Gamble

Even Gruber Says Apple Passed Up ‘A Sure Thing’ Charging So Much For The iPad Mini (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/gruber-apple-passed-up-a-sure-thing-with-ipad-mini-pricing-2012-10

ipad mini official

A lot of people are upset about the iPad Mini’s price.

Even John Gruber of Daring Fireball says that Apple passed on a “sure thing” making the iPad so much more expensive than Google’s Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire

“Better but costs more” is a gamble. “Better and costs the same or less” is a sure thing. And the iPad is hard to compare to any previous Apple product other than the iPod. The iPod and iPad didn’t enter mature markets — they entered nascent markets with no strong competitors and established themselves as unquestioned market leaders. The iPad Mini’s $329 starting point leaves a price umbrella in tablets that Apple never left for MP3 player competitors.

Don’t Miss: Don’t Buy An iPad Mini (Yet)! >

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Thursday, October 25th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook Denies Targeting Users Based On Interests

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-denies-targeting-users-based-on-interests–todays-ad-brief-2012-9

Facebook denies targeting users based on their interests, but not everyone believes the company.

Amazon does a U-turn and will offer an ad-free Kindle Fire for a $15 premium.

Procter & Gamble: former client-side exec Judy Beaudry vents her fury against media rebates, an issue we told you about earlier this month.

Meet the 20 most influential marketing spenders, per Ad Age.

Cravendale has launched its new “cats with thumbs” video (above). We told you it was coming earlier this month.

LIONSGATE HAS PUT ITS $400 MILLION MEDIA ACCOUNT IN REVIEW: The incumbents are Initiative and Mindshare; Horizon will also compete, Ad Age says. “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” are among the titles on the business.

LendingTree picked a new creative shop, Merkley + Partners, and will break its first campaign in the spring. The New York shop beat McK! inney in Durham, N.C., and Anthem Worldwide in San Francisco for the business. Spending is ~$22 million.

MDC Partners’ credit rating was lowered by Standard & Poor’s from B+ to B, with the ratings service saying it expects the holding company’s debt level to remain high over the next 12 to 18 months.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky‘s chief digital officer Ivan Perez-Armendariz has some deep thoughts about Facebook and Google.

Previously on BI:

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Monday, September 10th, 2012 news No Comments

FBI Busts The Biggest Counterfeit Coupon Ring Ever

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/massive-counterfeit-coupon-ring-busted-in-arizona-2012-7

cbs

Early Tuesday morning, federal officials raided four Phoenix, Ariz. properties, seized 21 cars and arrested three women accused of running the largest counterfeit coupon ring in the country. 

The mission involved a joint effort by the FBI, local police, and a roster of manufacturing giants that included Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Hershey, which were among dozens affected by the scheme, according to industry watchdog Coupon Information Corp.

During the bust, police uncovered more than $25 million worth of bogus coupons and confiscated 22 assault weapons, along with a 40-foot boat, local law enforcement told CBS 5.

“These aren’t ’50 cent off’ coupons. These are ‘free item’ coupons,” Police Sergeant Dave Lake said. “For Iams, you get this coupon from her for $10 and you can get a $70 item…If you can get an unlimited number of those, think how this grows.”

Unraveling the scheme

There’s no telling how badly businesses were burned, but police estimate they’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Here’s how manufactures helped tip investigators off to the fraud, according to AZ Central:

“Police said approximately four years ago high-quality copies of manufacturer’s coupons began surfacing in the United States from an unknown source. The victim companies teamed with Coupon Information Corp. and hired private investigators to find where the coupons were being sold in the country. The investigators found several market re-entry points, with the most prolific one located in Arizona.” 

That’s where Robin Ramirez, 46, Amico Fountain, 42, and Marilyn Johnson, 62, allegedly ran the bulk of their business, using a fake website and eBay to sell consumers fraudulent coupons at a deeply discounted rate.

