Ashley MadisonData permanence and the security of information in today’s world is something that we are all grappling with. With the advancement of technology and the evolution of human interaction, there has been a boom of customer-centric businesses with a digital twist. The way we shop, make reservations, consume news, and date has been revolutionized even over the past decade. The recent hacking of Ashley Madison has resulted in a significant level of attention. What is perhaps most interesting and disturbing is the public’s focus on the behavior of the site’s members rather than on the cybersecurity issue associated with the “affair-enabling” website and the company’s reaction.

As we live in a Page Six society this isn’t so shocking, but here’s why it should be. How many times have we all entered our name, address, company, phone number, date of birth, etc. as a way to sign up for a mobile application or a website? Plenty. We all regularly share information voluntarily. Regardless of one’s personal perspective on adultery, the fact is that Ashley Madison didn’t cause people to become cheaters; it merely provided them an efficient vehicle to act on their impulses. Husbands and wives have been having affairs since the institution of marriage was formalized and just as sites like Tinder, Match and OkCupid have digitalized dating, Ashley Madison has digitalized cheating. But what everyone should be focusing on instead of what big names have been caught in the scandal, is the security breach that occurred and we should be viewing the site’s members as the victims that they are. Continue Reading »

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print

The Week UnpeeledMedia Navel Gaze

Neck braces.  The likely new swag from exchanges last week, where investors saw prices swing by as much as 10,000 points over the last five days (“Market Reels”), amid expectations for more volatility ahead. Despite the wild ride, markets were pretty quiet on Friday and actually ended slightly higher on the week with the Dow gaining 1.1 percent to close 16,643. Chances for the Fed to raise rates soon were likely less likely now.

Elsewhere:

  • The Carly Fiorina team charged back at Andrew Ross Sorkin in a full-page letter last week in The New York Times, after his column called her business record “not so sterling”; the golden gloves are off;
  • Trump continued to bully his way around the campaign trail but remained a frontrunner for the Republicans as Hillary Clinton continued to lose favor and lost big in sentiment polls on trustworthiness;
  • A TV reporter and cameraman were killed live on TV by a former employee, a horrific story that raised the heat on the gun-control debate while Walmart in an unrelated move stopped the sale of some high-powered rifles in the US;
  • New Orleans and the media world marked the 10-year anniversary of Katrina amid apparent careful coverage positioning by NBC following the “misremembering” of Brian Williams of his then on-the-ground reporting; and
  • The head of Ashley Madison resigned or as several headlines put it: “put to bed.”

Continue Reading »

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print

Round-up news from across the Atlantic . . .

Cow

The House of Lords has faced criticism after David Cameron announced the appointment of 45 new members. The intake included a number of controversial characters, such as MPs who were formerly caught up in the infamous expenses scandal, and a city banker who has previously donated millions to the Conservative party. Needless to say, it feels like the ongoing debate over the legitimacy of the House of Lords is coming to a head.

Official figures demonstrate that UK economic growth was unrevised at 0.7% for the second quarter of the year. The Bank of England expects similar momentum to be maintained throughout the rest of 2015, forecasting 2.8% growth overall.

The announcement of a One Direction break-up sent the international financial markets into freefall this week. Following the release of the band’s statement, Asian fans were quick to give up on everything, leading the Chinese stock market to plummet. As the news of the split spread, the Chinese were quickly followed by many other international markets, including the FTSE and the DOW. Thankfully the crash began to slow down after it was revealed that the band are not, in fact, breaking up; more rather, taking a temporary hiatus to concentrate on their solo careers. By Jove - thank goodness for that! [Disclaimer: there is a small possibility that the two events were completely unrelated]

And for the most British news story of the week: Fire-fighters in central-England were called out in an emergency, to assist a curious cow who got its head stuck in a plastic chair. Although thorough investigations have been launched, investigators are still uncertain as to how the chair ended up where it did. Stay tuned.. End of Story

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print

Unboxed

For a company that has a clown for a mascot, Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s, doesn’t have a very good sense of humor. Mr. Easterbrook shattered the grease-laden dreams of burger lovers and fast food aficionados everywhere this morning with his terse reply to Burger King’s McWhopper Proposal.

In a series of full-page ads taken out by Burger King in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, the #2 player in the burger category ran an open letter to McDonald’s proposing the two burger titans essentially halt the “burger wars” for one day to raise awareness for United Nations Peace Day on September 21.

To drive home the message of peace and unity, Burger King suggested the creation of the McWhopper, a combination Big Mac-Whopper, which would be sold at a pop-up store by the two companies on Peace Day. All proceeds would go to the nonprofit Peace One Day, of which Burger King is a corporate sponsor.

The buzz on social media around the McWhopper Proposal hit a fever pitch right before Mr. Easterbrook quickly put the kibosh on the whole thing in a Facebook post. His response to the Burger King campaign was the corporate equivalent of being broken up with by text message. He passed on the joint effort and included a humorless, “P.S. A simple phone call will do next time.”

In looking at the vetoed McWhopper Proposal, it’s worth taking into consideration the implications for McDonald’s, Burger King and Peace One Day to determine where the real lessons are here for marketers.

Continue Reading »

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print

The Week UnpeeledMedia Navel Gaze

Yikes! The summer turned nasty last week, with stock markets worldwide showing red almost everywhere as the indices hit 10-percent correction levels amid commentary that the six-year bull market may have run its course.  The week-long slide was based on concerns about China’s growth following its currency devaluation and sluggish economies elsewhere.  The S&P 500, probably the broadest best measure, fell some 5.8 percent last week and is now down 4 percent for the year.  Unclear if this is a breather or more to come but lots of ink sure to follow.

Elsewhere:

  • Oil continued its descent with crude falling briefly below $40 per barrel and projections for the $30 range soon.
  • Maybe it should wait after this week but the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz has recommended that public companies shed the quarterly reports, calling on the SEC to get rid of the practice which no doubt would make many CFOs happy;
  • A top Bloomberg editor was dismissed last week when he broke the embargo on Fed minutes story;
  • The Koreas traded threats
  • Female Viagra was approved; and
  • Jared happened.

LatAm Gaze:

  • LATAM: This week's steep selloff that pushed down the S&P 500 says more about the outlook for emerging markets than US companies; recessions in Latin American countries like Brazil and Chile is hurting commodity-related companies, and prompting traders to overlook improving US economic data.
  • BRAZIL:Amid ongoing investigations into Brazil's Petrobras oil firm, Brazil's TSE electoral authority has called for an investigation of President Dilma Rousseff's 2014 re-election campaign, citing evidence that it may have been financed with money from a Petrobras corruption scheme.
  • MEXICO: Mexico has completed its oil hedging program for next year, paying more than $1 billion to guarantee it will get at least $49 a barrel for about half of its exported crude in 2016.End of Story

 

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print