03)
Creating POP that Really Pops
Full Summary
Marketing researchers are hard at work determining how customers shop and what kind of in-store material is best at prompting purchases. Using the grocery sector as their testing ground, researchers have conducted tests showing that between 70 and 80 percent of purchase decisions are made impulsively. If retailers become more conscientious about the in-store behaviors of their customers, they can become more effective at leveraging communications efforts to influence purchases.
(Updated 10/01/03)
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