How the plan worked

In order to receive the free or discounted coupons, users were “invited” to join the site and given a 100 percent guaranteed return if the deals were rejected at the point of sale.

“They were selling millions of dollars worth of coupons on (eBay) in addition to SavvyShoppersite.com,” CIC Executive Director Bud Miller told AZ Central.

The website domain may sound familiar. “Savvy Shopper” magazine sends out real coupons to consumers each week, but officials say the scammers simply borrowed the brand to make their scheme seem more legitimate. 

While none of the consumers who purchased the coupons will face charges, counterfeit coupons could easily land the people and businesses that unwittingly purchase them in hot water.

Coupon buyers expose themselves to the possibility of becoming involved with counterfeits, stolen property or other criminal activities,” Miller said in a statement. “They may also expose themselves to additional risk by providing their names, home addresses and financial information to organized crime rings.”

The key to avoiding counterfeit coupons is simple: Don’t buy them. 

Here are some other tips CIC passes along to consumers:

-Beware of invalid disclaimers, such as “You not paying for the coupons, but for the time and effort it took to clip them.”
-Be wary of any coupon emailed to you by anyone but the manufacturer or its authorized distributor
-If a coupon is visible on a computer screen, it is probably counterfeit
-Free product coupons are seldom, if ever, distributed on the Internet.

DON’T MISS: 13 clever uses for household items > 

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Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 news No Comments

Try On Five Pairs of Glasses for Free at Home

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5919905/try-on-five-pairs-of-glasses-for-free-at-home-with-warby-parkers-try+on-program

 

You can save a boatload of money by buying eyeglasses online, but it’s a bit of a gamble because you can’t actually try them on. That is, until now. Previously mentioned Warby Parker will now ship you five pairs to try for five days, no obligation to buy.

Select any 5 pairs of glasses that you’d like to try and the company will send them to you for free. (For those wondering, the program is available for contiguous US residents only.) You can try them on in the comfort of your home and ask your friends and family for their opinions or get feedback from Warby Parker experts on Facebook over the next five days.

Send the glasses back (return shipping is free), and if you like any of them, order the frame(s) with your prescription. Glasses cost $95 including prescription lenses.

As an added feel good bonus, for every pair Warby Parker sells, the company donates a pair of glasses to a person in need.

Warby Parker Home Try-On Program | Warby Parker

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Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 digital No Comments

The World’s Biggest Consumer Goods Company Shows That Growth In Developed Markets Is Tanking (PG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-developed-market-growth-for-proctor-and-gamble-2012-6

Proctor and Gamble unexpectedly cut guidance this morning, sending shares down in pre-market trade.

In a statement, Procter said “the revisions to the Company’s fourth quarter outlook are primarily driven by slower than anticipated top-line growth from slower than expected market growth rates and market share softness in developed regions and negative impacts from foreign exchange rate changes.”

Translation: high unemployment coupled with slow-to-no GDP growth in developed markets are destroying the top line.

At a Deutsche Bank panel today, Procter plans to show this slide that sums it up pretty nicely.

Procter & Gamble Guidance

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Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 news No Comments

P&G To Lay Off 1,600 After Discovering It’s Free To Advertise On Facebook (PG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pg-ceo-to-lay-off-1600-after-discovering-its-free-to-advertise-on-facebook-and-google-2012-1


old spice

Reality appears to have finally arrived at Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest marketer, whose $10 billion annual ad budget has hurt the company’s margins.

P&G said it would lay off 1,600 staffers, including marketers, as part of a cost-cutting exercise. More interestingly, CEO Robert McDonald finally seems to have woken up to the fact that he cannot keep increasing P&G’s ad budget forever, regardless of what happens to its sales.

He told Wall Street analysts that he would have to “moderate” his ad budget because Facebook and Google can be “more efficient” than the traditional media that usually eats the lion’s share of P&G’s ad budget.

