In her latest Film Files column, Sharon Swart gets an auction scoop from Harvey Weinstein and catches up with Jessica Chastain, who says of the fundraiser's growth from last year: "I was hoping we’d double it, and we made even more!”
A new suit apparently charges the union with failing to properly disburse about $110 million received from foreign collection societies.
The drama is set to debut in competition at the festival on Saturday.
Mega tech manufacturer Foxconn has been in the negative spotlight a lot over the past few months. Despite once being the main manufacturer for Apple products—as well as a significant player for Hewlettt-Packard, and to a lesser extent, Sony, Dell and Acer—Apple recently decided to take their iPhone 4S and iPad mini business to Taiwanese competitor, Pegatron. Apple has also promised to eventually bring a chunk of their manufacturing work back to the United States to help create new jobs.
Unfortunately, Foxconn was thrust back into the spotlight recently as reports of three employee suicides surfaced. While Foxconn is hardly the only Chinese or global company to be accused of archaic and dangerous labor conditions, the recent suicides mark a new low in the category, especially since the company had previously come under fire and had supposedly reformed many of its practices.[more]
Yet, instead of a public apology or pronouncement of factory reformation, Foxconn's statement oozed of denial:
“We cannot speculate on individual reasons for these actions, but an internal review shows that there is no indication that they were caused by work-related matters. It is also important to note that experts who have reviewed such tragic incidents in the past have indicated that suicide is a complex issue and that there is no one reason that can ever be cited for any such incident.”
As tragic as the three suicides are, it's unfortunately not the first time the company has been linked to other, work-related deaths. Within the past five years, Foxconn has experienced a number of "high-level" suicides, including 13 in 2010.
With Apple already distancing themselves from the manufacturing company, the recent suicides will certainly not help Foxconn's brand. Even though, according to the Wall Street Journal, Foxconn complied with 98.3 percent of the 360 action items the Fair Labor Association and Apple mandated during a January review, there is still a disconnect between the workers’ sentiments and the company’s policy makers. Under new Chinese laws, the company is struggling to cut overtime hours to a standard 40 hour work week with a maximum of nine hours of overtime. With a July deadline looming, the tech giant, which employs over 1 million in its factories in China, said it would need help and more time to come up with a "realistic timetable" to comply with the new laws.
While industry experts suspect that Apple's gradual break from Foxconn has more to do with price than human rights, no brand will likely want to be associated with the company for fear that actions there will damage their own brand.
UPDATED: The late night host has denied buying the painting for comedian Jeffrey Ross, who earlier tweeted a photo of himself with the work claiming it had been a gift from Kimmel.
Kmart is on a roll with humorous ad messaging with a follow-up to its viral "Ship My Pants" ad. The retailer released "Big Gas Savings" and the spot has already racked up nearly 1.5 million views. The campaign touts the benefits of the brand's Shop Your Way rewards program, which offers free shipping and discounts at Kmart gas pumps.
A promise of 30 cents on the gallon savings, coupled with talent and wordplay on “big gas” may signal a continuing theme for Kmart with creative produced on these two ads from DraftFCB, but rival McCann is in the mix pitching for the account going forward.
Here's a few more ads and campaigns that caught our eye this week:[more]
Puma is promoting digital expression through movement rather than words via an interactive platform, Dance Dictionary, created to tout its new line of Sync fragrances.
Users encrypt sentences into dance moves, encouraged by the tag: “Don’t say it, move it." "Mondays make me want to scream," or "Will you be my girlfriend?" translate into choreographed gestures from 25 of the world’s best dancers such as Storyboard P, King Charles, PacMan, Ron Myles AKA Prime Tyme and Krumpers Big Mijo, Outrage and Worm and LA choreographer Super Dave.
While shareable via Twitter, Facebook and e-mail, Puma’s ultimate intent is "Choreographing a new language." The creative talent includes artists, dancers and directors. "Everyone involved with the Puma Dance Dictionary is from those worlds," Grey London Executive Creative Director Nils Leonard told Mashable. “They’re not in advertising; they’re famous in their own right. To make it credible that’s where we have to go, the audience can smell it out otherwise."
Jello's #FML campaign turns a negative into a positive. “Most people think #FML stands for something negative, but JELL-O sees these tweets as a cry for help. A cry to: Fun My Life." Anyone who tweets #FML will be entered into a pool and randomly picked to have their Fun My Life requests met with a customized prize pack. The promotion is running through June 14.May 20, 2013
Geico's latest installment in it's "Happier" campaign is bound to put a smile on your face. As the saying goes, "How happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to Geico?" Happier than a camel on Wednesday—aka Hump Day.
Jack Link's Jerky's new installement in its 'Messing with Sasquatch' series sees the legendary beast get all dolled up for his give minutes of fame.