This is coming from the man who increased P&G’s adspend by a staggering 24 percent over the two years through October 2011, even though sales rose only 6 percent in the same period.

Note that P&G’s revenues were up 4 percent to $22 billion in the quarter but the company’s costs for sales, general and administrative work were flat.

P&G’s staggering ad budget has become a bit of an issue among analysts. On the call, McDonald and his crew were asked about ad costs three different times! . McDonald eventually said:

As we’ve said historically, the 9% to 11% range [for advertising as a percentage of sales] has been what we have spent. Actually, I believe that over time, we will see the increase in the cost of advertising moderate. There are just so many different media available today and we’re quickly moving more and more of our businesses into digital. And in that space, there are lots of different avenues available.

In the digital space, with things like Facebook and Google and others, we find that the return on investment of the advertising, when properly designed, when the big idea is there, can be much more efficient. One example is our Old Spice campaign, where we had 1.8 billion free impressions and there are many other examples I can cite from all over the world. So while there may be pressure on advertising, particularly in the United States, for example, during the year of a presidential election, there are mitigating factors like the plethora of media available.

P&G’s Old Spice campaign is a textbook example of what the entire company should be doing. The problem is that the entire company isn’t doing it. Check out Mr. Clean’s Twitter stream, for instance. Oh, right—he doesn’t have one.

McDonald’s recent discovery that digital media is free comes after the long-delayed launch of Tide Pods, now scheduled for a month from now but with only a limited supply. It was originally planned for July 2011. The ad budget for that campaign is estimated at $150 million and will come from agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

The problem is that while P&G has struggled to get a single U.S. pod out the factory door, several of its competitors have already launched competing laundry pod products.

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Monday, January 30th, 2012 news No Comments

US Moves Toward Banning Photoshop In Cosmetics Ads (PG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/us-moves-toward-banning-use-of-photoshop-in-cosmetics-ads-2011-12


ann ward cover girl

Procter & Gamble has agreed to never again run an ad for its CoverGirl mascara because it used “enhanced post-production” and “photoshopping” to make eyelashes look thicker than they were in real life. P&G agreed to the ban even though it disclosed in the ad that the image was enhanced.

The move is the latest in a series of baby steps that U.S. and international advertising regulators have taken to ban the use of Photoshop in advertising when it is misleading to consumers.

The company’s decision was described in a ruling by the National Advertising Division, the U.S. industry watchdog that imposes self-regulation on the advertising business. NAD is part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Its rulings are respected and followed by most advertisers because it enjoys a close relationship with the FTC, from which it has historically drawn some of its senior staff. Recalcitrant advertisers who refuse to withdraw or amend misleading ads are referred by the NAD to the FTC, which has the power to fine, sue or bring injunctions against companies.

When asked whether this was a de facto ban on Photoshop, NAD director Andrea Levine told us:

“You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then – in the mice type – have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.’”

The ad in question was for CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, which promised “2X more volume” on women’s lashes. After reviewing the ad, P&G agreed to yank it. (A different CoverGirl ad is shown here.) The NAD ruling said:

“… [P&G] advised NAD it has permanently discontinued all of the challenged claims and the photograph in its advertisement. NAD was particularly troubled by the photograph of the model – which serves clearly to demonstrate (i.e., let consumers see for themselves) the length and volume they can achieve when they apply the advertised mascara to their eyelashes. This picture is accompanied by a disclosure that the model’s eyelashes had been enhanced post production.”

In a footnote, the NAD said it was following the lead of its sister body in the U.K., the Advertising Standards Authority, which in July banned cosmetics ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington because they used Photoshop. The NAD said:

“Advertising self-regulatory authorities recognize the need to avoid photoshopping in cosmetics advertisements where there is a clear exaggeration of potential product benefits.”

“… the picture of Ms. Roberts had been altered using post production techniques (in addition to professional styling, make-up, photography and the product’s inherent covering and smoothing nature which are to be expected), exaggerating what consumers could expect to achieve through product use.”

The U.K. ruling found the use of photo retouching misleading per se.

In the U.S., the FTC has has also tightened rules to hold celebrities accountable if they make claims in ads they know cannot be true.

And in France, in 2009, 50 politicians asked for health warnings to be imposed on fashion ads if they showed retouched models’ bodies.

SEE ALSO: Ryanair: ‘We Will Continue To Support The Right Of Our Crew To Take Their Clothes Off’

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Friday, December 16th, 2011 news No Comments

Ads will possess your phone using subliminal sound waves

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/09/ads-will-possess-your-phone-using-subliminal-sound-waves/

Er, we don’t want to sensationalize this or anything, but your phone could soon be at the mercy of inaudible sound pulses that trigger location-specific ads, sales promotions and other potentially demonic notifications. Unlike normal advertising within apps, and also different to sound-responsive apps like Shazam and Shopkick, a new platform called Sonic Notify is meant to work discretely in the background, without the need for any user activation. Its creators, NY-based digital agency Densebrain, plan to attach small high-frequency sound-emitting beacons to store shelves, which will “set people’s phones off” when they stand in front of a particular product. It’s not clear how the platform might affect your battery life, or why you wouldn’t just disable it at the first inopportune alert, but drug stores, TV networks and big players like Proctor & Gamble are nevertheless said to be gripped by the concept.

Ads will possess your phone using subliminal sound waves originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Dec 2011 08:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, December 9th, 2011 news No Comments

This Chart Is Driving Apple Bulls Crazy (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-apple-pe-2011-12

Apple’s price to earnings ratio is at a relatively paltry 14 right now, and it’s driving Apple bulls crazy.

The chart below, which shows Apple’s shrinking PE, from Apple analyst Andy Zaky has been passed around for the last week. (At the time Apple’s PE was 13.3.)

What’s wrong with this chart?

Zaky explains: “Now even though Apple’s growth has far and outpaced the growth of Oracle (16.35 P/E), Amazon (96.15 P/E), Google (19.19 P/E), Cisco (15.11), Qualcomm Inc. (20.62), Amgen, Inc (13.53), Comcast (15.11 P/E), IBM (13.95 P/E), Chevron (13.50), Johnson & Johnson (14.94 P/E), Procter & Gamble (15.49 P/E), and AT&T (13.91 P/E), the stock trades at a far lower valuation relative to these top holdings on the NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500. Some of these companies have actually contracted in 2011. Yet, the market values the earnings out of these companies on the order of 4-5 times more in some cases than they value the earnings out of Apple.”

Of course, there’s more than one way to value a stock. If you value it based on trailing free cash flow, it’s arguably priced fairly, says our Henry Blodget.

chart of the day, apple quarterly p/e ratio compression, dec. 7 2011

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

Try On New Glasses in Warby Parker’s Virtual Booth

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5533311/try-on-new-glasses-in-warby-parkers-virtual-booth

Try On New Glasses in Warby Parker's Virtual BoothBuying glasses online can save you tons of money but the downside is you don’t get to try the glasses on and see how they look on your face. Upload a picture to Warby Parker and see different styles on your face.

Last year we shared out exploits in buying super cheap glasses online—it was awesome and we got great glasses for only $8!—but as we noted then it’s a gamble, albeit a cheap one, to buy glasses without trying them on.

Eyeglass retailer Warby Parker has an excellent virtual try on booth on their site which alleviates the can’t-try-it-on shoppers anxiety. Upload a picture of yourself, try out the different frames, and get a feel for how they look on your face. If you absolutely love a pair you find there you can snag them for $95 or just take the style and go shopping on other sites. Make sure to read our guide to scoring cheap eye glasses before you go shopping for some important pointers.

Warby Parker Virtual Try On [via Unpluggd]

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Friday, May 7th, 2010 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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