Mike's Hard Looking For More Love
Lemonade is generally considered something for the summertime and even just for picnics, so Mike’s Hard Lemonade, after 14 years on the market, is aiming to inform consumers that there are plenty of other times to drink the stuff, too. The brand’s new campaign features offbeat commercials that are set in traditionally beer-drinking locales and end with the tagline “It’s never not a good time for a Mike’s Lemonade.”
“We’re looking at a traditional beer consumer, which is a natural fit for Mike’s,” Sanjiv Gajiwala, the director of marketing for Mike’s, told The New York Times. The brand has its work cut out for it since research has shown that 21 percent of men “would not want to be seen” holding a fruity malt beverage while only 11 percent of women felt the same way, MSN reports.
The brand will spend between $15 million and $20 million on the campaign, up from its overall 2012 advertising budget of $13.3 million, the Times notes.[more]
New Branded Brews for Trekkies
Any Vulcan would tell you that it is logical. When you have this many fans of something, the logical thing to do is market products to them relentlessly. And so the folks behind the “Star Trek” films are doing just that.
Next up is a series of brews, starting with Vulcan Ale, a Red Irish Ale (because the planet Vulcan is red, silly).
NBC News reports that Vulcan “is the first in a series of Star Trek themed beers being distributed under a licensing agreement with CBS Studios.” Each year will see the release of three or four beers that represent episodes from each season of the show. “Season One will be comprised of three to five episodes,” Richard Weger, the project manager for Delancey Direct, which is handling the brew, told NBC. “Vulcan Ale is Episode One, a Klingon beer will be Episode Two, and a third beer yet to be announced will be Episode Three.”
The beers are currently only available in Canada but will be seen in the US next year if everything goes well.
Harley and Miller High Life Team Up
Harley-Davidson and Miller High Life are both celebrating 110 years of existence this year, so the pair whose headquarters are across the street from each other in Milwaukee have teamed up to celebrate with Harley-themed beer cans and Miller-themed cycles. Businessweek reports that “the pact will bring commemorative Harley-Davidson designs to 16 oz High Life cans and the packaging for 12 oz bottles” as well as “150 Harleys decked out in High Life graphics will be given away.”
More Booze News:
- Nearly 30 New Jersey bars, including 11 T.G.I. Friday's, got busted by a state investigation for serving up well liquor in premium-brand bottles, and charging a premium price. Operation Swill walked away with 1,000 bottles of evidence. Serving Cheap Liquor in Big Brand Bottles
- Good luck buying alcohol in Turkey. The government there has “banned alcohol advertising and increased restrictions on alcohol sales” in a new law that still needs presidential approval.
- Cruzan Rum is hoping people will slow down a little and sip a lot. To push its message, the company has created the metaphorical island of The Don’t Hurry.
- Canadians who love Guinness are apparently in for a treat. The company has just launched its new Guinness Black Lager in the country and it “combines the roasted barley flavor that Guinness Draught is famous for with a crisp new approach.”
- Nine craft brewers across America have teamed up to create a brew, Homefront IPA, that includes an unfinished Louisville Slugger in its tank as it ferments. It’ll be released on Memorial Day. Part of the proceeds will benefit military families in need of financial assistance.
- SAB Miller may have had a rise in sales in its last fiscal year, which ended March 31, but it is warning investors that “weaker demand for lager in the US and volatile markets in Latin America are putting pressure on its beer sales.” Net profit fell 22 percent to $3.27 billion for the year.
- Whiskey is awfully popular these days. Straight American whiskey had a 5.2 percent increase in total production volume last year and that should happen again in 2013. However, there may just not be enough whiskey to fill the demand.
- The drinkers of China and Eastern Europe’s insistence on consuming scotch whisky Johnnie Walker has put it at the top of this year’s list for world's leading alcoholic drink, knocking Smirnoff aside in the process.
- Google’s new Top Charts track all of the world’s most-searched items. In April, it appears that Jack Daniel’s pretty much kicked the behind of every other whiskey when it came to being searched for. Crown Royal was a distant second.
- SKYY Vodka is getting dressed for the summer in what else? A bikini. Swimwear designer L*SPACE Swim has put together an itsy bitsy teenie weenie for a limited-edition bottle.
- Bacardi Rum was founded in Cuba so the brand is playing up the association in a new campaign entitled Vivimos.
- When you win a lot, you drink a lot of champagne, so you might as well endorse a brand, right? Tennis great Roger Federer was in Paris Thursday to fulfill his difficult duties as a Moet & Chandon Global Brand Ambassador.
- SAB Miller is making its move in Africa by replacing a lot of the barley malt in its brews with locally grown, inexpensive cassava. The brewer is hoping to put a dent into the fact that three quarters of the alcohol consumed there is home brewed or cheap spirits.
- A new study from a researcher from Harvard and another from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome shows that drinking wine and beer regularly may help folks stave off the pain of kidney stones. What to avoid? Soda.